How do you keep your children busy? Share your stories of when it worked (...and when it didn’t!) with Boden - £200 voucher to be won

(155 Posts)
BellaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 12-Jul-21 09:44:54

This thread is now closed

We all know that keeping our kids busy can get tricky, particularly during the school holidays when it seems like we're always looking for new ways to entertain them. That’s why Boden would love you to share your stories (successful or not!) of filling your children’s days.

Here’s what Boden has to say: “This summer, Mini Boden is continuing its popular Mini Missions series with exciting new challenges for sunny days. Mini Missions Summer Camp is packed full of easy activities to keep children entertained, with new ones to discover every few weeks. Missions include den building, picnic planning, foraging and stargazing – and Minis can collect badges for each mission they complete. Plus, place a Mini Boden order in July and get a free Summer Camp poster and stickers in your delivery (while stocks last). Get ready to get stuck in…Discover Boden Mini Missions here

Perhaps you set them up with a box of crafts or enlisted the help of the older DC to play endless games of UNO while you finished that important Zoom call? Maybe you relented to an afternoon of TV or gaming in return for a chance to have a cup of tea in peace? Maybe your DC came up with their own entertainment...using your wardrobe as a dressing up box! Or perhaps you’ve encouraged them to try out some of Boden’s Mini Missions?

Whatever tactics you’ve employed, whether they’ve been rolled out every summer or swiftly abandoned, we want to know about them.

Post your stories in the thread below to be entered into a prize draw where one lucky MNer will win a £200 voucher for a store of their choice (from a list).

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw!


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OP’s posts: |
BristolMum96 Mon 12-Jul-21 18:36:50

Always have well stocked arts and crafts box, get out a tuff tray and let them wreak havoc with glitter!

Cotswoldmama Mon 12-Jul-21 18:47:11

Treasure hunts around the house and garden usually keep my kids occupied. We sometimes do a sort of treasure hunt if we go for a walk with a tick box of things they will see so they can tick them off. They quite like then doing them for each other and I get them to draw out the treasure maps.
Another thing they like doing if it's dry outside is taking out our magic tracks and building a huge track around the garden.

MumC2141 Mon 12-Jul-21 20:06:09

Arts and crafts, games and their tablets when we need some peace and quiet.

jellybeanpopper Mon 12-Jul-21 21:01:36

We try to plan an activity outside the house everyday, a visit to the park, a walk or tennis lesson etc.

Spend some time in the garden depending on the weather- football, hide and seek, paddling pool etc.

Indoor activities - baking, arts and crafts, board games. Also trying to make chores fun i.e. helping match socks when the come out of the laundry, DD loves to help cleaning surfaces etc. - doesn't get much done but it keeps her busy!

bowchicawowwow Mon 12-Jul-21 22:21:00

We go geocaching, we try and find a local route with some new caches most weeks. The thought of finding some treasure keeps them motivated, they also like choosing bits and pieces from home to leave in the cache too.

wellingtonsandwaffles Mon 12-Jul-21 22:51:01

If I really want them quiet, it’s media. If I’m feeling like a better parent then set up a Playmobil scene / make slime / get something messy and interesting out (eg potion making from the cupboards)


mayflower21 Mon 12-Jul-21 23:36:51

We used to be very outdoorsy - my toddler and I, but she developed hay fever so we try to only go out during certain hours when pollens are lower. Other times she plays with puzzles and can spend a very long time with them. I wasn't expecting she would be so much engaged with them at this age.

HarrietHairbrush Tue 13-Jul-21 01:26:41

So many!
I will come back and post

QueenOfThorns Tue 13-Jul-21 06:58:47

The best and easiest activity I found to entertain my toddler DD on a nice day was ‘washing the garden’. I bought her a cheap spray bottle in the supermarket, filled it with water, then let her get on with it. Hours of fun! She’s a great big 7 year old now, and still enjoys spraying the garden grin

Stormwhale Tue 13-Jul-21 07:37:05

I get them out in the garden. Washing their toys, helping me with garden jobs, painting things with water. Being outside keeps them much happier.

hannahbjm Tue 13-Jul-21 10:41:06

Always make the most of outside. Even when raining my kids love going outside in wellies and they have competitions to see how much water they can collect and then they water the plants inside!

Tanaqui Tue 13-Jul-21 10:54:10

Similar to washing the garden- a big paintbrush and can of water, and "paint" the shed/fence. Replace with fence paint when older! Also poster paint in shallow trays and make footprints and handprints if you have a patio (it washes off!). Summer holiday scrapbooks for something that can practice a bit of reading and writing as well as collecting tickets and leaflets. Watering the ground and stamping to entice worms up is fun for them (not for squeamish adults though!).

voyager50 Tue 13-Jul-21 12:18:33

I have been saving the Sunday Kids supplement from the paper and he finds lots of things to read and activities to do in them.

He also loves anything to do with art and can spend hours being creative

MargosKaftan Tue 13-Jul-21 16:54:40

Quiet requires screens.

Busy is usually messy.

ifigoup Tue 13-Jul-21 18:43:44

Hours of fun have been had this week involving blowing air into a balloon then letting it go and zoom all around the room. A knotted balloon is also popular, but an unknotted one even more so!

TheLovelinessOfDemons Tue 13-Jul-21 21:39:39

DD2 draws all the time, DS2 has ADHD and really only stays still for screens.

Dizzywizz Tue 13-Jul-21 21:55:28

I get mine to write a story between them - they do a line or a paragraph each. Normally ends up with a pretty funny story!!

Redruby2020 Tue 13-Jul-21 22:07:37

Omg thanks for this post! I had the same question, especially as this year is the first year where I feel the difference from DC not going to be in day care!
I shall read through some of the ideas!
Especially because being full time single parent, I have so much to do and I don't want to or can't get out with DC all the time, plus having a few health issues too. And we don't have a garden, so any ideas here that I read, will be gladly received!!

EvilHerbivore Tue 13-Jul-21 22:21:53

Mine still like geocaching which is nice free activity

DaisyDando Tue 13-Jul-21 23:58:17

The summer before Covid, we went to the Institute of Imagination and borrowed so many ideas for home. Junk modelling - I have my very own glue gun now - Lego challenges, aeroplane making; and my personal favourite: marble run out of any old tat from round the house.
We have a swingball which I searched online for during the first lockdown and I think it’s been played with twice.

ButterflyOfFreedom Wed 14-Jul-21 06:39:37

If it's dry, they can go in the garden which usually keeps thrm amused for a good hour or so (trampoline, football, swingball, watering the plants etc.).
If they have to stay inside they always have access to games, jigsaws, toys (e.g.. dolls or cars) & colouring.
If I need them to be really still / quiet, we will let them on their tablets or watch T.V. but this is usually a last resort and limited to 30 mins at a time.

rumbuba Wed 14-Jul-21 08:15:07


We go geocaching, we try and find a local route with some new caches most weeks. The thought of finding some treasure keeps them motivated, they also like choosing bits and pieces from home to leave in the cache too.

We geocache too! I use it to get us out for half a day at a time. If I had my own way i'd be out all day!
My 6yo is surprisingly good at finding them once we are in the right spot. She even encouraged me to look behind a metal railing with my phone in selfie mode to find one (which we did).

BlowDryRat Wed 14-Jul-21 10:05:18

In a fit of laziness, I told my then-infant school-age DD she could make her own costume. She took her perfectly good dress, emptied a tub of glitter over it to make it purple and sparkly and then danced around the house in it before coming to show me. That was 4 years ago and I'm sure I keep finding glitter from that memorable occasion.

DrGilbertson Wed 14-Jul-21 11:44:45

I like pre-rolled pastry. Really easy cooking activity with little ones. Works with cutters, squidging around or putting any random thing on top before cooking

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