The summer holidays can be a great opportunity to spend lots of quality time with your family but you can quickly run out of ideas to entertain them. It is very easy to turn to television or video games in the long weeks ahead. So why not think outside the box and plan some fun educational activities with your children to break the long stretch of summer holidays? Below we’ve highlighted some of our favourite ideas for you to try.
Adventure days are an activity I have been doing with my children since they were toddlers and in fact, we still do them now even though they are fully grown adults. The premise is quite simple. Pack up a bag with essentials, such as; a picnic, towels and suncream. Get in the car and drive. It is always good to have a vague destination in mind, whether that is a specific place or a more general location like a beach. These days are so much fun as there is no pressure. You can explore fairly nearby areas, you have never visited. Also, it can be done on a shoestring budget if you remember to pack some food and drink. Even better you can teach your children to use a map. Scout out some locations on the map before you go or select a good point to head towards and let your child direct you. It really doesn’t matter if they go wrong, that’s all part of the fun. Learning to map read can also help brain development and, in fact, through studying taxi drivers’ brains as they learn to navigate London, The University College of London found that these orientation and navigational skills increased the size of the hippocampus which is responsible for short-term, long-term and spatial memory. We have found many exciting places on our adventure days but if you need some inspiration, here are the great things we have done:
- Take a picnic to Parham House and head into the deer park or investigate the stepping stone maze or playhouse in the beautiful gardens.
- Pick up a disposable barbecue and head to a beach late in the afternoon when the crowds have died down and have fun flying kites after you’ve indulged in your BBQ!
Want to get a head start on map reading before you leave the house? We’ve found a handy online guide to help you teach your kids:
Create a Garden Obstacle Course
Ensuring children to get enough exercise when they are not at school running around in the playground can be tricky. It can be hard work to encourage them to do this in the summer holidays yet physical activity will help them; stay fit, be incredibly helpful for their mental development and release feel-good endorphins to keep them feeling happy (and hopefully less prone to fighting with you or their siblings). So why not take advantage of the warmer weather and help them build an outside obstacle course. They can use all sorts of things like cushions, furniture, blankets and boxes to set up boundaries for their obstacle course. If they need something a bit more challenging you could add activities into parts of it such as; bean bag tossing and hula-hooping. You could even time them through the maze for a bit of friendly competition. Another idea is to make sure there is an area that can act like a den after they are worn out where they can continue to spend time in the garden and protect themselves from the sun. So much fun can be had in your garden using everyday objects which you can all build and take part in.
If your children are really feeling bored, it may help to break out of the ordinary and do something a bit different There are lots of fun and creative activities that make a little mess whilst being educational. A fun project is doing some at home science experiments. One of our favourites is making a Tornado in a bottle http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/zxk4v9q! Using a clear plastic bottle with a cap, water, glitter and washing up liquid, your family can witness the magic of chemistry in a fun and exciting way. Check out these other experiments for more fun but easy ways to entertain and educate your children https://www.bbc.co.uk/terrificscientific/sections/do-it-yourself.
Need to Outsource?
If you are really running out of ideas we still have some slots available in our summer school for touch-typing, handwriting, maths and/or English. Check out the details here or get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org / 01483 26 82 82