The summer holiday break has the potential to be even trickier this year - it's not as if we haven't had enough family time and being together at home! So we have put together a few ideas that you might not have thought of to help make those six weeks fly by.

1. Set up a 'family business'
Why not make some fresh lemonade and cookies and sell them from a little stand in the garden, or get rid of some unwanted toys and books with a yard sale. What other ideas can you think of?

2. Become tourists at home
You don't have to venture as far as Buckingham Palace for tea and scones. (Although good luck to you if you can make that happen.) How about hiking through Hitchin Lavender or strolling in the grounds of Hatfield House?

Herts Advertiser: The West Garden at Hatfield HouseThe West Garden at Hatfield House (Image: Hatfield House)

3. Encourage your children to do something life-changing
Looking for something really different for the kids that doesn't cost the Earth? The National Citizenship Scheme (NCS) gives 16 and 17-year-olds the chance to really develop their skills. On NCS, you’ll mix with a new crowd, and take on fresh challenges. Before you know it, you’ll be rooting for each other, as you all tackle your own little hurdles. To find out more

Herts Advertiser: School students selling cakes on a market stall for a community project with the National Citizenship Service.School students selling cakes on a market stall for a community project with the National Citizenship Service. (Image: Danny Loo Photography 2017)

4. Make your home into a restaurant
Get the children to plan and design a menu, go shopping together for the ingredients and then get cooking. It could be a three-course meal especially if it's easy things like prawn cocktail as a starter. Get them to lay the table, take your order and maybe wash up afterwards...(You can tell I don't have kids, right?! Well...It's worth a try.)

5. Make your own local newspaper
Think of a name for your paper. Gather news from your road, interview some friends or family, report on local events and take some photos. Could it be the next rival to the Herts Ad or Welwyn Hatfield Times? We hope not.

6. Paint with a squirt gun
Grab some A4/A3 sheets of paper on an easel or a large roll of paper on the ground.
Fill water guns or water spray bottles with liquid watercolour paints, then stand back and let the children have fun.

7. Cool down with a water balloon piñata
Tie water balloons to a rotary washing line, climbing frame, or wherever there is safe and appropriate space and let the children have fun with a plastic stick (or something similar that again isn't going to result in a trip to A&E) until they pop the balloons and get splashed!

8. Make fairy soup!
Collect leaves, petals, grass and anything you can find in the garden or out and about on a walk. You will also need a mixing bowl filled with water and spoon. Then simply allow the children to add all of the ingredients that they have collected and stir them into a sludgy brown gloop which no fairy in their right mind will turn their nose up at.

Herts Advertiser: Why not have a picnic on Dunstable Downs?Why not have a picnic on Dunstable Downs? (Image: palidachan)

9. Have a picnic dinner and watch the sunset at Dunstable Downs
Pick Your Own fruit at Hawkswick Lodge Fruit Farm in Harpenden then use them to make your own fruit sorbet and smoothies before heading up to the Downs for a truly spectacular picnic destination.

10. Create your own town in a cardboard box
Get the children to create and draw an imaginary town at the bottom of a giant cardboard box. They can add roads, tracks, rivers, bridges, parks, etc. Let your child’s imagination run wild. The trees may be candyfloss and the river may be made of chocolate. Maybe they can fly in their imaginary town or perhaps everyone travels underwater. Older children could help with decorating/creating the scene and they could add dolls, toy animals and maybe Lego creations.

11. Enjoy an indoor scavenger hunt
Choose some items to hide and seek around the house. You could even encourage the children to draw and design a map and clues. Make some of the locations really challenging so you get a few hours' peace and quiet!

12. Make a life sized drawing
You will need a large roll of paper for this particular activity. Measure out a piece a little longer than your child, put it on the floor, have your youngster lie down and draw their outline on the paper. They can then colour themselves in, adding features, clothes, etc. You can really have fun adding fabrics for clothes and cutting up and stickingon different materials to make it look as lifelike as possible.

With thanks to Jodie Smart of Sunny Kids Shine for her contributions. Send us your photos and video of what you are up to this July and August. Let's make it one to remember!!