Staying in Switzerland during the summer holidays is not only good for nature and your bank account, but also allows you to spend a few relaxing and stress-free weeks with your family in your home town. In the following article, we present some ideas that will make your next staycation an unforgettable event.
Gardening with children
Frolicking in the garden, digging in the soil, watering flowers and snacking on raspberries – for children, time outdoors is priceless. When gardening with family and friends, the little ones can help out and learn a lot about nature, the environment and themselves. Creativity is given free rein – but responsibility is also taken: the children can make their own decisions and draw consequences from them. For example, if they don’t take good care of the plants, i.e. don’t water them regularly and don’t weed them, the plants suffer damage and don’t thrive.
So there is plenty of work when gardening, but also a lot of learning. The relationship between parents and children is also strengthened by joint creation. In addition, an awareness of healthy nutrition can be developed. The vegetables from their own garden may also taste better to the little ones and can be used to prepare a healthy snack (German source).
Simple activities such as watering flowers and sowing seeds are ideal for children of all ages to introduce them to gardening. We recommend that you start your gardening adventure with low-maintenance plants such as sunflowers, cucumbers, tomatoes and cress. You can read more about how to start your own vegetable garden here.
Have a barbecue
In Switzerland, too, it’s practically part of the routine to get out the grill when the weather is nice. So why not take advantage of the summer temperatures and organise a barbecue party together with the children?
As a rule, children want to imitate adults and take part in exciting activities – and barbecuing is no exception. This can become a shared experience. First and foremost, you can enjoy being together and have a great time outdoors. Here you can also educate the children about the conscientious use of the grill and fire as well as about the dangers. This way, the little ones can learn how important it is to take responsibility. How you then involve your children in the process depends on their age and is best assessed by yourself.
For smaller children
There are, of course, countless other tasks that are part of a barbecue party and where children can easily be involved. If your children are too young to help with the barbecue by the fire, then they can alternatively help with the preparation. For example, they can make the salad or help set the table themselves.
Child-friendly barbecue ideas
At barbecue parties, the focus is naturally on the food. Sausages from the grill or snake bread are usually very popular with children. You can also serve a colourful pasta salad and Halloumi vegetable skewers. When it comes to child-friendly food, there is no limit to creativity. In addition, grilling teaches children about cooking and nutrition and how to combine foods to create a balanced and wholesome meal.
Trip to the museum
A visit to a museum is one of the absolute classics among holiday activities in your own country – especially when the weather is bad. Since Switzerland attaches great importance to education and cultural diversity, you will find a huge selection of child-friendly museums. If you are looking for suitable museums for children, we can recommend this article from Twinkl Educational Publishing, in which they present child-friendly Swiss museums (German source). There is something for everyone.
The advantages of visiting a museum with children are numerous. First and foremost, a visit to the museum serves educational purposes. Both children and adults learn exciting things about culture, history and art, for instance. The huge plus point, however, is learning together. Children are eager to discover and so it is possible for them to ask questions, exchange thoughts and try things out. Whether it’s the dinosaur museum, the Technorama or the Swiss Museum of Transport – Swiss museums offer numerous exciting exhibitions during the summer holidays and are always worth a visit.
Explore your own city anew
Why not play tourist in your own city and explore your home town anew with your children? Whether it’s Basel, Lucerne, Geneva or Zurich – if you live in the countryside, you can find the nearest bigger city and explore it.
You can go to the local tourist office to pick up a map and flyers with information about the city’s sights and activities. If there is a sightseeing tour or a guided tour, you can also participate. This way, the children can learn about the history and current events.
Pair it with a scavenger hunt!
A scavenger hunt could also be a summer highlight for the little ones. You can organise a scavenger hunt yourself by making lists and tasks or by using ready-made instructions from the internet. In larger cities, there are often organised scavenger hunts for children. In Basel, for example, you can find the City Treasure Hunt (German source). Together with Inspector Basil, the children can playfully explore the city and solve exciting riddles.
Discover new favourite dishes
Food connects – so why not explore your own city in a new culinary way by visiting local markets or inns? This way, you can try out regional products that are familiar to you or that you don’t know yet.
Out and about by bike
If you want to take a more sporty approach, you can explore the city by bike. You can choose a part of the city that you don’t know very well but would like to explore. You can then cycle through the parks and take a look at the different alleys and buildings from a different perspective.
Encouraging creativity through play
For many parents, it is important that the children can spend some time on their own during the summer holidays. There are many simple activities that keep the children happy and also encourage their creativity.
Brush, pencil, pastel colours
Painting and drawing are generally important for the cognitive, emotional and motor development of every child. For many people, it is also a way to express themselves and give free rein to emotions, thoughts and ideas in a creative way. Children can therefore communicate their thought processes and feelings in this way, even if they lack the appropriate vocabulary at the time. It also trains the ability to concentrate as well as stay focused.
Colouring pages are ideal for children because they not only promote fine motor skills and creativity, but also have a relaxing effect and also support learning objectives. Important concepts such as numbers and the ABC can be simplified through colouring pictures. The best part is also that children can tackle this activity alone or together with siblings and friends, and in any weather.
Craft projects are also a lot of fun and are perfect for passing the time (German source). Like painting and drawing, crafting can promote fine motor skills, creativity and certain learning objectives such as learning to count. In addition, problem-solving skills can be trained and improved. After all, the children have to face small challenges from time to time, such as gluing parts of the craft project together correctly.
There are obvious advantages to spending the summer holidays at home. Above all, it doesn’t have to be boring and repetitive. If you have the right ideas and plans, you can really enjoy the summer weeks with friends and family in Switzerland. We wish you lots of fun!