There are many undisputed benefits of sharing books with children of all ages. This booklet from the Literacy Trust is a great resource to share with practitioners and parents to explain the importance of reading with children from an early age. https://www.literacytrust.org.uk/assets/0000/1062/SharingBooks.pdf
Only one week to go until the children return to school and it looks like it might be a wet one. We have put together a list of 15 tried and tested activities to do when it is raining (and they won’t cost you a penny).
- Have a Movie Day Choose a family favourite; use your Netflix/ Sky Movies/ Amazon Prime/BT account and choose a film all the family can enjoy; or borrow a film from friends and snuggle up on the sofa under the duvets. Optional extras: make your own popcorn packets, design posters advertising the day and time of your showing, make tickets and invite some friends over to join you.
- Have a Bake-Off Use up those baking ingredients and icing pens sat in you cupboard and get creative. Design biscuits by tracing around the biscuit cutters on paper and using the colours you have to create amazing designs. Let your children play with the icing sugar and colouring or design buns to their taste. Monster buns are great and only need some left over sweets, orange or green colouring and butter icing.
- Put on a Magic Show Download magic tricks from the internet and put on a show for family and friends. Again leaflets, posters and tickets could be made as well as a refreshment stall to turn it into a ‘special occasion’.
- Build a Den Get out those old blankets, cushions and make a den indoors. Eat your lunch and play games in there. A surprisingly easy time-waster whilst you wait for the rain to stop.
- Go on a Treasure Hunt Design a treasure hunt with poem clues and envelopes; use up that old tea or coffee no-one likes in the back of the cupboard to stain the paper and give it a ‘piratey’ feel.
- Make a Mini Olympics or Assault Course Design and make a mini assault course using cushions, blankets, chairs, hockey sticks, tennis rackets, buckets, soft balls etc. You can time each other and make medals from tin-foil and old cereal boxes.
- Camp Inside Bring your beach tent inside or put up play-tents and ‘camp’ over-night in them.
- Design a Game Help the children create a game; this can be based on a well-known family game or something completely new. WARNING! You may not understand their game; but be assured they will, no matter how complicated it may be.
- Create a Dance Routine or Host a Dance Party Put on some music and ‘dance the day away’. You Tube has some excellent videos teaching dance routines to some classics. You could finally learn that Thriller or Dirty Dancing Finale routine.
- Have a Superhero Day Let the children (and you can join in too) create their ultimate superhero. Using old clothes, the dressing up box and their choice of items create super hero costumes and then play! This could be linked to the next item by making a super hero play/film. You can even download Comic Life for free and make your own comics based on your characters.
- Write and Perform a Play You can even use the video recorder to film scenes to play back your masterpiece to family and friends. Use a simple editing programme to put it all into a film. Alternatively, use some animation software to let the children make their toys a movie star by creating a film with their favourites. Our favourite was Barbie and Woody versus Batman and Lego Friends.
- Plan a Fair Roll, up. Roll, up. Waiting for that great weather? Plan a fair day for when the sunshine returns. Create ideas for a variety of stalls and fair type games and invite your friends and family to join you. Skittles, balance the penny on the lemon, duck races (plastic ducks and a local stream unless you are lucky enough to have real ones); refreshments stall, bits and bobs stall…the list is endless.
- Junk Building Look in your recycling for clean items that the children can use to build robots, houses…whatever they think of.
- T-Shirt Designing Drag out old t-shirts and let the children design their own creations using felt-tips or Sharpies.
- Play Games! An old classic. Sit down and play that board game covered in dust at the back of the cupboard, play hide and seek, play cards…remember what you loved playing and play it.
Lots of amazing ideas on this Facebook page. Things to do and make for the early years (and perhaps us adults too!!!). All use existing items or items that are cheap to buy. Whether you want some inspiration, or need ideas from other practitioners for something you want to do, check it out and see if you can join! https://www.facebook.com/groups/1619385931625628/