Summer holidays are almost here…or maybe you have already started!!! It’s time for a break from work, spending quality time in the sun with family and friends…and also wondering how on earth you are going to keep your kids busy for the entire summer! Does this ring a bell? Here are 3 simple ideas to keep your kids creative and happy this summer (and give you a short break every now and then!):
Kids are creative by nature and when given the right mix of materials, they will use their imaginations to build whatever comes to mind. It could be a garage with a car wash for their Matchbox cars, a rocket ship that will take them to a far away planet, or a horse stall for their collection of ponies. Recycling materials are a great way to provide them with “free” items to get creative with. Create a box with the following materials that kids can access anytime they get bored:
cardboard (shoe boxes, toilet paper/paper towel rolls and other sized boxes)
tape (clear, washi, painters tape)
coloured markers and/or pencils
coloured papers, stickers and little bits and bobs (glitter stones, googly eyes, etc)
yarn/string in various colours
watercolour or child-friendly paints and brushes
TIP: Let your child make all the decisions! Tell them they can create whatever comes to their mind and then... WALK AWAY! As parents, we tend to want to “help” but then take over the project so the child gives up before they finish. Our best advice is to give them the materials and a space to work in (covered to protect furniture and floors) and let their imaginations flow!
Nature is a wonderful space to have an adventure in, while also providing protection from the heat of the summer days, be it swimming in the lake or going for a walk in the woods. Take a walk with your child(ren) in a local forest, field or along a body of water (lake or river) and collect treasures along the way to make a nature weaving, including:
sticks and twigs
leaves and floral branches from trees and bushes
wild flowers and grasses
You will also need some twine or coloured yarn and scissors
Use the twigs or sticks to create a frame either in a rectangular or triangular form. Tie the corners together using the twine or yarn and then wrap the frame either horizontally or vertically depending on how you want to tuck in the natural materials. Now let your child get creative tucking and weaving the treasures into the frame! Hang it outside on your patio, on your front door or any place you find inside the house to admire it! When the plants start getting droopy, you can remove them and go find more to make a new design. This is a wonderful way to use nature as art! Hearth and Vine have a lovely tutorial you can follow if you need help making the frame.
Journaling is good for mental health and well-being, for adults and kids alike. Give your child a fresh journal and some colourful pens to use to document their summer activities and travels in. Set aside time each day to write in the journal either documenting the activities of the day or writing about one of the ideas in the list below. Older children can write while younger ones can draw pictures and practice write a few letters or words. Here’s a list of ideas to journal about:
summer bucket list of activities they would like to do
day at the beach (or badi)
trip to (insert location)
favourite ice cream spot
fun things to do with friends
books i want to read
my favourite toys to play with
my best friends
...be creative and come up with your own pages!
You can also create a list of prompts for your child to write about if you would like them to practice creative writing. The possibilities are endless! There is loads of inspiration and ideas on Pinterest to help you out if you get stuck with a bored child!
If you are looking for DIY kits to keep them busy, check