maria turrion borrallo with prince george

10 ways to keep the children entertained this summer by royally approved Norland College

We can totally see Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis in their element!

Britta Zeltmann

They're frequently spotted having fun in the sun and it seems Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are never short of ideas when it comes to playtime! When they're not entertaining the world – mucking about with the Duchess of Cambridge's sunglasses or making waves at the King's Cup Regatta – the adorable trio find plenty of ways to keep busy.

Their nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo, joined the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2014 when George was around eight months old. Maria was trained at Norland College, the prestigious childcare providers who have trained nannies for Britain's elite since 1892. And now the college has exclusively given HELLO! some insider tips on how to keep the kids entertained this summer, including all their tried-and-tested methods for enjoying a holiday fit for a royal. Read on for inspiration…

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Maria is always in the background, helping the Duchess with the children

Find a fossil

Like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, you needn't worry if your home is far from the beach during the summer months. According to Norland College, all you need is a sandcastle mould and some salt dough. "Fill a sandcastle mould, or any moulds you have that would make suitable fossils, with salt dough and toys, and then bake the resulting dough shapes," they told us. "Once it's fully cooled, place it underneath sand in the garden or in a sandpit and use garden forks, old spoons and toothbrushes to completely uncover the ancient sandcastle or prehistoric fossils!"

Make a summer scrapbook

To keep hold of their summer memories, Norland Nannies encourage children to scrap book all their favourite moments. "Ask the children to choose a scrap book – a plain paper book ready to fill with summer adventures," they advise us. "Encourage older children to write a piece about their day and younger children could use a disposable camera to take lots of pictures. Children can illustrate their journals with drawings, photograph captions and stick in small treasures, while younger children can decorate their photographs with stickers, different materials, and paint. This is a great way to ensure that older children keep up their writing and language skills in the holidays too!"

Get creative with some chalk drawing

Drawing with chalk is something children of all ages can enjoy. Norland College advises: "Take some washable child-friendly chalk outside to draw on the patio. On a sunny day, you could draw each other's shadows to learn about the sun and why some shadows are bigger than others. For older children, draw a hopscotch grid and teach them to play or try drawing numbers into different spaces on the patio. When you call the number out the child has to jump to that number as quickly as possible. Both games are great for numeracy skills and physical development."

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The Spanish nanny trained at Norland College

Go on a treasure hunt

For the ultimate treasure hunt, Norland College advises making a list of treasures for children to find, asking them to place things such as a brown leaf, a yellow flower, or a stick shaped like a man, into a bucket of their own. "Once they have found everything on their list, they come back in a circle and show everyone what they have found. You can treasure hunt in different locations to see if you can find a variety of treasures. You can make the treasure hunt as simple or as detailed as appropriate to the ages of the children. It's also a great way to develop language and observation skills."

Make a bug hotel or raise some butterflies

A 5* bug hotel may sound a little wriggly, but Norland College says creating a home for bugs in the garden can help encourage natural-nurturing skills. "Collect little twigs, leaves, old cardboard tubes and plastic or broken terracotta plant pots," they tell us. "Stack them up (the more layers the better!), leave in a quiet corner of the garden and watch the bugs move in!" They even suggest investing in a butterfly raising kit to encourage further nurturing. Why not pair with a read of The Hungry Caterpillar?

Make your own ice lollies

For an affordable treat that's fun and tasty too, the college suggests helping kids make their own ice lollies. "Pop water, milk, fruit juice, or mush age-appropriate pieces of fruit into lollipop moulds (or ice cube trays) and then freeze! If you have a blender, you can make smoothies together from fruit and vegetables. Children will enjoy watching the ingredients blend with milk, yoghurt or coconut water and then you can freeze into moulds or ice cube trays." We think this sounds like the perfect way to sneak in extra fruit and veggies.

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The Cambridges love outdoor playtime

Try an ice-age excavation

Norland Nannies even keep kids cool by helping them freeze their small animal toys, or other everyday objects such as, "pebbles, shells, leaves and flowers," in ice cube trays or containers with water. "Once they're frozen, children will love to excavate them using a range of various age-appropriate tools (spoons, masher, paint brushes etc.) to try and break them free! You could extend development for older children by talking about the science of freezing."

Create a miniature garden

For a garden of their very own, little ones can create their own natural paradise on a plate. Norland College told us: "Create a tray or paper plate miniature garden. Fill the garden with objects you have found outside, such as pebbles and sticks, make tiny flowers from tissue paper, make and bake salt dough creatures or animals, add in small toys, and so on. Great for encouraging creativity and for practising fine motor skills."

Make a flower bouquet

For a bunch of flowers that will last for ever, a colourful tissue bouquet seems like the perfect answer. Here's how to make one: "Create a pretty flower bouquet by placing two circular pieces of tissue paper in different colours on top of each other, then screwing them up into a rose or flower shape. Attach a pipe cleaner to the base (doubled over for strength if needed). You can put them in a vase or tie them like a bouquet. A great alternative to real flowers, and they last forever!"

Try magic painting

Norland Nannies have the ultimate mess-free alternative to painting with oils and acrylics. "You only need paint brushes and water, then you can paint the patio, stones or a fence outside and watch the paintings disappear," they suggest. "Add a roller for further excitement. This is a fun activity for reinforcing letter and number formation with older children and early discussions about evaporation." Top Tip: if a child has spent time on their colourless water painting, take a photo of it so they can talk about it later and add the picture to a scrapbook.

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