Tuesday, June 7th, 2022
While the children will no doubt be cheering as loudly as they can that the summer holidays are here, many parents will be making a very different sound, a sigh or a groan as they realise they are going to to have to keep everyone busy over the long summer break. OjO has a few ideas that we hope will help you provide some great activities that are not only fun but educational too!
#1 Create a summer memory board
A large sheet of cardboard, pin board or white board will all work, or even a section of a bedroom wall can easily be transformed into the memory board. Have a chat at the beginning of the holiday about the board and then just leave it up to the child to decide what can be added to their board as the summer progresses. Photos, pictures, drawings, ticket stubs, trinkets, dried flowers, the list goes on, almost anything can become memorabilia to help remember the summer of 2022. Make sure you came back to your board at the end of the summer and talk about all those wonderful memories.
#2 Check out what is going on locally
There are usually lots of things taking place, many of which are free as long as you book in advance. Lots of sporting activities are always on offer but there may be some more creative crafty opportunities too.
#3 Do some cooking or baking
This does take a bit of time to organise but it is time well spent. There are so many benefits, apart from a delicious end product, to be gained from cooking together. Maths concepts like counting, weighing and measuring, the science of how food changes with temperature or how certain foods can help our body be healthy will all provide great learning experiences. There are lots of excellent websites to find recipes, Pinterest and www.bbcgoodfood.com are just a couple of examples worth looking at.
#4 Visit your local library
If your child isn’t already a member then sign them up and get them their own library card. Not only will they have access to great books it’s very likely there will be lots of summer reading programs and summer activities, such as story telling or author visits, on offer.
#5 Do some gardening
Even if you live in an apartment it’s possible to do some simple and inexpensive activities. If you have the space plant some vegetables or flowers, radishes grow really quickly, about 30 days to maturity, lettuce is also quite quick to flourish. Short of space then some ‘cress head’ eggs are always popular. Once again, www.bbcgoodfood.com has a great ‘recipe’ for making these fun creations.
#6 Remember PE with Joe (Joe Wicks) during lockdown?
Why not encourage your child to start their day with a short physical activity. It doesn’t have to be a work out like Joe did (they are all available for free on YouTube, along with many others) but it can just be a simple routine, for example, a selection of jumping combinations, agility activities, even dance and yoga can be included. Try lots of different things and see what works for you.
#7 Take some “Learning Walks”
If you are in the park, for example, take some time out to look at flowers or trees you pass. Note their differences and talk with your child about the colours, the shapes of the leaves. On another day focus on the mini beats you can find on your way to the swings or look out for the birds, squirrels and other animals that might live on your route. Have a ‘shape” hunt on your way to the shop, see how many different shapes you can spot in the environment, road signs are an obvious one but paving stones, post boxes, fire hydrants and the like will be full of shapes, just look carefully.
#8 Busy box filled with funHave a “busy box” ready for a rainy day or when a promised plan falls through at the last minute. A box with a selection of, different types of paper, card, old birthday cards, magazines, glue, tape, pom-poms, pipe cleaners, bottle tops, stickers, sequins, pencils, crayons, felt tips pens, boxes and scissors. You can add paint but I tend to leave it out of my Busy Box to avoid messy accidents! Children can use their imaginations and create whatever they wish or you can suggest a specific ‘build’.
#9 Do some science experiments
There are lots of simple but effective things we can do at home which your children will thoroughly enjoy doing and will also learn some interesting facts. There are many good websites with great ideas to chose from, www.sciencefun.org, www.jamesdysonfoundation.co.u.k and TheDadLab (on YouTube) are just a few that have good resources. OjO also has some wonderful free activity packs available to our newsletter subscribers that you can print off at home.
#10 Take some time out
In the bustle of a busy summer it’s easy to forget that children need some down time too, so they are ready to go back into school ready and keen to learn. There are many mindfulness activities that are easy for children to do and will give them a purposeful pause in their busy days. Simple breathing techniques, yoga, relaxation and visualisation techniques are just a few of the many activities on offer. Pinterest has lots of ideas and suggestions.
We hope these ideas will help both you and your children have a wonderful summer.
Contributed by Christine Havercroft