This special guest post is written by Heather, a teacher and mum of two small boys who blogs over at www.pret-a-mummy.com
All year most children have been looking forward to their summer holidays, indeed most teachers are too! When they do come, it can be really difficult to think of interesting and easy to arrange activities so here are my tips and ideas of what you can do to amuse your little ones this summer.
If you have a garden and it’s nice weather, that’s the obvious place to start! Children love playing in the garden, though sometimes need a little guidance and ideas of ways to play. I like to set up activities to keep them entertained (and stop them arguing with each other!), that are very cheap and easy to arrange. I buy a can of cheap shaving foam from the supermarket and fill a large tray with foam. I then drop objects into the foam and tell the children I think there might be some treasure in there and ask them to help me find it. We also use the foam to practice writing our names and forming letters. This can of course be done indoors, but think of the mess! Children also love den building in the garden. You don’t need any wood or sticks, you just need a clothes horse and some old sheets. Drape them over the top to make a tent type object, then pop some cushions and pillows inside to make it cosy, if you’re feeling brave you can even have a picnic in the den together! Your children will love seeing you getting into the spirit of things and it will give them confidence to play.
Another fun activity that can also be done in the garden or in the house if it rains is making edible paint! Simply mix together some corn flour with hot water until it makes a thick paste, then add some food colouring and voila! This can be used even by small babies with a clean paintbrush to create a masterpiece. Another idea is to use Angel Delight (or an own brand cheaper alternative) to make properly edible and delicious paint! I ask my children to paint a rainbow, then keep adding food colouring to change the colour as we go along.
Summer holidays wouldn’t be complete without at least one visit to the seaside. Spend the day playing in the sand with your children, building sandcastles and making moats together. Collect some shells and talk about them, look at their appearances as a way of sorting into groups. You can also use shells to create a trail in the sand for another adult to follow, perhaps to buried treasure! You can buy a fishing net very cheaply and use it in some warm rock pools, working out where any sea creatures might be hiding.
If you aren’t near a beach, there are lots of free places to visit around the country that kids love, in fact it’s usually the free places they prefer! We love going for forest walks and bike rides and always take a picnic to save money and hassle. Loads of museums and art galleries are now free though it might be best to just focus on one part of the museum when you’re with children, as they can quickly become fed up and bored.
And lastly, with the Olympics coming up, why not make some play dough (loads of recipes online!) to make your own medals, then hold your own family Olympic games! Get Grandad racing against Daddy, run with your own home made Olympic torch and do the relay race together.
The possibilities are endless for fun this summer and it needn’t be expensive. What your child most treasures is just spending time with the people they love.
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