While the summer holidays can sometimes feel daunting for parents (all of those weeks with no school!), there is something kind of wonderful about the freedom that comes with not following a routine.
There’s no panic about waking up at a certain time every morning, there’s no need to do homework every afternoon and if you want to have a spontaneous adventure there is absolutely no good reason why you shouldn’t.
This summer, it’s all about taking inspiration from the big screen adaptation of The BFG, beloved author Roald Dahl’s captivating story about a big, friendly giant with a huge heart and mind-blowing vocabulary. Along with 2016’s other magical movies, like Finding Dory, Nine Lives and Pete’s Dragon, it’s showing at Cineworld’s 90 cinemas, nationwide.
Directed by Steven Spielberg, viewers get to follow the magical escapades of Sophie, who experiences adventure after adventure after the BFG takes her to Giant Country. The duo chase dreams in Dream Country, face off against gizzard-gobbling, bone-crunching, child-chewing giants and head to a very silly tea at Buckingham Palace with the Queen.
While not all children can have Sophie’s adventures outside of the cinema, there are plenty of family activities that are fun for everyone to enjoy – without leaving the UK.
Sparking creativity, igniting young imaginations and helping with family bonding are all results of getting out there and trying novel things. Research conducted by OnePoll reveals that 85 per cent of parents reckon that adventure is an important part of little one’s lives, while the same percentage of kids in the same survey said that they crave more exciting new experiences – pretty convincing evidence we reckon.
Ready to get stared? Here are some adventurous activities ideal for all the family to enjoy this summer...
Family outings to the cinema are just the best: popcorn, 3D glasses, sweets and a chance to enter an imaginary world of monsters, princesses and friendly (and not-so-friendly) giants. Head to catch a new release at Cineworld
this summer and play make believe all the way home.
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It's no secret that exercise is good for all of us, and doing it as a family makes it even better. Cycling is a great habit to get into as it works year-round and can become part of the school commute. But to really get your little ones excited about their two wheel drive, why not take them out into nature and on a forest trail? Stop to look at the shapes of leaves, to listen to the chatter of birds and see how sunlight cuts through tree branches.
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Remember the last time you felt the sheer exhilaration of getting up, up, up in the air, before bouncing back to earth? A jumping session on the trampoline gets your heart going, puts a massive smile on your face and will have you landing in fits of giggles. If you don't have one at home, pop to your local park, and get the same feel good vibes from clambering all over the frames, heading on the swings and going down the slide. No sidelines parents: get involved!
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Picking seashells, running into the (freezing!) water, eating fish and chips while strolling along the boardwalk, discovering rock pools (and their inhabitants): that's the stuff British beach days are made of. Expect happy children and memories to last a lifetime.
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Bit tired? Broken arm? Not every adventure has to be a physical one. Head to your local library and sign your children up for their card. By letting your tots enter a world of new worlds and characters, you get them wondering more and more about the thrill of what's out there. Plant the literary bug young, and you've got a love that lasts a lifetime.
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Packing up the fresh lemonade, Scotch eggs, cakes and blankets is always fun. But to get that adventure vibe going? Take your pack-up to a wild new location. From national parks to moors and dales, this country is full of ruggedly spectacular places to perch, eat and marvel and nature.
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We all know that relying on the sun during British summertime isn't, erm, the best shout. To put it mildly. But adventure time can happen at home, too. Get the paints out, some cardboard, bits of old fabric and have a crack at crafting costumes of your favourite book and film characters. Robot out of tin foil, anyone?
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Seeing the stars twinkle without street lights polluting the scene, hearing the gentle silence that falls at dark away from towns: all experiences that help to ground your kids to nature. Try a one-night camping trip, not too far from home, and give them that true feeling of getting away from day-to-day life.
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The magic of a music festival is super special. Naturally, most aren't the best places for the under-18s, but you can recreate that sense of fun in the garden. Get some speakers out and the music up, twine outdoor fairy lights through the hedge, stick out some upturned old wooden crates for seating and let them invite their friends over for a day of laughs.
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Splashing around in water – from puddles to fountains – never gets old. So why not create an adventure-ready water park at home? Sprinklers on, water pistols at the ready, they'll be running around having a brilliant time in minutes.