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.