It’s been a strange sort of Summer. We’ve had a lot more wind than usual and a lot less sun, so in many ways it hasn’t felt that Summery at all. Add to that the fact that we haven’t spent nearly as much time at the bach or beach as usual due to our renovation and needing to be nearby for subcontractors and the like, it’s been a weird one.
But when you have three kids, it’s necessary to keep them busy and amused regardless of the weather. Actually, if we’re being honest, it’s more important to keep them busy when the weather is crappy because they would rather be frolicking at the beach too! We were lucky enough to be house-sitting for three weeks of our Christmas holidays and during that time took a few days trips around our fair city. When we chose to spend the day lazing at home, we played board games, the kids played outside on the trampoline and their new climbing frame and more often than not I let go of my desire to say ‘no’ whenever the request came in for screen time, choosing instead to permit a few fun movies and gaming in the form of Farm Rules, our favourite app.
School holidays may be over, but here’s a few more suggestions of places to check out if you haven’t already over the coming weekends since the heat has arrived. Some of our Summer favourites:
This one of a kind play ground is well worth a visit and my kids keep begging to go back. It’s totally unlike anything we’ve been to before and you should definitely add it to your list of kid-friendly to do’s before the holidays end.
I wrote a full review here you can read if you haven’t already.
This amazing playground was built with the financial help of a local. Pretty awesome way to share your wealth I’d say. I am loving the departure from brightly coloured plastic components in playgrounds in favour of timber, netting and more natural resources. There are so many different spaces to explore: super high climbing nets, an old fashioned merry-go-round, the coolest water play area that was overrun by little boys and slides from heaven to earth. To make it even more appealing, the beach is right there so you can alternate between beach play and kidsplay. A perfect combo.
This place never fails to deliver for a family day out. If you’ve never been, or you haven’t been in a while, I highly recommend taking the short drive north to the beautiful expanse of Wenderholme. As one who does not love sand, the grassy reserve located along the beach front is perfect for picnicing, sunbathing, cricket playing or just lounging and chatting. The water is shallow and safe and the perfect place for little people to frolick. If the beach isn’t your thing at all, there’s always the river that runs into the ocean which is perfect for water play too. There’s clean and easy to access bathroom facilities and the parking is plentiful. This would have to be one of my favourite beaches in Auckland.
A day at the zoo is always a good time. Especially for pre-schoolers who are still so in awe of seeing wild animals up close. The elephant and tiger were the highlights on our most recent trip and it was with great sadness that we learned our usual favourite – the Hippo – had passed away. Beau has been telling everyone he meets since Tuesday that ‘the hippo diiiiiiied’.
Although I have tried consciously to ensure lots of fun activities and summer outings for the kids over this rather unusual Christmas holidays, there’s still been plenty of sitting around at the reno site waiting to meet sub-contractors or taking measurements for blinds, testing paint colours on the walls and every other small detail that is necessary with a major home renovation. For those moments, they’ve played in their back yard or if I’ve had just one of them with me on those occasions I’ve happily handed over my phone for a little Farm Rules or Rosie’s World episode. I keep the games on my phone to an absolute minimum, choosing just a few that are educational and kid-centric. And this is always their go to.
We’ve been following Rosie on her journey around the world, learning about what actually happens on Kiwi Dairy Farms and all about how important calcium is for growing little bodies. The games and app are educational but enjoyable and the kids actually beg to play. I like it like that.
Are your kids fans of Rosie too?
* this post has been sponsored by Rosie’s World. Thank you for supporting the brands that support us.