- Family and Parenting
Fifteen Boredom Busting Ideas for Kids This Summer
It can be difficult to keep children happy and entertained during the long summer holidays and even for shorter periods, especially if the weather is poor or they cannot play outside and work off their energy. Thankfully there are lots of ways to create fun activities whatever the weather and without the need to spend a lot of money. Most can be done at home and often reuse or utilise items that most households have already or would throw away. This hub features fifteen ideas to spark off imaginations big and small alike.
1) Put on a performance. Get together with some friends and act out a story, sing or present the results of a research project. Get dressed up, make props or use things from around the house and later perform in front of friends or parents. Some ideas include: singing a favourite song or two, acting out a story from a book or film, making up your own song or story or take on a factual role such as wildlife presenter or sports commentator.
2) Build a den. This can be done inside and outdoors if you have a garden or access to woods or a park nearby. Outside fallen branches, scrap wood or gaps and hollows in bushes and undergrowth can make great dens and hiding places. Alternatively chairs, sheets and blankets can be bought out from inside and used. One easy way to create a den is too fix some washing line between two fixed points and then lay a large sheet or blanket over the top. This can then be opened out and fixed to the ground using tent pegs and clothes pins or string (to attach the sheet to the pegs and save damaging it).For indoor dens try using sheets and chairs, the bottom bunk of bunk beds or the space under the stairs.
3) Create a volcano. First build a volcano shape using modelling clay, paper mache, junk modelling materials or cardboard. The volcano can be left plain or painted and decorated to look more realistic but needs to be fixed down well and also be hollow part of the way down. Once the model is completed put a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda into the hollowed part of the volcano. Mix one teaspoon of red food colouring with three teaspoons of vinegar in a cup. Slowly pour the coloured vinegar on to the bicarbonate of soda and watch your volcano erupt.
This happens because carbon dioxide gas is given off when the vinegar mixes with the bicarbonate of soda. As the gas builds up it bubbles out of the volcano.
4) Watch a plant grow. Open an unused CD case and remove the section that the cd sits in. Fill the back of the case with compost and spray with a little water (do not soak). Put a large see such as a broad or runner bean into the compost and close the case. You will now be able to watch the seed roots and shoot grow through the clear plastic. Once the plant outgrows the CD case it can be carefully removed and planted in a pot.
5) Create rock art. Find or buy some pebbles or smooth sided stones and give them a good wash if needed. Once dry they can be painted with acrylic paints in any desired design. Once the paint is dry the stones can be coated in a clear varnish so that the paint does not get damaged.
6) Junk modelling. Save up items such as yoghurt pots, cereal and other food boxes, toilet roll tubes, bubble wrap, tin foil, string, old magazines and egg boxes and use them to create models. These can then be painted or decorated: for example with coloured paper, glitter, stickers or material.
7) Grow cress in eggshells. Save the empty shells from boiled eggs and an egg box. Wash the shells carefully and allow them to dry. Place some damp cotton wool into each eggshell and sprinkle on some cress seeds. Put the shells into the open box and place them on a windowsill. In a few days the cress will begin to grow. The egg shells can also be decorated with felt tip pens or stickers but are very fragile.
8) Build a ladybird house. Cut bamboo canes into short lengths and tie them together loosely with garden string. Stand the canes up in a plant pot and fill in any spaces with leaves, straw and small twigs.
9) Make a waterslide. Lay a long length of plastic sheeting on grass and have water run onto it using a hose. Add bubble bath for extra fun.
10) Make bird feeders. Mix lard and birdseed together in a bowl. Now press this mixture into the gaps of a pinecone and then place the feeder into the fridge to set. Once set tie a piece of string to the top of the pinecone and hang it out for the local birds.
11) Make a garden mini golf course. Use cardboard boxes, large tubes (such as those from carpet or plastic drainpipe or make some tubes by cutting the tops and bottoms from plastic bottles), wood scraps, bricks etc. to create a mini golf course and then challenge friends to a game.
12) Dress up. Use shop bought costumes or create your own from old clothes, material or junk modelling materials.
13) Make a home-made skittles game. Collect nine large plastic drinks bottles and decorate each one using paint, coloured paper, stickers etc. Half fill the bottles with water and screw the lids on tightly. Arrange the skittles in a triangle shape and use a ball to try to knock them down. It is best to place a marker such as a stick on chalk line at an agreed distance away from the skittle to bowl from.
14) Have a camp-over. Build an indoor den and invite friends over to sleep for the night. Bring sleeping bags, midnight snacks and torches and keep the main room lights off.
15) Go on a wildlife hunt. This can be done in parks, woods and even your own back garden. Look out for different birds, butterflies, squirrels and a variety of insects. Later make a poster or report about what was found and research some more information about the various creatures.
© 2014 Claire