Image courtesy of Paul Townsend
Image courtesy of Paul Townsend

When you have children home for a period of time, particularly the summer holidays you may feel daunted at the amount of time you have to entertain them. Some parents choose to send their children off to camps or activity workshops so that they can be entertained this way but if you do not have a lot of money you may be unable to do this. This means that it will be up to you. If the weather is not good and you are stuck indoors, it can be even more difficult to find a variety of things for them to do.

Firstly you must not think of it as depressing because you cannot go outside. See it as an opportunity to have a lot of fun together. You will need to be prepared to be strict with them as it is likely that the computer, games console, mobile device or television will be a big draw for them. Perhaps have an agreement with them, that they are only allowed them for a certain amount of time each day or that they can only have them once they have done activities with you.

It can be really useful for parents as well as children if you get them helping with the chores in the home. Any household job such as cleaning, washing and cooking will be vital for them as they grow older and therefore very valuable for them to learn. The best way for children to feel that it is fair though, is if you do it with them. If they can see that you are working as well, then they will not feel so bad about having to help you.

Arts and crafts do not have to be expensive and can be a lot of fun. Even if you do not have play dough, clay, paints, pastels or other art materials, it is likely that you have some plain paper and a pencil. It is amazing how creative you can be, particularly if you add scissors, glue or tape and coloured pencils or crayons into the mix. Even if you feel that they are not artistic, you can all have a go at creating something and see how it comes out.

Paper and pencil games may seem rather old fashioned but they can be a fun novelty for children. You can teach them to play noughts and crosses, boxes, hangman and things like that or invent quizzes, word searches, crosswords etc.

Den making can be as much fun inside as outside and you can use duvets, mattresses, pillows, rugs and all sorts of other things to have great fun. You can create obstacle courses with tunnels and have all sorts of fun. You can even challenge them to make the best den or obstacle course.

It can be good to get out older toys that they may not have played with for a while. They may have forgotten how much fun they are or were or be able to think of more exciting things to do with them, now that they are older.