Today, we have a guest blogger Carly who is here to tell us all about her dog Pickle and her experiences using our car seat cover for dogs.
“Pickle’s first experience of the car came on the day we picked her up from the adoption centre in March 2020 to join her outdoorsy, adventurous adoptive family. Freshly washed, she was carried into the back seat and settled down with my husband whilst I drove us home. We hooked her onto the seatbelt with her car harness, gave her a furry blanket as a dog car seat cover to protect her from slipping but she still spent the entire journey crushed up to my husband and whining for the 15 minutes it took us to get home. Relieved to be out of the car and into her new home, she bounded out into our garden to explore her new surroundings.
We took our time introducing new things to her routine, walking on a lead, meeting new people, exploring the garden – she took every new development in her stride even though it sometimes pushed her boundaries more than she liked in the first few weeks in her new home. The first breakthrough in becoming more adventurous came the day she was able to sit in the car on her own, suddenly we were able to travel together without another passenger in the car to keep her still and a whole new arena of adventures opened up.
We’ve now had six months of interesting adventures together and car journeys have become Pickle’s favourite activity. Her excitement as she bounds into the car and sits patiently to be hooked into her seatbelt harness is delightful, an everyday reminder of how far she has come in half a year.
When I upgraded my car three months into our adventures, I was worried her enthusiasm for the car she had come to know and love would be diminished, but, fear not, she loves the new one as much as I do! What my new car didn’t enjoy was its regular coating in mud and dirt from a dog who was learning to play in the great outdoors. Mud, dirt and anything smelly she could possibly have picked up along her walk are transported with her at every opportunity.
Having a dog car seat cover was a requirement I had not expected when we got all our doggy accessories, so we had to get our hands on one pretty quickly to protect the new car. Pickle was very excited to see her dog car seat cover arrive in the post (she loves the post being delivered!) and we soon got to work installing it so she could adventure ASAP.
The dog car seat cover went in really quickly and easily, fitting around the headrests with easy to use clips and allowing us to close the seatbelts to attach her harness over the top of the cover. Within 5 minutes Pickle was packed up for her next adventure and ready to go.
No longer does Pickle skid around on her blanket in the back seat spreading mud and muck with her, she jumps straight onto the cover (a feat she couldn’t have done when we first got her as her legs were not strong enough) and is contained safely and cleanly within it. It’s easy to remove so her dirt can be easily removed when humans need the car too. No longer having to clean the seats daily with an endless supply of wipes makes my day easier too and Pickle can get as dirty and disgusting as she likes on her adventures without me having to worry. And I am looking forward to the day I upgrade my car again and don’t have to apologise to the car dealership for the state of the seats!”
Thank you, Carly (and Pickle, of course) and we hope you continue to have many years of adventuring ahead with your new car seat cover for dogs. Thanks so much for all the pics of Pickle exploring her new world.
Our CAMBA Moova is different to other hand trucks. We haven’t so much reinvented the wheel but used our CAMBA wheel technology to create a hand trolley which is less effort to move and provides greater control for the operator. If you need a better solution than your current sack barrow provides, then consider the CAMBA Moova.
Here’s why the CAMBA Moova is different to a regular hand truck…..
It provides better stability. The CAMBA wheel technology means the wheels are constantly adapting to the unique footprint of each wheel, keeping your load stable at all times.
It can go up and down stairs. As each wheel works independently of the other, getting up and down stairs is a much easier task.
It makes easy work of unstable terrain. The CAMBA Moova was designed with a variety of surfaces in mind. It makes easy work of hauling across mud, sand, gravel, and grass, making it an ideal tool for use in the garden, on a beach, or on a fishing trip. It’s perfect for festivals and camping trips too.
It can carry up to 100kg in weight. That’s around 45 standard house bricks, and way more than enough for a family tent with poles and everything.
The wheels are puncture-proof. One (or two) less things to worry about!
It folds down for easy storage. The handle is telescopic and the wheels fold in, meaning it takes up less storage space.
The CAMBA Moova is a great option for a range of activities, for both leisure or work. It is designed to work with our HandiDuffel 135 litre or 95 litre, giving you even more options for storing and moving your gear.
It has been designed with the user in mind. With features like a rubber grip handle and a simple to use push-button release, the CAMBA Moova is very user friendly. The ergonomic design is sympathetic to the human operator and places less strain on muscles and joints.
Watch our video to find out more about how the CAMBA Moova works on different surfaces and to see the CAMBA wheel technology in action.
So, if you’re needing something to get some stuff from here to there with less hassle, then the CAMBA Moova could be exactly what you need. It is different to regular, traditional hand trucks but it’s designed with so many things in mind, not least you, the human, as an integral part of the whole hand truck co-operative kit. For some tasks, a traditional hand truck just isn’t up to the job. Could the CAMBA Moova be the innovative solution you are looking for?
Great news if you’ve pre-ordered our brand new CAMBA Moova – they are landing with us, and then with you, very soon! Thank you for your patience – it’s been a funny old year, hasn’t it? Hopefully, you haven’t missed out on too much you would have used it for and there will be plenty of opportunity in the future to use the innovative hand truck that is our CAMBA Moova.
The CAMBA Moova is an improved HandiMoova, our popular sack barrow. It has a carrying capacity of 100kg and is designed to handle all sorts of terrain from gravel and sand, to mud and grass, and even up steps. It has British designed and patented CAMBA wheels which allows movement of objects of all kinds with minimal effort. It folds down when not in use to save space too!
But just what can the CAMBA Moova be used for?
The CAMBA Moova is a fantastic gardening trolley
As a hand truck that can easily navigate mud, grass, kerbs, and gravel, the CAMBA Moova makes an ideal gardening trolley. Whether it’s shifting heavy planters, sacks of topsoil, or taking the rubble out, it’s comfortable tackling the type of terrain the typical UK garden can throw at it.
Heading for the beach? The CAMBA Moova is an excellent beach trolley
The innovative CAMBA wheel technology makes hauling across sand a piece of cake. Which is a good job because the last time we did a family trip to the beach we had soooooo much stuff. Food, a beach shelter, enough buckets and spades to keep an entire class bubble entertained, towels, some other stuff I have no idea why we needed…. And it all needed to be kept free from water and sand. The CAMBA Moova is ideal for use with our waterproof HandiDuffel, so whatever you need to get down to the beach or seafront, this is a perfect combination.
Looking for a festival trolley? The CAMBA Moova is as ready for it as you are.
When you’re not sure which festival trolley to buy, think about what you will actually use it for. When we’ve been to any major UK music festival we’ve mainly used a trolley for getting our stuff from the car park down to the camping area – which can be anything from right next to door to in the next county – and then back again. So it needs to be something which can take as much as possible in one go over what can be challenging terrain on arrival, fold up small to stow away, and then handle the even more challenging terrain packing up again. The CAMBA Moova makes easy work of mud, whether wet or dry. And there will be mud.
Put the CAMBA Moova to work in the workplace
The CAMBA wheel technology makes the CAMBA Moova a little different to other trollies; it can go up and down steps. While it may not be able to get around on its own – not yet anyway! – the tech makes hauling the trolley up and down steps less strenuous and with more stability.
If your office is on a different floor to your warehouse, or your showroom area on a different to your loading bay, the CAMBA Moova can help you get your essentials from where they are to where they need to be. Could you use a sack barrow like this in your workplace?
Keep on moova-ing with the CAMBA Moova
Moving home is a stressful time. It really is. There’s so much to think about and to do. Whether you’re using a moving firm or doing a DIY removals job, the CAMBA Moova will come in hugely useful in getting your boxes into your shiny new pad that bit quicker. Is your new place a first floor flat? The CAMBA Moova is great on stairs. So whether you’re moving your kids into their first student digs or moving on to your retirement pad, the CAMBA Moova can earn its keep. Once you’re done, it’ll hang in your new home happily (not taking up too much space) until the next time!
If you’re looking for something that’s more like a wagon, check out our HandiMoova 2 in 1 load carrier. It can carry up to 135kg over more predictable terrain, with a choice of 2-wheel or 4-wheel use. We are taking orders over at https://www.handiworld.com/handimoova2in1/
The UK has a coastline of over 12,000km, so there are lots of options for surfing. However, the best spots are generally found in Devon and Cornwall, North Yorkshire, Northumberland, and South Wales with a few surfing schools located in Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as the Anglian coast.
Surfing lessons are similar to driving lessons, except you don’t need so many of them and you don’t need to pass a test at the end! You can be up and surfing with only one lesson, though the norm is for two or three lessons to get confident.
Prices are around £25 – £30 per session (1 or 2 hours) and you can get discounts per person if you are taught in a small group rather than 1-to-1, or if you book a block of lessons. There isn’t a lot of price difference around the UK, but you might be able to get better value in other parts of the world. Maybe you can combine learning to surf with a holiday abroad, or in the UK?
If you want to combine learning to surf with a holiday, then you can do that, either abroad or right here in the UK.
Surf Snowdonia, as an example, has glamping lodges where you can stay while learning to surf on their 300-metre surf lagoon. Read: Glamping at Surf Snowdonia by Otis and Us. If glamping isn’t for you – the Hilton Garden Inn will be opening on site from April 2021!
Going abroad is a great option for learning to surf. You can get some good prices on both the holiday and the lessons by exploring holidaying in places like South Africa, or Mozambique. Alternatively, you can learn to surf in Hawaii, the most iconic of surfing locations, but that might cost you a little more!
The HandiRack, our universal inflatable roof bars, are a great way of transporting your surfboard.
Will surfing be in the Olympics?
Surfing has been added to the sports at the Tokyo Summer Olympics 2020, though these will now start in July 2021. It will be on a real ocean rather than a wave pool, and the inaugural event will be Shidashita Beach in Japan. Riders will be judged on the quality and difficulty of the moves they perform while riding the waves.
Stand up paddleboarding is an activity growing fast in popularity. Whether this is due to the coronavirus (stand up paddleboarding is a good social distancing activity) or something else, we are not really sure, but we’ve certainly seen a lot more people out and about doing just this. Have you ever been stand up paddle boarding?
What is stand up paddleboarding?
Stand up paddle boarding (or SUP) is like surfing but isn’t. Instead of using waves to propel yourself like in surfing, you use a paddle to push yourself along still waters or waves. You can paddleboard on a lake, a river, or the ocean. You can stand up on the board, or kneel if you prefer.
It originated in Hawaii and has been around for hundreds of years, though the modern version dates from around the year 1900.
Photo by Matt Zhou on Unsplash
Is stand up paddle boarding difficult?
Stand up paddleboarding is very accessible as an activity. It doesn’t require the skill of surfing, and is easier to get into than kayaking. It’s suitable for people of all ages and it can be taught in a few hours, unlike surfing where you often need multiple lessons for a sustained period of time to really pick it up.
Stand up paddleboarding is basically standing or kneeling on a board while using a paddle to propel yourself. It’s all about balance and momentum – like cycling. There’s not much else to it. Learn to balance yourself. Learn to move from a kneeling position to a standing position. Get the hang of paddling and turning your board in a different direction. It’s all about practice.
Here’s a great video from Tin Box Traveller
What stand up paddle board to buy
Getting the right sized paddleboard is important. Longer and wider boards provide better stability but might be difficult to paddle, especially if you’re short and lightweight yourself. Wider boards are good for increased stability in moving water – such as rapids.
Bigger boards are more difficult to store but inflatable SUPs are available and these provide good stability too.
The HandiRack, our universal inflatable roof bars, are a great way of transporting your SUP.
What to wear when stand up paddle boarding is kind of important but there’s not really specialist SUP wear – it’s the same stuff you’d wear if you were surfing. A wet suit is good but then swim-shorts and t-shirts are fine too. The plan isn’t to spend too much time in the water anyway!
You should wear a floatation device, especially if you are not a strong swimmer. Children should certainly wear one.
If it’s a cold day (or even if it’s not) you might also want to wear thermals. The water can be cold even if the sun is shining.
On your feet, water shoes are a good option. Bare feet are fine, until you fall in and need to walk on the bottom of the riverbed.
If it’s a hot day, then don’t forget your sunscreen and shades.
It’s also important that you get a board leash – like in surfing – so your board stays close to you if you fall in the water.
Where to go stand up paddle boarding
There are lots of places around the UK to go stand up paddleboarding, but like kayaking, you might need a license to access some waterways. While some stretches of water are public access, many are under the control of the Canal & River Trust, the Environment Agency, the Broads Authority and a number of other waterway authorities.
The CAMBA Kart, our innovative board and paddlesports trolley makes getting your SUP to the waters edge much easier.
CAMBA Kart Paddlesports Trolley
Is stand up paddleboarding safe?
Stand up paddleboarding is as safe as it can be for an activity that is physical and done on water, which can be unpredictable. It’s important that you, as with other watersports, respect the water and take notice of the safety advice from your instructor.
We know what it’s like when you’re yearning to get out and enjoy the great outdoors but circumstances mean you’re stuck at home for now. Whether it’s a global pandemic, lack of funds, or work commitments keeping you from going too far, there are activities you can do which will help satisfy your craving for adventure (for now, anyway).
Here are 9 outdoor and adventure activities you can do at home.
Build a climbing wall
A climbing wall for you or the children can be done outside or even inside if you have enough wall space. While you probably don’t have the space for a full climbing rig, you can set something up for a spot of bouldering. Take a look at https://thecreatedhome.com/diy-climbing-wall to see how you could set something up indoors. Outdoors, you will need a solid wall or some sizeable pieces of wood and some climbing studs. You can buy these online, for example at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Climbing-Holds
A climbing wall can be a considerable expense but it also makes a good project which will help you while away a few hours. A well-built climbing wall can last a very long time too, so this is definitely an investment in both time and money.
Do some back garden camping
A firm at-home favourite is back garden camping. There’s nothing like sleeping under canvas and in your garden is still a good way of getting your body clock in sync with nature. The downside is that you don’t really get a change of scenery, but on the upside, you get a toilet nearby and you know who’s used it! You can also get away with not having to take lots of equipment and supplies with you and you will never have the problem of not having taken suitable clothing.
Cooking on an open camp fire or even using your regular gas camping kitchen is a change from your home’s kitchen. Food always tastes different when it’s cooked on a camping stove and it always reminds me of being outdoors and on holiday. Back garden cooking is always good preparation for cooking when camping if you’ve not done it before.
What can you make?
Well how about hot dogs or burgers, and s’mores for dessert? I like making fried chicken wraps and one pot meals like vegetable curry are always a winner.
If you really want to get into the festival spirit then why not hold your own backyard festival? As well as the tent you can also put on some music, play your own, and do some crafting too. Face painting and festival hair always make my children ridiculously excited. What would you do at your own personal festival?
Indoor cycling is a great way to exercise when you can’t get out and about but isn’t it boring when they only thing you have to look it is the wall? We can’t all afford a Peloton to take part in classes with others but what about using your own TV and the videos that others have kindly made? Check out this YouTube account for some brilliant cycling videos – can you imagine pedalling along to these? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVbBtdw-_SCqGDs6-_awaDg
If you can get out and about into your neighbourhood, then how about creating an orienteering challenge? Get a street map of your local area or make your own using Google Maps.
This is a good way of introducing using a compass too. You can make the map and route as easy or as complicated as you like.
There might not be anything more exciting than mini beasts in your garden but some back garden wildlife spotting is a good warm up for the real thing. There’s lots to spot in your garden such as earthworms, ladybirds, spiders, and all manner of domestic birds like pigeons, sparrows, and robins.
Probably our most famous product is the HandiRack inflatable roof rack – have you got one? They are a great way of adding extra carrying capacity to your car. They fit all types of car – well, the ones that have a roof – they are much cheaper than standard roof bars, and they fold down very small when not in use – what’s not to love?
The HandiRack roof bars are available in either black or limited edition Camo print for those adventures where you want to blend into the great outdoors. These universal roof bars are great for carrying a canoe or kayak, or for teaming up with our HandiHoldall to add extra room for a camping trip, or moving home, or for all that extra shopping.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about our most popular item.
HandiRack Inflatable Roof Bars
How to fit HandiRack inflatable roof bars
One question we are asked frequently is…… are HandiRack inflatable roof bars easy to fit? The answer is yes. It’s not that you don’t need to make an effort here because you do have to do something yourself to get them on your car, but we provide full instructions and really, there’s not much to think about.
In short, you need to unroll and lay the bars out in position on your car, strap them on, and then inflate. It is really simple but can take a little getting used to. We recommend that you work out how to fit them in advance of your trip – there’s nothing like trying to do something unfamiliar when you’re on a schedule!
Check out these videos to help you to understand how easy fitting the HandiRack is……..
How to use HandiRack inflatable roof rack
We have seen the HandiRack being used for a variety of jobs. Kayaks and surfboards, garden benches, for a house move, to the official HandiHoldall for extra carrying capacity, and everything in between.
The HandiHoldall, a soft roof box, is designed to work the HandiRack. If you buy a HandiHoldall at the same time as the HandiRack, you can get a special bundle deal. HandiHoldalls are available in a variety of sizes from 175 litres to 400 litres. Please check out our website at https://www.handiworld.com/soft-roof-boxes-roof-bars/.
We’re really pleased with the reviews continuing to come in for the HandiRack carrier. As much as we have faith in our universal roof bars, it’s always extra reassuring to see that customers are happy and that the products have stood up to the real-world tests thrown at them!
This review from Mel is for the HandiRack inflatable roof rack and our HandiHoldall – a great combination which efficiently adds carrying capacity at relatively low cost and requires minimal storage.
Thanks to Tiffany for sending us this pic of the HandiRack on top of her Fiat 500. They show that our universal roof bars can indeed fit on a smaller 3-door car!
Whether you’re thinking of buying a HandiRack for camping, for carrying something oversized like a canoe or kayak or a garden bench, or when moving home, we are happy that the inflatable HandiRack is a good value solution, especially if you’re not only on a budget but also have to be frugal with your storage requirements – the HandiRack is a lot easier to store than a regular set of roof bars, and the complementary HandiHoldall easier than a hard shell roof box!
If you’d like to buy both the HandiRack inflatable roof bars and a HandiHoldall soft roof box then check out our bundle deals – they will save you money! If you have any further questions about any of the items in our store, then please do get in touch.
The HandiHoldall is a flexible roof bag designed to fit our patented inflatable roof bars, the HandiRack. Available in three sizes, the HandiHoldall is a good way of adding carrying capacity to your car for a camping trip, or moving home at low cost. Because the HandiHoldall folds up again when not in use, it’s ideal if you don’t have enough storage space at home for a roof box.
How to fit the HandiHoldall
The HandiHoldall is very easy to fit. It is designed to work perfectly with the HandiRack and we highly recommend the HandiHoldall as your roof bag if you own a HandiRack; while other roof bags may fit the HandiRack, none do as well as the official HandiHoldall. If you buy the HandiRack and HandiHoldall together, we do a special discounted bundle deal. Please ask if you have any questions.
You can also use the HandiHoldall on a regular set of roof bars using our roof bar fitting kit, which comes included with every HandiHoldall.
Each product comes complete with fitting instructions; watch our video for an idea of how to fit the HandiHoldall and the HandiRack.
Want to see a HandiHoldall in action on a regular roof rack? Check our Erin’s video of her family camping trip and a look at how the roof bar fitting kit works. Thanks to Erin at Yorkshire Tots for taking the time to give the HandiHoldall a thorough testing.
Is the HandiHoldall waterproof?
The HandiHoldall 400 litre and the 175 litre are completely waterproof. They are built to keep out the water. Have a look of this video of them being tested!
The HandiHoldall 330 litres is weather resistant. We advise putting waterproof items into the HandiHoldall and using inner bags where possible. The 330 litre HandiHoldall can fit 2 x 95l or 2 x 135l HandiDuffel bags inside, and we have a bundle deal available – check out https://www.handiworld.com/handiholdall-330-litres-category/ for more details.
We’re really pleased with the reviews continuing to come in for the HandiHoldall. As much as we have faith in our products, it’s always extra reassuring to see that customers are happy and that the products have stood up to the real-world tests thrown at them!
See this review at Trustpilot – https://www.trustpilot.com/users/574d830c0000ff000a24e8b3
We’ve also had this review in for the HandiHoldall and the HandiRack direct from a happy customer. Thank you to Sharon for the feedback and for the pic of them both working together on her car.
“I am just writing to say how impressed I am with the HandiRack and HandHoldall package.
The first thing that impressed me was the incredibly quick delivery.
We used the HandiRack and HandiHoldall to travel up to Yorkshire and it was brilliant. We stopped once to check it and it hadn’t moved an inch and nothing was flapping about.
Once we got to Yorkshire we put the rack on my sister’s car and used it to transport a sofa bought in a charity shop, saving us the £25 delivery charge. I think we entertained the locals getting the sofa onto the roof but once up there and strapped down with the tie downs we had an uneventful journey.
My sister thinks it is a great idea and I will be recommending it to everyone.”
So there we have it; the HandiHoldall is a great way of adding carrying capacity to your car when you don’t have any room at home to store a regular roof box. If you have any questions about bundle deals, fitting, or anything else, please do get in touch.
We love camping! It’s a great way of engaging more with the outdoors and (usually) a way of holidaying that bit cheaper. But isn’t there a lot of ‘stuff’? One of the best things about camping is that you can make it as basic or as luxurious as you wish. We all have our own personal preferences, and these may change from camping trip to camping trip too. Are you a ‘glamper’ or more of a bare-essentials type of camper?
What camping equipment do I need?
Camping isn’t necessarily a cheap endeavour. Yes it’s good fun and you’ll save money on hotels in the future, but camping equipment can get very expensive. Buying second-hand or end-of-line stock is a good idea for saving money; you can pick up some real bargains such as tents that have only been used once by new campers who decided camping wasn’t for them after all. Look out on local social media selling pages, Gumtree, and local small ads.
While we would advocate starting small and building up your supplies, it’s a nicer experience all round if you have the essentials to hand on a trip. Scrimping on camping gear can be a false economy if it means your holiday is more fraught than fun.
So what exactly do you need for a camping holiday with your family?
Here we have a camping equipment list. Some of it is essential, and some of it not so essential. Pick and choose what you feel you need and once you’re happy with your selection, keep the list somewhere safe for next time. While a camping equipment list is not compulsory, we have found that we have forgotten to take something every time and have ended up in a shop or on the scrounge with fellow campers not long after arrival. A list comes in very handy to stop us forgetting the same things over and over.
Camping equipment list
Please feel free to print out this list, scribble on it, add your own kit, keep it for next time. Hope you find it useful.
To download a PDF version of the checklist, please click here.
Enough clothing for how ever many days you are staying
more spare socks
Spare pair of shoes for the tent and around the campsite, such as flip flops or sandals
Bedding and a pillow
A mat, air-bed (and pump), SIM (self-inflating mattress), or camp bed.
A tent (unless you intend to ‘sleep under the stars’)
A groundsheet / footprint
A mallet and tent pegs
A torch – with spare batteries if you need them
Unless you’re going to be eating at the local pub every breakfast, lunch, and dinner time (we’re not judging, we’ve done that too!) then you will need to take some basic kitchen equipment.
Cool box and cool packs
Something to cook on – hob, gas stove, teppanyaki grill for example
Lighter – or box of matches
2 x saucepans
1 x frying pan
chopping board and knives
kitchen roll and disinfectant spray
cups / mugs
bottle opener / corkscrew
plastic washing up bowl and drainer
washing up liquid
dishcloth and tea-towels
Health and hygiene:-
A wash bag with soap, flannel, toothbrush and toothpaste
A first aid kit with antiseptic cream and sticking plasters as a minimum, a pair of scissors, tweezers, and nail clippers
A dustpan and brush for sweeping out the tent
Large towels for swimming / showering
Wash powder / laundry detergent
bin bags / plastic bags for dirty washing
clothes line / hanger
Around the tent:-
Porch / awning with pegs
Floor mats / tent carpet
Dining table and chairs
Bin bags for litter
Toys and games, books, pens and pencils
Some people prefer to go off-grid while others are up to the eyeballs in electrical equipment. There are no right and wrongs here!
Device charging leads
Electric fridge/cool box
Radiator / heater
And how do you carry all of this camping gear in your car?
Check out the inflatable HandiRack and HandiHoldall soft roof box.
What camping food to take?
If you’re planning on cooking your own meals on your camping trip then you are definitely going to need some food. Some campsites have very good supermarkets on site where you can get hold of everything you need at a reasonable price. Others not so much. Our car is usually so full of camping gear that getting a week’s worth of food in there too just isn’t possible, nor is it a good idea to keep a week’s worth of food at a time, especially if you’ve only got a camping fridge to store it all. We usually go to a nearby supermarket once the tent is pitched and get enough food to get us through the first couple of days.
Planning meals is best. You really only should buy the exact ingredients you will cook and eat. There’s not much point in buying food out of habit, finding you’ve no way of keeping it viable, and then it going to waste. Planning is key!
The sort of meals that we cook while camping are…..
Hot dogs and salad
Mince and pasta
Burgers and salad
We cook meals which need a small number of pans, or can be cooked on the grill. Roast chicken and all the trimmings would be lovely, but roasting a chicken when camping is a big ask! We do know people who take a slow cooker and leave things cooking in the tent while out for the day. We’ve not done this yet – it’s too much of a risk with the electrics which aren’t always 100% reliable.
The long six weeks of the summer holidays can take some filling. When you’re used to bashing around all day between school, work, and after-school clubs, the relative calm of the summer holidays can be a weird feeling. Yes us adults probably still have to work through them and we spend the time juggling work with entertaining the children – will you stay sane until September?
Here are some ideas we’ve put together of things you can do with your children to while away the time and ensure that the time spent is more quality than quarrelsome.
What have you got planned with your kids this summer?
Arts and crafts for kids
Kids love arts and crafts. Arts and craft activities teach children dexterity skills, creativity, and patience. Crafting means they get to make something that is unique and special to them, and can provide great memories. Have a look at some of these wonderful arts and crafts activities for children.
1. Make a mini raft and float it on a stream – this is a great suggestion from Louise at Thimble & Twig – check out: how to make a mini raft.
Adventures with kids don’t have to be spectacular. There are some great adventures to be had right on your doorstep. Whether this is at your local beach, park, or woods, there is some fun to be found in every little trip. Check out these ideas for getting out and about with your mini adventurers.
8. Go blackberry picking. Blackberries are usually ripe in the UK from late July onwards but can last until October, depending on the weather. They can be found both in the countryside and urban areas – look alongside railway lines (be careful!) and in industrial areas. Wash them before using in case of pollutants and use them in a crumble or combine with cooking apples to make your own blackberry jelly – here’s a recipe for blackberry jelly which might help.
11. Go rockpooling – have you done this? You can find all sorts of weird and wonderful sealife by rockpooling – Here are Cerys’s top tips for good rockpooling rainydaymum.co.uk/rock-pooling/.
12. Go on a bike ride. Check out the Sustrans website for suggestions for family-friendly cycling routes around the UK.
13. Do a Treasure Trail – check out www.treasuretrails.co.uk – get yourself a treasure trail for your local town, crack the clues to solve the puzzle, and find out about places in your town you didn’t know existed. This is an activity that takes a few hours and can be done in one go, or in parts until it’s finished.
14. Make a kite and fly it – making your own kite and taking it to your local playing field or beach to test it out is a craft activity and adventure activity in one. Here’s a great article on how to make your own kite.
15. Take a dog for a walk. If you don’t have a dog, check out www.borrowmydoggy.com/ where you can access other peoples’ dogs who need walking. All the fun of your own dog, with much fewer of the hassles!
16. Have a family photography competition. A family photography competition will get your children engaging with their surroundings. You can do this at home, in the garden, in your local area, or even when on holiday in a new place. Here’s Michelle with how they did one when on a day trip to the seaside. www.mummyfromtheheart.com/2017/10/how-to-create-family-photography.html.
17. Learn to kayak. Kayaking is a great activity for the summer. Have you got a lake near you to have a practice? Don’t forget your life jacket.
With our range of inflatable kayaks, owning a kayak just got a whole lot easier. Check out the INTEX Challenger K2 Kayak – it’s a good one for a pair to go out adventuring together.
Rainy Day activities for children
Well it is the UK after all, so here are some ideas for things to do with kids on a rainy day. Fingers crossed the rain doesn’t last long!
18. Build a den or blanket fort. I don’t know a child anywhere that doesn’t love to do this, even on a sunny day when they could be in the garden!
20. Take on a reading challenge. Does your local library have a summer holiday reading challenge? It’s a great way of getting children to consume books and lots of them.
If your local library isn’t taking part then check out summerreadingchallenge.org.uk/ for more information on how to join in The Reading Agency’s 2019 reading challenge.
21. Research your family tree. Get your children finding out more about their extended family and ancestors and creating a family tree to share with others. This is also a good way of making the time to visit family members you don’t see as often as you should. Have you researched your family tree?
22. Make a scrapbook. Get all those clippings and photos you’ve been storing away in ‘that’ drawer and start a scrapbook. It can be as simple or elaborate as you like. Here is a good post about starting a scrapbook and the sort of content you can include – www.metrokids.com/MetroKids/April-2011/Start-Scrapbooking/.
Things to do in the garden with kids
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, private or shared, then there’s a whole host of things you can do with your children – or they can do themselves while you supervise not too far away! I bet you did some of these things yourself as a child too.
23. Make LEGO cable cars. You can do these indoors down the stairs but it’s much more fun outdoors. Run the cable from an upstairs window and launch the cable cars down to the bottom of your garden.
24. ‘Paint’ a wall – sometimes all it takes to keep kids entertained is a bucket of water and a brush. If you have a willing wall in your garden, letting your kids pretend to paint it is a seriously good activity, especially on a warm day. Thanks to Beth for this suggestion – see how it works at twinderelmo.co.uk/water-painting-the-ordinary-moments/.
25. Do some gardening. Whether you want to teach your children the value of home-grown fruit and vegetables or the benefits of a bit of weeding, gardening will certainly keep little hands and minds occupied. Don’t know where to start? Here’s a post on how to start gardening with children from Claire of The Ladybird’s Adventures.
26. Step the garden skills up a level by creating a wildlife pond. A pond that wildlife will appreciate for drinking and cooling off doesn’t need to be big. Here’s how Mark made his:
29. Hold a pool party. I know we don’t get the weather in the UK to justify us all having a swimming pool in our back gardens all year round but we do often get enough for a few days a year, and if it’s a heated spa pool, then it’s even more feasible. Create a pool party atmosphere with some fairy lights, some tunes, and mocktails with umbrellas.Check out the Intex PureSpa range of hot tubs available on our online store.
30. Wash the teddies – this is a surprisingly fun activity. Not only can you watch the teddies going round and round in the washing machine (it’s better than daytime telly!) then you can hang them on the line in the sunshine.
31. Wash the car. Who’d have thought messing about with water would be so much fun? Keep them entertained for longer (and use less water) by using buckets and sponges rather than a hose pipe. Here is a good guide to how to wash your car.
32. Make a weather station and learn how to use it. You can measure rainfall, temperature, and wind speed and direction. Keep track daily and use the data to talk about weather patterns. You never know, you might nurture a future famous meteorologist! Read: How to build a weather station.
33. Do some chalk pavement art. Making a little mess and creating something colourful – what’s not to love?
34. Have a back garden camp out. You don’t need to go far to get your camping fix. Pop your tent up in the garden and sleep in there overnight. It’s cheaper than a camping holiday and the toilets are always nearer and as you like them!
Things to do in the community
The summer holidays are a great time to get your kids more involved in their local community. Here are some good ideas for getting out and about and meeting more people and engaging more with their local area.
36. Take part in a ParkRun. ParkRun is a free weekly event that takes part across the UK. It’s a timed 5k run and many are open to juniors too. Check out Erin’s post about taking part in Parkrun as a family.
Our HandiMoova is a great piece of kit for getting fishing equipment moved over uneven surfaces. What have you moved on your HandiMoova?
39. Learn to play tennis. With Wimbledon now over, have your kids decided that tennis it to be their next big thing? Look out for summer schools at your local tennis club – they can be very good value and a good option for childcare. Tennis for Kids is a scheme run by the LTA which is great value as a starter package for kids aged from 4 to 11.
40. Organise a community picnic. Get your kids’ friends and their families together and organise a community picnic. All you need is to spread the word of a time and place and see who joins in.
41. Start a community walking group. Use social media to see if other families want to join in your walks and you’ll soon find you have a group of friends to walk with. Take it in turns to share your favourite walk or find new ones.
Days out for kids
If all else fails, a change of scenery is never a bad idea! There are hundreds of options for family days out all around the UK which can entertain children of all ages. Which of these have you been on and would you recommend?
42. Eureka Museum, Halifax. This is a mainly indoor attraction aimed at younger chidren. It teaches STEM topics such as the human body in a child-friendly way. It gets busy though, especially on rainy days. Their annual pass is very good value.
43. The Science Museum, London. This is a FREE museum which is excellent. It has a range of exhibits for all ages, including an impressive transport collection, and a good selection of temporary exhibitions and events.
46. National Railway Museum, York. A must-do for all fans of trains. This is a seriously huge collection of trains and railway paraphernalia. Again, it’s totally free and a handily short walk from York train station.
47. Ride a steam train – there are lots of options for this across the UK. If you’re Yorkshire way, have a look at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway – www.nymr.co.uk/ – which runs from Pickering to Whitby via Goathland station (which was Hogsmeade station in the Harry Potter films). Which is your favourite steam train route?
48. Visit a castle – There are around 1500 castle sites in England alone. Which is your favourite? How about visiting Sudeley Castle and Gardens in Gloucestershire? Or maybe Eastnor Castle in Worcestershire?
49. A day out (or even a weekend) at a music festival will keep your children occupied and then some. Festivals which are family-friendly are everywhere – how about the Just So Festival as recommended by Emma of Dirt, Diggers, and Dinosaurs?
50. Visit a birds of prey centre. How fascinating are birds of prey? We love them. Victoria of Free Time With The Kids recommends the Hawk Conservancy Trust in Hampshire. Have you seen birds of prey in action?
51. Visit a country park. There are soooooooo many country parks around the UK, most of which are free and child-friendly. Raimonda recommends Plean Country Park in Scotland for a visit or three over the summer.
52. Go Gruffalo hunting with the Forestry Commission. The Gruffalo and friends have numerous trails in Forestry Commission locations all around the country. You can follow his trail and find the main man himself, or take part in activity trails with Zog or Superworm – see the Forestry Commission website for how to find your nearest trail.
53. Visit a stately home. Go all Downton Abbey and visit your local stately home and gardens. Some allow access inside the main house, while others are for external gazing only. They are a fab place for a picnic and many have annual passes so you can get extra value from your visit. Which is your favourite stately home?
54. Go to a zoo. So many to choose from here. Which zoos have you visited that you would recommend. We like the ones with a safari drive too, such as Longleat, Woburn and Knowsley. Great for some monkey fun and actually ok for a rainy day too.
55. Visit a theme park. This is one for breaking the budget but we try to go to at least one theme park every summer break. We like Alton Towers but also the smaller ones such as Twinlakes in Nottinghamshire. Paulton’s Park is surprisingly good too – which would you recommend?
56. Go airplane spotting. If you live near a busy airport, then plane spotting is a good way to while away a couple of hours. Take care as some airports don’t like you getting too close, while others have rules about photography. Some airports, such as Manchester have specific zones for plane spotters which are free to use (parking fees apply if you arrive by car). Check our your local airport’s website for more information.
57. Pony Trekking! Have you ever been pony trekking? I’m not sure our garden is big enough for a whole pony so hiring one out for the morning to get our pony fix is the best. Prices vary across the UK and depending on party numbers, but you can get an hour on a pony for around £10 to £20 per person.
58. See a movie outdoors. Outdoor movies are becoming hugely popular. Drive-ins are all well and good but how many of us have a convertible? Venues for outdoor cinema include campsites, town squares, and even on boats on the Thames – check out this list of places to see a movie outdoors this Summer in London www.timeout.com/london/film/outdoor-cinema-in-london.
59. Visit a maize maze – my children love maize mazes. August is the ideal time to be visiting one as the maize is nice and tall and provides an extra challenge. Again, loads to choose from. Have you been to any you would recommend to others?
Whatever you get up to with your family this summer, we hope you have a good one!