If you’re anything like us, you’re already wondering how you’re going to fill the looooong stretch of the summer holidays without breaking the bank!
To save you the stress, we’ve put together twelve activities for you and your child/ren to do, all of which are good for both their well-being and good for your wallet. We’ve separated these into three categories, with all activities suitable for an array of ages and abilities.
If you give any a try, we’d love to see your pictures or hear your stories! Tag us on Facebook, Instagram of Twitter or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re happy for your experiences to be shared on our social media.
Design your own:
- Rock collection/story stones- Using either paints or pens (which can be purchased for only a couple of £), come up with different characters and draw/paint a face/character on each rock. You could take inspiration from people you know, celebrities or TV personalities, or use your imagination. When you have several different people, you can create a story and use the rocks as characters; this can be done time and time again. To incorporate mindfulness into your game, have your child use their senses to really analyse the rock and/or characters. Ask questions such as ‘is this rock smooth or hard?’ and ‘what does the shape of this rock make you think of?’.
- Board game- Using paper/card, pens, and scissors, you can design your own boardgame for your rocks (or for counters you could make by hand). To ensure the game is not too complicated (and to provide a guide), use inspiration from a game you know your child enjoys, such as Monopoly or Snakes and Ladders. Make the game simple with basic instructions, and either use a dice you already have in the house, or make one yourself out of paper. If that sounds too complicated, start by making your own playing cards to play Go Fish. All you need to do is ensure that you have an even number of cards, and that each pair has the same image drawn on so they can be matched together.
- Birthday cards- Spend a little time to work-out who has birthdays coming up, or even plan ahead for holidays such as Halloween or Christmas. Using pens, paper, glue, and old magazines/news papers/cards, create cards for all your friends and family. If your child is too young to do this themselves, why not paint their hand/foot and have them place it on the middle of the front page, which you could then add to. You could turn their hand into a hedgehog, a bird, a pumpkin and Santa (using fingers as his beard). To make this activity last longer, ask your child to write a poem or their favourite memory with that person.
- Book-marks- Using card, create book-marks which you could hand-out to family/friends (and even pop one in their home-made birthday card). You could incorporate different themes, such as flowers, food or places, or have them draw a picture/character from their favourite book(s) on each. If gifting to someone else, suggest they find-out what that person’s favourite book is and incorporate that instead. If your child is not a drawer, have them think of a different joke for every card, with the punch-line on the reverse.
- Shells/sea glass on the beach- Once collected, use the shells/sea glass to create a mosaic in the sand. You could draw designs in the sand to accompany the shells/sea glass, and take aerial style pictures of your child from above. For example, draw the outline of Butterfly wings or a superhero cape in the sand, and then have your child add the design. When complete, have them lie down, and take the image from above.
- Different coloured leaves- Encourage your child to find as many different colours of leaves as they can, and when collected, use them to create a picture. You could even stencil the body of a person, and have the leaves as their dress/cape. You could try to create many pictures which could either be put together to create a story, or handed out as gifts.
- Rocks- To create story-stones, or a long caterpillar/snake to live in the garden. Or, to decorate as a gift for friends and family, or leave anonymously in the community.
- Stories- Encourage your child to spend time with each member of the family, and have them ask questions or listen to a story from the life of that person. Not only will your child learn more about the people they love, they will also practise and develop transferable skills such as creative writing and active listening. Stories could be documented on paper/a word document to be collated as a family scrapbook,or, if your child is tech savvy, they could attempt to do video interviews.
- Insects/butterflies- Research how many insects/butterflies there are in the UK, to then see how many you can find throughout the summer. You could set a specific day/time to do this each week, and see if you can find more as the weeks progress.
- Plants/flowers- You could either print-out a list of plants/flowers you would like to find, and use the same method as above. Or, you could take a picture of the different plants when out and about, and then later, check together which you have found. You could use this as an introduction to growing your own plant(s), and purchase some seeds from the show for a few £.
- Places/buildings- Purposefully hunt-out older building within your community (ideally public buildings), and discuss with your child the history of the building, thinking of who may have lived/worked there previously. You could use the inspiration to create a poem, write a story, or even draw a picture of the building from a photograph and/or memory. Alternatively, you could take out some pens/paper and situate yourself close to the building to do a live drawing.
- Body language- With permission (from family/friends), have your child/ren watch/copy the body language/posture of different people, and use this as inspiration to create a story or to draw a picture. This could be developed further into a game of ‘super spies’, and have your child watch/collect information of that person ‘without them knowing’ (as you would have made them aware in advance). You could even design an ID badge and a paper magnifying glass for your child to carry around.
Tag us on social media or email us at email@example.com if you’re happy for your experiences to be shared!