Let’s keep summer nice and simple with these downsized activity ideas that any frazzled parent can manage.
THE LOCAL LIBRARY
While many libraries will have COVID restrictions in place regarding numbers, they are open, and a visit to the cooling space of a library to quietly browse some books accompanied by muffins and juice at a local café is one of our Source Mama’s favourite ways to spend a gentle morning during the school holidays. The next hour or so at home can then be spent browsing your book selections together. Reading aloud or simply describing pictures with your child is great for language development.
Also keep an eye on your library’s schedule of events for story time, art sessions, rhyme time and more.
PUZZLE IT OUT
If your child is older and/or has the ability, then working on a 1000-piece puzzle during the hotter summer months can be so satisfying. Puzzles help develop finger strength, perseverance and problem-solving skills as well as hand eye co-ordination skills. If bigger puzzles are beyond your child’s abilities, they will still love to help you sort pieces and look for certain colours etc. to help you out.
Why not schedule a board game and card game hour each day? One of our Source Kids has become a demon at a number of games and is rarely beaten at Uno, Labyrinth and Yahtzee. These games are all great for working on skills like logic, strategy, problem solving and numeracy. We’re sure you have some family favourites too. And there’s the added bonus of getting everyone off their screens for a while!
SHARE SCREEN TIME
Speaking of which…screen time during the school holidays is unavoidable so why not find some time to get involved with your child’s screen activities. Ok, you might not want to become the new Fortnite champion but search out some apps you approve of and have a bit of fun together.
A visit to a Farmer’s market is a delight for the senses. Let your child help prepare a shopping list – touching, smelling, weighing, searching for the right things on the list all come into play and your child can work on social skills too. Just make sure you find some time to relax and indulge in some tasty treats while you’re there!
PLANT A VEGGIE PATCH
This is the activity that keeps on giving. Your child will love planning the garden and buying seeds and plants with you, then there’s the physical labour and fine motor work involved in the digging and planting. Watering and watching for seedlings to sprout and the plants to mature is an activity that lasts all summer long! If you’re planting fruit and veggies this is also a wonderful opportunity to think about including bush tucker and learning about our indigenous plants and foods.
Give your child a camera to play with and let them take photos of you, your pets, the aforementioned veggie patch, the neighbourhood or anything they choose. You can have fun just looking at them or print them out and let your child start a scrap book. You’ll have a wonderful memory of the summer and a bit of fine motor practice for your child with all that cutting and sticking!