Looking for some interesting activities for the family this summer? Here are five creative ideas for children - and adults - to keep everyone busy and happy
We're a few weeks into the summer holiday now - how is everyone doing? With the weather less-than-brilliant, it can be difficult to constantly come up with fresh ideas to keep everyone occupied.
So to help you out on those rainy days, here's five creative ideas for children that will hopefully keep boredom at bay as long as possible.
Idea 1: Make a sensory box
HOW TO DO IT: Create a fun box and fill it with weird and wonderful things that provide stimulation to watch, touch or listen to. Things that light up, whizz around or need building are ideal (try the pound shop). These items shouldn’t be big – they should all be able to hold in the hand - and think more of capturing the child’s attention and having a moment of fun together. Bring this out at intervals and select perhaps 3-5 items to share at a time.
HOW IT WORKS: The idea here is to engage with your children and grow their attention and focus. This is often a good activity to do after they’ve been playing or feeling a little hyped up, because it asks them to focus in short bursts.
Idea 2: Make mementoes
HOW TO DO IT: Over the holiday, encourage children to save mementoes. These could include a rock they found in a field, a flower they dried and pressed or a picture they took or drew. This is great way to document the summer - and also a great way of getting children processing and thinking about what happened.
HOW IT WORKS: Together with the sensory integration needed – using your senses to interpret and make sense of your environment, there is an emotional awareness that is required to select an object to represent a day or an activity. This not only promotes creative thinking but also problem-solving and a level of self-reflection and awareness in processing events. This will help to improve your child’s communication and cognitive abilities.
Idea 3: DIY scavenger hunt
HOW TO DO IT: Create your own scavenger hunts on the go. These can be as long or short as you like. For example, if you need to make a trip to the supermarket, give children a list of items to find, to document how much something costs or to take a selfie with the weirdest food they can find. If you are on a long car trip, you can create a scavenger hunt where they have to try and spot a car number plate with a certain letter or number combination or count how many trucks they see with six wheels or more.
HOW IT WORKS: Cognition, creative thinking, problem-solving, physical movement, team building - the benefits here are endless and it can make trips to the shops or long car journeys much more interesting. This does require some preparation on your part but is a great way to engage your child in a cognitively challenging activity that should have an element of fun and functionality. Cognition, creative thinking, problem-solving, physical movement, team building - the benefits here are endless and it can make trips to the shops or long car journeys much more interesting. This does require some preparation on your part but is a great way to engage your child in a cognitively challenging activity that should have an element of fun and functionality.
Idea 4: Movement breaks
HOW TO DO IT: Sitting around watching TV or using a screen is good for limited periods but should be broken up with regular movement such as dance sessions or even a good karaoke! This will stop your child’s brain slipping into veg out mode.
HOW IT WORKS: Everyone needs to keep moving. This is not only for your physical health but also your brain. Neuroscientists agree that movement and cognition are linked – by undertaking physical activity, you’ll increase blood flow, and hence oxygen, to your child’s brain, and help them engage.
Idea 5: Put on a show
HOW TO DO IT: Invite some other parents or children over and raid your dressing up and props box to create a play, dance or musical. You could even stage your very own ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ show.
HOW IT WORKS: This is a great opportunity to develop your child’s social skills, self-confidence and self-esteem. Creativity and imagination are great attributes to develop because they have an impact on children’s problem-solving skills as well as their communication.