Having children of different ages is wonderful in many ways, as they can learn from each other and form close bonds. It can present some ummm… challenges when trying to find activity ideas that suit everyone. As a parent, you want to make sure each child feels included and engaged, no matter their age. With some creativity, you can come up with parenting activity ideas to delight your kids of all ages.
In this post, I’ll share some ideas for activities, crafts, games, and outings that our 5 children from 3 – 13 currently toddlers to tweens will all enjoy together. The key is finding things that have multiple layers or levels of fun, so each child can participate at their own stage. Your children will love the extra time together, and you’ll love seeing them laugh, learn, and make cherished memories as siblings. Here are some multi-age children’s activities that are fun for all!
I have been an English Heritage member for years, my parents took my brother and I to countless castles and historic places. For a family day out Walmer Castle in Kent is our current favourite. There are gardens with a newish outdoor trail, interesting (for me) exhibits including the (popular with my daughter) death mask of the Duke of Wellington.
The great thing is children of different ages take different things away from the experiences at Castles, the youngest love the adventure whilst the older ones can start to make links with their learning about history. If you can afford a membership you can visit as often as you like. Sometimes we just use the gardens for a picnic before doing something else in the afternoon.
I didn’t want to include this as it seems like a cop out but having older children, who may have been bribed, helps support the younger ones. I am getting a bit old to be clambering into the narrower areas of softplay. I also think having their younger siblings gives the older ones an excuse to play.
I was dubious taking the little ones too bowling at first but they all love it. With the slides and bumpers it can really even the odds. The boy even chose to have a bowling birthday party for his 6th birthday.
This is great for getting rid of energy. We usually go to the SEN session as it is less overwhelming. The little ones can bounce away and the older ones enjoy dodgeball or the spinning games or climbing wall. They can all be in the same place but doing separate activities.
Craft Activity Ideas
This has fallen out of favour with the boys who are now more into gaming. All the girls are quite imaginative when it comes to art, clay, drawing, painting. They often sit together working on their own thing. This summer holiday they have particularly enjoyed finger painting activities.
Living in Kent we are lucky to be surrounded by the sea, and with some fantastic beaches. I will often take them fossil hunting near Reculver. We have found plenty of shark’s teeth. The younger ones will take a bucket and fill it with whatever takes their fancy.
This is my favourite but also the kids. In this picture our youngest is helping her sister build a tower we set a 45 minute time limit – like a mini Lego Masters. You can collaborate or compete. Lego is quite pricey but we bought a bulk lot from facebook market place for £20. I also like using lego as an activity at school.
Anything with food involved always goes well. This parenting activity kept them occupied for about an hour. As it’s not really play the older ones get involved as well. You can keep it simple with decorating biscuits or bake something from scratch.
We took the three (From 3 – 12) to Quex House in Birchington. Like the castles they all took something different from it. The two youngest loved the activity backpacks that the museum had created that had sensory and tactile elements. They even provided some Binoculars.
Other Activity Ideas for Summer.
Sensory Play – Loads of ideas (150!) in this post.
Messy Play – Gelli Baff is a big favourite in our house.
Map Activity – From Georgina Durrant’s book that we reviewed here. This was a great free lockdown activity idea.