School holidays are here in Victoria. You may love the break from routine or sometimes it may feel like a game of survival. School holidays may just be a love-hate relationship!
I just wanted to share some of my ideas for "free" play activities. The kind of play where we give our kids the resources and let their imagination and creativity run wild!
Unstructured, creative play.
This play helps develop problem solving skills, communication skills, and exercises brains and bodies without limitations. Having no set idea on how an activity is meant to look encourages skill development and creativity.
It always amazes me what creations kids can come up when given these opportunities.
Spend the amount of time that works for your family on these activities. Just because it's unstructured or creative play it doesn't mean you don't have time-limits. The reality of family life is that we often have time limits and a number of things to balance and spend time on.
Discuss timeframes with your kids prior to starting the activity. You can make use of timers and warnings to help with transitions.
Give your kids these resources and see what them come up with!
Don't give direction but facilitate discussion and ask reflective questions if they get stuck. Step back as parents - encourage problem solving and kids using heir bodies and brains!
* Boxes: Your kids might like to include some age-appropriate materials like tape, scissors, paint, or any other craft items. This could be an indoor or outdoor activity.
* Play a new game: Get your kids to create a new game that they created themselves. Get them to write or discuss the rules and then play it and use those problem solving and communication skills.
* Cushions & Blankets: Gather all the cushions and blankets. They may even like to add toys and teddies to their creation but ask them in a reflective way - "Is there anything you want to add to your creation?"
* Magiclay Creations: Pull out the Magiclay and washable markers. Discuss what items they need for their creation or hunt around the house for ideas. The kids can colour it after it's dry or have a blast dotting on colour and mixing it in.
* Helping Others : Get your kids to have a think - who might need some help or kindness? Have a brainstorming session getting your kids to come up with ideas to help others or show kindness. Then let them put it into action!
* Creative Cooking: Give your kids a bunch of surprise ingredients or maybe let them choose items from the cupboard. See what your mini master chefs come up with. Pick age appropriate ingredients and also tools to cook with.
* Natural Materials: Collect sticks, leaves, rocks or other natural materials. Let them build something or do whatever their imagination comes up with!
* A bucket of water outside & paintbrush or other materials. See if they water the plants or paint the fence (yes with water!)...maybe even wash the dog!
*Pile of books: Grab a pile of books and see what your kids do with them. Do they sit and read them, read to their teddies, or build something out of them - maybe a library or another construction?
Chalk: Give your kids some chalk outside and see what they create! Maybe they want to practice their writing skills, hopscotch or go on a goose chase. I posted an idea recently on the Facebook page here that I saw in my internet travels.
Happy School Holidays (and GOOD LUCK!).