You might have already been on your summer holiday, but if you're thinking of packing the family car up and going on a long weekend for the Bank Holiday, you'll know only too well that children need to be kept amused.
We've sifted through the latest summer toys and games and we think these lot should give little hands something enjoyable to do...
|Little Tikes Ultimate Beach Ball Sprinkler|
Despite moaning about the hot weather for most of June and July, we're actually quite missing it now! Still, if you're booked to go somewhere hot or our British heatwave returns to torment gardeners, we think this beach ball that squirts water everywhere is fab. The kids get wet and then they sprinkle your lawn. Perfect, so long as you're not in a hosepipe ban area... The Ultimate Beach Ball Sprinkler is made by Little Tikes and is suitable from about two years. It costs about £10.
It's good to have toys that are active but can fold down easily when you're on the move, and the beachball (above) deflates. Equally useful is the Graco Pack N Play Sport tent which folds down and can be popped up in five seconds. It can be used on the beach as a sun-protective play pen for your baby, but also has a hatch which can be left open when older children want to use it as a playhouse. It's a sturdy thing that's useful back home in the garden too and is suitable up to about five years. Its RRP is £99.99 but you can find it cheaper online.
|Graco Pack N Play Sport|
Travel Swingball (there are various Swingball options from about £17.99 to about £40) is a good game to take because the ball is attached and isn't likely to get lost on the beach or at the park. Mookie Toys also do Mini Swingball for £9.99.
Indeed, Mookie specialise in outdoors games and toys and have quite a few good travel pack formats for sports like cricket and badminton, if you have children from four upwards. These are great quality kits that include everything you need for a family game, and are usually less than £10 each.
It’s often a good idea to take a few familiar things such as a couple of bath toys, too. The Bathtime Band from Little Tikes is compact but great fun. Pour the water in and the sea creatures play their instruments – real music! It's suitable from six months and costs about £12.95.
Whatever you do, have fun!