The great British summer as we all know will inevitably have rain in it and for us here in lovely Wales we can get it by the bucket load.
But what can we do when it's coming down in torrents? And how can entertain the kids without spending loads of money?
Now obviously the main aim of Pirates and Paperdolls is to get kids active, outside, playing and using their imagination (ok, thats a few aims but it makes for an interesting challenge).
So today we want to take you off down a slightly different path however it will cover one of our aims and that is 'imagination'.
Imagination doesn't cost anything and neither does encouraging creative thinking. We've found over the last few years one way to kick the boys imaginations up a gear is one of the cheapest and stress free things that anyone can do and we would say that there is a certain amount of physical activity tied in too.
What is it?
A trip to your local library, no really and unless you're not physically able or live miles away get yourself out the house with the kids and either take a walk or a cycle ride to your local library.
So many libraries in recent years have been forced to close with many down to lack of use, but these are a great starting point for getting kids thinking creatively.
In the county of Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales where we live there are five libraries across the county, plus a home-links service (for those who are predominately housebound) and our local library is approximately 1 mile down the road but you don't have to go to your nearest library, you can call into any of them or even if you have a library near where you work you can still register with that one even if you don't live in the same area.
Reading can lead to some really imaginative play and creative thinking for both children and adults alike and what's more, during the school summer holidays libraries across the UK run a reading challenge for children.
It's free to take part in, the children have to read a total of six books across the summer (and this can be either fiction or non fiction books). They get stickers and activity bits as they go along plus a medal and certificate at the end.
So we took ourselves off to see one of our lovely local librarians at the start of the summer and Michael signed up straight away, although he's been pretty much taking part every summer from the point he could read a basic sentence. Alex however is now too old for the reading challenge however he is an avid bookworm and if he could turn his bedroom into a library he would!
But both the boys came away laden with armfuls of reading material and free bookmarks.
We also discovered recently that by using your library card you can also access an app called BorrowBox - it's designed for tablets, phones and kindle devices and allows the user to download both books to read or to listen to - again free of charge with other added benefits of features to help people who may struggle with reading; such as those with dyslexia. So if you really struggle to get your kids to put their phones or tablets down, perhaps a little redirection to the BorrowBox app could help instead?
Oh and we should also mention that quite a few libraries run a variety of activities throughout the school holidays as well which are definitely worth checking out so why not pop along to your local library this summer with the kids and see if you can get everyones imagination flowing .
After all there's nothing quite like spending an afternoon with a good book and maybe find a shady tree to sit under while you get whisked off down a rabbit hole for adventure.