How to… keep the kids busy this summer

Toy buyer Clare Barton shares her top tips for keeping the kids easily entertained during the summer holidays.

I’m always thinking about play as a toy buyer, but with the summer holidays around the corner, finding fun things for kids to do is a must! Here are my top tips for keeping them busy:

Expand their minds

The power of play really expands children’s minds, and I get quite passionate about this! Any toy that helps develop the mind and gets a giggle at the same time is a great option for mums and dads to consider. I love our Alphabet Puzzle, as it challenges little heads as well as being great fun.

Ask the kids

If you’re treating them to a toy, but you’re overwhelmed by choice – just ask them what they love. A few years ago we had children on hand as expert helpers in one of our stores before Christmas. They helped out customers who were stuck on what to buy for the little ones in their family – and they definitely weren’t short on ideas!

Get crafty

For those wet summer days, craft games are ideal for keeping little ones occupied. These Galt Toys Fairy Sparkle Mosaics (pictured top) are brilliant for making glittery collages, while Play-Doh is a much-loved favourite with kids who love getting creative.

Play outdoors

With a few well-chosen toys for the garden, kids will spend hours playing outside. This Sand & Water Table (pictured below), comes with a bucket, spade and rake so little ones can get busy building moats and sand castles to their hearts’ content.

Prices, top image: Galt Toys Fairy Sparkle Mosaics, £7.99.

Tip of the week

Outdoor games are a great way to get them outside when the sun’s shining. Whether they’re playing cricket, swingball or getting soaked with water pistols, they’ll be getting lots of fresh air without even noticing.

Three top picks

Sainsbury's online - Wooden cricket set Sainsbury online - Grow & Play Alphabet PuzzleSainsbury's online - Sand & Water Table

Wooden cricket set, £12; Grow & Play Alphabet Puzzle, £6.99; Sand & Water Table, £25.