It’s summer vacation and if your visions of happy kids enjoying the warm weather outside or idyllic afternoons spent riding bikes and gazing at the clouds have given way to constant arguing and never-ending protestations of “I’m bored!” we have a little help for you. Our list of great activities that don’t cost a fortune will keep those young brains active while restoring the peace and quiet to your lives.
Get back to Nature
Teaching your children to love nature is a wonderful gift that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. You can go for walks in the park or a local nature reserve. Go camping in a national park nearby and teach them to fish, forage and make a fire. Even backyard camping is a wonderful way to keep them occupied.
There are wonderful apps that can help you to explore the heavens with you children. Visit your local observatory or planetarium to get the bigger picture. You can also buy a telescope to pique their interests. Some of the better apps are listed below:
A Day at the Museum
Most museums and art galleries have a free day which makes visits more affordable. Leave plenty of time for wandering through and make it more interesting by watching the movie “A night at the Museum” before you go.
You can download cooking classes from the internet or just find a recipe that you would like to follow. This presents a really wonderful learning opportunity as kids can practice their reading skills by reading recipes aloud. They can then follow the instructions which is great practice for the science lab. Finally they actually learn to cook which is an invaluable life skill. Just make sure they agree to clean the kitchen before you start! Here are some fun and helpful resources:
Learn your City
Using public transport or bicycles, plan a trip for your family around your favorite parts of the city. You can set out an itinerary, but getting from place to place should be your child’s responsibility. This will teach them to read a map, navigate by themselves, ask for directions and remember local landmarks. Don’t let them cheat by using a GPS. You can combine this with a scavenger hunt or take it into the woods with a compass for older kids.
Origami is a great way to pass the time and you can find all sorts of interesting items online to help you through each fold. You can also use your paper time to create paper planes. Use this opportunity to explain basic aerodynamics and other scientific principles that govern flight.
They say that a change is as good as a holiday and this may be the perfect time for a room makeover. Whether you let them paint a mural on their wall, make new shelves or a new desk to practice their woodworking skills or if you get some fabric to make new curtains, make this a DIY affair. The process of researching possibilities, making plans, buying materials and making their new rooms will occupy their summer days and help them to personalize their spaces.