Things to do in the summer holidays
See where you live in a new light
Turn what you and your family like best about your house into a 'Visitor Trail'. Decide what you want to show, the order, and who will describe each feature. It could be a video (hone your script-writing skills) or a leaflet with a floorplan, drawings or photos.
Keep in touch
Choose a way to give a summer update to family or friends. You could go 'old school' with a letter or a postcard: or 'new school' with photos on Facebook or Flickr, or a round robin email with pictures and drawings. You could go 'very old school' with a message in a bottle (probably best to hand-deliver it).
One last look
Now's the time for a good clear-out. Get everyone in the family (adults included) to sort out clothes, toys and equipment they no longer use. Photograph or video each person surrounded by their possessions before they are passed on to family or friends, taken to a charity shop or to a recycling bank.
Maybe something in the clear-out pile can be transformed. In the past, worn-out clothes were cut up and made into patchwork quilts or rag rugs.
Pack up a picnic
Involve everyone in deciding what to take, shopping for the ingredients and making the picnic. Use those literacy and maths skills! Make lists, weigh, use money – perhaps invite friends. And if it rains, find an unusual place to picnic indoors!
Make straight for it!
You've decided a visit to a museum/stately home/park is on the cards. Instead of just going and wandering, get the kids to look at the website, read the leaflet or the advertisement and decide, before they go, what they want to see. When you get there, you can take it in turns to be tour guide and show the others what you've chosen.
Try something new
Geocaching – one of those things that sounds complex to anyone who's never tried it but is a huge hit with those who have.
The idea is to find some 'treasure' that is hidden in a box and is findable using a hand held satnav system. There are handy apps you can download to your phone. www.geocaching.com
Not just cupcakes
Cooking is always a good family activity for the holidays, but avoid the inevitable cupcake decorating by choosing something savoury to make. You can easily turn this into a more challenging activity by involving the need to double the recipe for larger numbers of people.
You can't beat a good craft project to hold everyone's interest. We all have our favourites, here are a couple to start you off – monster page corner bookmarks and easy-to-make books.
Fun for all ages, not just the very young – so easy to make you'll wonder why you ever bought the stuff.
- 1 cup of fine salt
- 1 cup of flour
- 1/2 cup of water (may add more)
- In a large bowl, combine the salt and the flour
- Make a well in the salt/flour mixture and add the water
- Knead until smooth and shape into a ball
- When not in use, wrap in plastic or store in an airtight container
Tip: To get a softer dough you can add more flour. You can add food colouring if you like. You could also paint your ornaments and sculptures after they dry.