Written by Veronica Martin (ECE Coordinator)
Summer holidays for children are a joy, remembering the relaxing times spent in the sun. 6 weeks of fun can be taxing on parents who need to keep young children busy with a variety of activities that may or may not include technical devices. Try out some of the ECE Favorites, as well as, some family favorites that have been used by our children.
- There are wonderful day trips you can do by visiting a local museum, going to the park, or going to the zoo to see the different animals. An extended activity after the day trip is to do a photo journal. Have the children take 5-10 photos of things they enjoyed, print them out and make a book together. Help the children to add captions to the photos. This encourages children to recall the information and also to express their own thoughts about the day.
- Baking cakes or cookies with the children can be both fun and educational. This is always a family favorite time that any age child can join in with. Learning how to measure ingredients with cups or teaspoons can be an introduction to or continued practice in mathematics.
- Build an obstacle course indoor or outdoor, going under tables, over chairs, and around the couch. This is fun to build and helps kids use up excess energy.
- Take a walk together and collect leaves. When you get home, they can be pasted on some nice paper and create a piece of art work or a greeting card.
- Throw a sheet over the table, add some cushions and you have an indoor fort to play in.
- Play board games together either inside or outside on a picnic blanket.
- Paint with water paint either on a piece of paper or add some liquid soap and paint on the windows. It will wash off.
- Set up a fun DVD time, some cushions on the floor and pop some pop-corn and enjoy a relaxing movie together.
- Set up some plastic bowls of water, add soap and a doll or cars and little children will wash their toys for a whole morning. Always watch children when they are near water.
- Make some playdough for children to play with for hours. See recipe below, or you could buy some ready-made.
3 cups flour
1 cup salt
6 teaspoons cream of tartar
3 cups water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Mix flour, salt and cream of tartar in a large saucepan. Blend water and oil together in a bowl. Add to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens. Add several drops of food coloring until you get the right color. Cook for about five minutes. Take the play dough out of the saucepan and put it on a cutting board or counter and knead for a few minutes. Add flour if it’s too sticky. This play dough should last around three months if you keep it sealed in an airtight container or plastic zip-lock bag. It’s so smooth and fun to play with when it’s still warm.