The summer holidays, I’m excited and anxious. This year our children broke up on the 30th June, going back on the 4th September. It’s great, but we are spending July in Tokyo and in the summer, Tokyo isn’t pleasant. (30+ deg C temperatures with a humidity of over 70%) The other challenge is the plague of mosquitos that take over Japan in the summer months.
I need a plan. Some ideas and activities that my 3 will enjoy. Surprisingly the internet was not wonderfully helpful. I could find a massive amount of printable lists for preschoolers, but little for older children.
So the teacher in me, kicked in and I created a daily routine. (The Mum in me struggles to follow it!) and the Scout Leader in me brainstormed a list of ideas and activities that (like Scouting) encompassed a large variety of activities.
Over the next two weeks, I will go into more details of the activities. Should you want a copy of my printable list, then leave a comment below about which activity you would most like to do with your children.
Here are today’s instalment, in alphabetical order:
Use the local sport club facilities
Most sports clubs will offer holiday camps where the children can learn a new sport or a variety of sports. Here in Tokyo, I am signing up J for a couple of the football sessions. Super expensive compared to UK sports camps, but hey- that’s Tokyo for you.
Go fly a kite
From the cheap and cheerful kites that are available to the stunning, exciting stunt kites. The beaches on the Cape Town west coast are littered with stunt kites, kite surfers and kite buggies. With older children there is less chance of the child being flown off by a strong gust of wind.
Learn skipping games
“I know how to skip Mum” was the response when I showed my girls the list. But I’m talking about skipping games with a long rope. The Japanese love their skipping and it’s not uncommon to see some 20-something year olds skipping with two ropes and doing some fancy tricks. Skip-hop has a great list of games and suggestions about suitable rope lengths.
Go on a high ropes course
My Cubs and Beavers loved this activity and one I would highly recommend. In Japan, Forest Adventure have various bases. Their Hakone site is more suitable for younger children, whereas their Odawara site is manageable for a 7 year old, it is quite daunting to be trusting said 7 year old to safely affix himself onto a 100m zip line, with the adult at the other end.
The UK equivalent is Go Ape.
Go on an outride
We’ve only done this in the UK. Devon, Cornwall, Wales… oh wait- most of the UK will have places where you can climb onto a horse and explore the local area. Japan on the other hand….. I’ve not found a place where we can tackle that in Japan, but I must confess, the language barrier and potentially bank breaking cost has stopped me from even looking.
Ride on a banana boat
Mainly a beach activity, but there are lakes where this can be offered.
Head out rafting
This is at the top of my children’s summer bucket lists. The girls thoroughly enjoyed this when I took the Cubs and Beavers and are truly keen to do it again.
Head to a water park
Japanese summer is from 1 July- 15 September, so for that short window is when all the outdoor pools are open. Bizarre as the average temperature for June is 26 deg C and this year the lowest max temperature in June was 20 deg C (1 day) yet there were 11 days with temperatures of 28 deg C+.
But now that we are in July, the waterparks are starting to open (some only in mid July in time for the Japanese schools summer break)
Our favourite in Tokyo is Summerlands. We head out on the first week of the holidays during the working week, so there aren’t many people at the park and definitely not like the Summerlands Website!
Hike along a river
The Thames River has a trail from the source to the mouth. A challenge could be to hike it over a few days, camping or staying over at BnBs enroute or to do stretches over weekends at a time.
The Tama River (Japan) has a trail along its length too. I’m not sure if it’s from source to mouth like the Thames.
If you head into the mountain regions in Japan and hike up a gorge, I’m pretty sure that the “accidental” falling in to the river to cool off wouldn’t be a problem!
So that’s the first instalment. I will continue with the rest of the features over the next two weeks. Should you want a copy of my printable list, then leave a comment below about which activity you would most like to do with your children.
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Mosquito To Quit-o
Some useful items: