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If you have kids to keep entertained this summer and you're stuck for ideas on how to keep them busy without going away, read on. 

The summer holidays are edging closer and that means it is time to start thinking about how you will keep your little one(s) entertained. Now, as a parent experienced in the long summer holidays and easily-bored children, it is likely that you have already stocked up on an arsenal of baking supplies, sports' equipment and colouring books  as well as plenty of DVDs and video games for those (sadly, inevitable) rainy days. You may have even planned a handful of days out, bike rides and trips to the beach. These are all great ways to keep children - and the whole family - entertained during the long summer months, but it is always worth thinking about novel ways to keep everyone busy at home.

Now, having an artificial lawn actually opens up a lot of options as far as summer holiday entertainment is concerned. Less messy and more flexible than real grass, when combined with blue summer skies artificial grass effectively offers you an extra outdoor (convertible!) room. You can use this ‘room' all summer long for everything from dining to dog training to fort building. It won't be muddy, it won't look brown and worn and it won't be as delicate as real grass when it comes to heavy use by the family.

See below for three fun ideas to keep everyone entertained this summer, in the comfort of your own back garden.  

Outdoor Art Projects

For many families, a stock of art supplies is a necessity over the summer holidays, but usually the creative sessions are restricted to dining or patio tables. This is partly due to practical uses of space and also for fear of spillage. However, with artificial grass in the back garden, you have a whole new outdoor art studio to enjoy. You can start small by getting your children and their friends to paint pebbles in bright colours. Alternatively, you could get an old bed sheet and lie it down on the lawn. Then you can let the kids cover their hands, feet, arms and legs in washable paint and encourage them to roll and print on the sheet. It can either be done at random or in a way that creates an actual picture (think beach scenes and other summer themes). Either way it is ‘body art' everyone can enjoy; plus, your grass won't die if there's a paint spillage and it will clean up easier than the real thing.

DIY Water Park

Aside from enjoying the sunshine and the freedom afforded by lighter evenings, long summer holidays and warmer temperatures, there are few things children love more than playing in the water during summer. It doesn't matter whether it is a paddle on the beach, a day at the Lido or a water fight with the garden hose; it's fun. Day trips to big water parks can be a costly affair though, so how do you let your children enjoy the water without breaking the bank? Well, you build a DIY waterpark in the back garden! Artificial grass is the perfect surface for it because it won't drown if something springs a leak and it won't turn brown and patchy with lots of excited little feet running over it. The main components of a DIY waterpark are a paddling pool, water guns, water balloons and various bowls of water dotted around. Of course, add anything you think would work and be creative with its construction!

Summer Camp-Out

The summer is made for being outside but not just in the sun; the need to be outside in the summer air applies just as much after dark as it does in daylight hours. The perfect way to end a busy day or even a fun summer is to camp-out under the stars. You can invite your children's friends and set up tents in the back garden, either traditional or made out of sheets pegged on the washing line. For an authentic "under the stars" experience, you can forego the tents and just set up a nest of pillows, cushions, blankets and duvets where everyone can lie and look up at the summer night sky as they reminisce about the summer and drop off. If you want an activity-filled camp-out try traditional games like charades, swap ghost stories, decorate cookies or even hold a "Backyard Broadway" where the children all perform their own skits or songs. You can make yourself at home because nobody will get dirty or grass-stained and the artificial lawn won't feel as unnatural to sleep on as real grass.  

Of course, these are just three of the fun things you can do outside this summer. There are many more ideas out there, especially if you really use your imagination. Just remember to keep things relaxed, fun and creative - summer is the perfect time for you to join in as a big kid. So enjoy! 

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