The Summer Holidays are a topsy-turvy time.  Kids aren’t in school, parents are at work, and childcare can be an absolute headache.

We tend to think of mum’s being the ones that take time off to take care of the children when school is out, and while this isn’t absolutely the rule, generally dads are expected to work and mum’s stay home with the little ones.

This stereotype doesn’t really help either mum or dad, but it means that, when dad is the one to stay at home instead of mum, there’s not many ideas for playdates available.

I’m imagining you reading this and starting to get slightly worried, thinking I’m going down the rabbit hole of gender equality, but don’t panic!

This is just a little light hearted blog about ways to entertain the kiddos while they’re off, and even though it’s titled ‘Daddy Day Care’, it’s for anyone who has that lovely but overwhelming job.

So here are five ideas for how to keep your children engaged during the break!

Baking Day

This one takes a little prep, but can be a great activity for a not so sunny day. It’s a really great idea to get your child involved in home life as much as possible, so if you know you’re going to have a day off with them soon, let them know and ask them what they’d like to bake, or how to decorate the cakes or biscuits you’ll be making. 

Before the day, make sure you have all the equipment and ingredients you’ll need.  Maybe your kid would like to choose the music or podcast you listen to!  Make sure your kitchen or cooking area is clean (for younger ones it’s a good idea to pre-measure out your ingredients in bowls) and ready to go. 

When you’ve put the bake in the oven, why not get them involved in washing and tidying up?  A fun day AND a valuable life skill?  Where do I sign my kids up?!

Home Life Day

Please, please, pleaaaaaase bear with me on this one, but a really sweet idea (if your bairn is up for it) is a day to get the house sorted.  Montessori, a learning style for toddlers and young children, talks a lot about having beautiful spaces designed around children.  If your children are old enough to follow instructions and help out at home, it can be really nice to pick out photographs, posters, flowers, and get your child to arrange where they’ll go. 

A particularly nice idea is to help them design their own workspace!  Giving them an area where they can concentrate on school work, projects, or whatever they want, with a desk and chair, journal, stationery and a nice water bottle can really get them excited about their studies.

Creative Day

This one takes some planning again, but once you’ve had a think about what you want to do it’s a lovely chilled day that keeps your LOs engaged all day!  This is the day where you get the pens and pencils out, you get the storybooks out (or even better, get a notebook for them to write their own story!). You can even get some sticky notes and play a game of Guess Who or Charades.  Do you have a budding musician?  Get the instruments out and see what tunes you can write!  The possibilities are endless.

Outdoors Day

No matter what outdoor space you have at home, on a sunny day there are plenty of things to do. 

There’s loads of advice on how to plant pollinator friendly flowers in windowsill plant pots, or get the kids digging in the flowerbeds if you have a bigger space.  If you can get yourself out to nature in the woods or a park, and make nature art, or have a sports day. 

This one is really lovely if you haven’t had chance to plan a day.  Get them out into the fresh air and see where their curiosity takes them.

Pamper Day

This is a really nice one for everyone involved!  Double check your little one isn’t allergic to anything, then make some home made face masks in the kitchen.  Get your robes on, light those candles, get a movie marathon on, and later on enjoy a bath.  You can even extend your pamper day to your pooch, too, by giving them a good bath and a nice brush.  I’m betting your child will love the mess, and will be suitably tired out enough for a spa day of their own.

Whether you’ve had a day planned for ages, or whether your childcare plans have had to change last minute, we hope you have a gorgeous day with your small ones, with activities everyone will love!