Step away from the TV, the game console, the dvd's.
The best fun to be had these school holidays is OUTSIDE
Not only is outside play FUN and best of all generally FREE it teaches kids about their environment, the natural world, creative play, active play and uses their imagination.
Combine their play with some educational follow on and it becomes a live science lesson.
We spent the morning in the garden the other day, tying up some wayward snow peas, fertilising, sowing some seeds and because our garden is organic admiring the bugs, we have a wide variety of bugs and insect activity, the majority of them are very amazing to look at.
After Lily discovered a beautiful beetle that she was very taken with, using her imagination she decided to build a house for the beetle in what became a gorgeous afternoon of artistic play, even after the beetle had long since flown off!
She spent ages constructing her very cute little house and was so enthralled we decided to follow up the following day with a trip to the library and look at some books on insects, such a simple, fun activity to do with your kids.
Some other great ideas for some earthy fun these holidays are:
- Make a mini garden where they can plant some easy things like lettuce and spinach seeds, alyssum and lobelia, marigolds.
- Create a leaf collage.
- Make a fairy garden.
- Set up a worm farm or compost system together.
- Visit a national park and take the time to find out what some of the trees and birds are within it and see if you can all spot any of them.
- Visit a local mountain if you have one. Learn its name and how high it is, make an adventure of the day.
- Pick a bird species of your local area and go bird spotting, research them for the older kids, draw them. You can even do this at home. Record what birds you see each day and how many each day.
- Write your own nature story. Get the kids to pick a nature animal or insect and create a short story around it and illustrate with their own pictures.
- Create a mini pot plant garden - these are great for kids of all ages and easy to manage. You can even often pick up second hand pots at recycle centres, garage sales.
- Plant a sensory garden with plants of all different textures and smells and experiences so children can learn as they explore. Some great plants could include lamb's ears, a wide variety of herbs, cousin it plants, different textured low ground covers - take the kids to a plant nursery and let them choose a plant each that they find fascinating. Take some cuttings together, collect and plant seeds.
- Growing veggies with kids
- Make a dry creek bed area in your garden for lizards and frogs. After construction make a log book to record any visitors they see. They could draw them or photograph them.
- Go on a bug hunt. Explore the backyard and find 5 different bugs. Draw or photograph them and then go to the local library and look them up to identify them. Fine out what they are, what they eat and what they do, bugs are fascinating and some are very cool critters indeed! Even older kids will be amazed at some of the facts about them, some of the gory habits!
- Build a frog pond, learn what some native grasses are that you could plant around it, look up together what frogs need to be healthy and happy and what types of frogs are in your area.
- Grow something edible like Growing Your Sprouts
- Finding a kids gardening activity in your local area, comunity gardens often have kids programs.
- Visiting a community garden.
- Visiting a botanical garden.
- Go on a neighbourhood explore and see who can name the most plants, trees and birds that they see. Again another great one for a log book, drawings and photos.