I only have 2 days left until the summer holidays and, I must admit, I am feeling slightly nervous about all the time I have to fill with the little ones around!! The summer holidays can be such a pricey time of year so I have put together a top 5 list of things to do that cost very little and are also great for your child’s development.
Comment, or post pictures,on our Facebook page to let us know if you try them and, of course, let us know any other ideas you have!
You will need:
This is something I remember doing (and really enjoying) with my parents, when I was little.
Set out a table with all of the equipment and explain that they are going to make a magazine. Encourage your child to think of a title for their magazine and choose the images they want to put on each page. If your child has their own old magazines these can be great to use as well.
Then the world is their oyster! They can put as much or as little as they want in their publication.
For younger children:
Get them to choose a few pictures to cut out and stick in and try and encourage them to label the pictures using any letters sounds they know.
If they find this easy they could write a very simple contents page with page numbers and then write a sentence or 2 about each picture.
For older children:
Encourage them to produce a magazine about a topic they are really engaged with
E.g dinosaurs, unicorns, looking after the environment, computer games etc etc etc!
Who is the magazine aimed at?
Is the title of their magazine catchy?
Do they have a contents page?
Have they checked that their headings and subheadings are engaging?
If they are writing a longer piece of text have they answered the key questions: who, what, why, where and when?
When they have finished their magazines remember to read/ look through the magazine with your child. This gives your child a real sense of achievement and purpose about what they have produced.
2. Visit a Museum
In the summer holidays lots of local museums have activities aimed at children running and they are very often free. Take a look at the museums listed below for a few ideas!
Haslemere Educational Museum, free entry.
Holiday activities include Teddy Bear’s Picnic, a selection of family drop in events including Get Buzzing ( all about the bees that are kept in the museum’s gardens and a Falconry Display!
Museum in Chichester, free entry. Over the holidays they have a summer craft series for children as well as storytelling sessions.
We have found that visiting The Science Museum or The Natural History Museum on a Sunday is not as pricey as it sounds. Both museums are voluntary donations and are next door to each other. Our best trick is to leave early on a Sunday morning (around 8 am ish) the traffic is not too bad, there is no congestion charge and parking just around the back of the Science Museum is free!
Pack a picnic and you can either eat it in the museum's picnic area or, if the weather is good, Hyde Park is just behind the museum.
3. Get Cooking
There are a lot of skills involved in cooking and we find that children are so much more likely to eat what they have made themselves.
Gathering the ingredients:
Start by talking about the ingredients you need for your recipe.
Ask your child to write the list or write it for them with very basic pictures if they are not quite there yet. You could get them to try and write the initial sound of the ingredient (e.g. s for sugar)
Ask your child to take the list with them to the shop and tick off the items as they put them in the basket.
You could also ask them to look out for how much each item is and, if they are able to, they could write the price on their shopping list.
Read the recipe with your child step by step. Can they pick out any of the key words or amounts needed in the recipe?
Get your child to measure the ingredients they need. Do they need to add a bit more or take a bit away? Chat about how the scales work in they are electric ask them to read the quantities.If they are mechanical scales chat to your child about the scale.
If your recipe needs cooking see if your child can change the temperature on your oven ( with your help).
Explain how long the item needs to be in the oven/ on the hob for.
When will the food be ready?
Cooking brings up so many opportunities for learning: preparing a shopping list, looking at the cost of items, measuring amounts, looking at how we measure the passing of time!
Finally, enjoy! Did your child like what they cooked? What did they like the most? What could they change if they made it again?
Making pizza is great for chopping and identifying different ingredients and talking about fractions when cutting.
4. Write a letter/card/postcard
There are few things more exciting than writing a letter, writing the address and then posting it in the postbox. Especially with the possibility of receiving a reply personally addressed to you! Try to convince a friend or family member to reply to their letter so that they can enjoy this little treat.
It may seem pretty menial to us adults but little ones get such a sense of satisfaction when writing and posting a letter. The postal system is quite magical when you think about how we put an address on a letter and it miraculously turns up at our door!
It can be as simple as a scribble on a piece of paper which you then put in an envelope and address for them or, for older children, a few sentences about what they have been up to!
If you have a tent camp in the garden for a night or 2! Guaranteed to be super exciting for your little ones and maybe a little exhausting. But what is life if it’s not for living?
Also, if you live in the Surrey area, Surrey Munchkins has loads of fantastic ideas for the holiday, in the local are https://www.instagram.com/surreymunchkins/?hl=en
Let us know your summer activity ideas on our facebook page and let us know how you got on if you manage to try some of our ideas https://www.facebook.com/edvanced.co.uk/