Take inspiration from our great summer of sport, or do something entirely different…
Strange to think that the longest day is already behind us and nature has begun its long, slow march towards winter.
Which is all the more reason to make the most of the summer we have left. And to be fair, July and August (and sometimes half of September) are usually the best bits.
There’s loads going on this year to take inspiration from, so here are a few ideas for summer activities that will see you through the summer holidays and beyond. They’re fun, they’re fab, and they’re great for kids and dads, too.
Summer of sport
As we write, the England women’s football team are into a World Cup semi-final against current holders the US, after thrashing Norway in the quarter-final. Manager Phil Neville is adamant that the team’s success is not just about personal or national glory, it’s about inspiring girls and boys of all ages to get out and kick a ball about.
So why not take Phil’s advice? Summer is the perfect time to start, and during school summer holidays temporary soccer schools spring up around the country. The more serious camps are residential, usually based around a week of intense training for players of all abilities, while others are associated with professional clubs. Less formal but just as fun soccer schools are based around local parks or leisure centres. Contact your own local leisure centre for details of courses near you.
Alternatively, don’t sign them up to an official Football camp at all. Just head out to the local park with a ball and jumpers for goalposts. That’s how we learned the beautiful game, after all.
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More than football this summer
But this long summer of sport is about so much more than football. The cricket World Cup is also well under way, with an Ashes series (England versus Australia) to follow. Use these massive sporting events as the inspiration to get your kids out with bat and ball.
There are official classes for five to eight year olds running throughout the summer, all run by the England and Wales Cricket Board. You can find a class near you here. There are also summer long camps and courses for kids of all ages with the backing of the biggest stars of the game.
Don’t fancy cricket? How about swimming? Or to get that Wimbledon vibe, how about tennis? The Lawn Tennis Association runs courses up and down the country during the summer.
Not into sport?
If your kids are not into sport, there are still plenty of healthy indoor and outdoor activities for them to enjoy this summer. These are often run by local authorities or the local leisure centre, so check out their websites. But some national gym chains, for example, run fitness-based summer camps for kids (and one even has a Fortnite theme!).
There are also summer dance classes across the country if your child likes to throw a few moves. These tend to be run by local organisations and dance schools so check out local listings first.
Again, there are no rules that say you have to join an organised class. Maybe you just want to fire up Just Dance on the Xbox or PS4 and enjoy an impromptu family dance party in the living room.
Art, drama and more this summer
Physical activity is important, but there is more to the summer than getting out of breath. The extra time dads have with their kids at this time of year, and the brighter, longer, more colourful days, make it a perfect time to explore more creative activities, too.
Take art, for example. Summer is a great time for inspiring a love of painting, modelling and more, because of the colours, the bright summer days, and the fact that you can take the mess outside!
Courses and classes
If you need inspiration, there is plenty about. There are lots of local art courses and one-off classes for kids. Perhaps even better, some tutors offer easy-to-follow downloadable art classes that you can enjoy with your children, working to your own pace and having lots of fun in the process.
If art is not your child’s thing, there are summer youth drama courses running throughout July and August, organised by universities, theatres and theatre groups.
And, of course, there’s lots more to do this summer, from forest camps to crafts at home. If you’re still stuck for ideas, here are a few more.