I’m up for treating the kids to an occasional fab day out but let’s face it, it can get pretty pricey. I’m not one for fancy shmancy arts and crafts which require you to buy 5,000 items only to find that the craft takes 2 days, your kids lose interest before you've even begun and you basically end up doing it yourself (through gritted teeth)!
So with this in mind I have put together some things to do with the kids to keep them entertained and you sane during the holidays!
I did this with my two kids when we visited the London Wetland Centre during the summer and was pleasantly surprised how much they enjoyed it and how long it actually kept them entertained! I got a full 20 mins to myself to just chill out, unheard of, right?
So the idea is to create a coloured silhouette of leaves on a piece of paper.
What you need - A few crayons or coloured pencils, paper and leaves.
What to do - Gather some leaves, place them under a sheet of paper and rub over the top with crayons or coloured pencils and you’ll end up with a colourful masterpiece that your kids will be proud of.
Photo credit - mamapapabubba.com
This is a fab idea for kids of all ages and is in fact used by Native people from around the world. They are used to tell a story of a journey you have taken or used to build a story to help navigate an unfamiliar route or terrain. The idea is to gather various items such as flowers, twigs, conkers, leaves, feathers, grass etc along your route from your chosen park, woodland or forest and attach them your stick. Attach them in order and you’ll start to build a picture of your fun day out. Get your child/ren to recall their adventure by using their journey stick which will trigger their memory recall and storytelling skills.
What you need - A stick, wool/string/ribbon and a pair of scissors.
What to do - Wind the wool/string around the stick quite tightly but leave enough slack to be able to attach flowers, twigs, conkers, leaves, grass etc. Use the scissors to cut the lengths of wool you need.
Photo credit - simondesenlisblogs.org
Another activity I’ve done with my son and daughter that they absolutely love! Plan a trip to the park, forest, woodland, beach or nature reserve and gather lots of leaves, petals, twigs, pine cones, sycamore seeds (I call them helicopters) and whatever else you can stick to paper with glue or sellotape. The idea is create a picture of an animal, landscape or just a good ol' mish mash of cool stuff. This a great way to get likkle one's creative juices flowing and imagination running wild (literally).
What you need - Paper/card, glue/sellotape and lots of foliage.
What to do - Gather lots of leaves, petals, twigs, pine cones, sycamore seeds to stick to your paper/card and create your nature masterpiece.
Photo credit - cbc.ca
Kids love painting, right? So why not make some nature brushes to create their next masterpiece? This is a double whammy really as you can make the brushes one day and create the masterpiece another day.
What you need - Twigs, string/twine, a pair of scissors, lots of foliage or even herbs like rosemary and thyme.
What to do - Gather some of your chosen foliage and spread it around one end of a twig to create the brush. Use the scissors to cut your string/twine to hold the foliage in place and you can use a rubber band for extra security.
Make as many of these as you like using different types of foliage. The kids will have great fun assembling these as they’re tactile and have a smell too and a brilliant way to get those motor skills going. Once assembled they can start painting their nature masterpiece and get creative with lots of different textures.
Photo credit - applegreencottage.com
I hope you have fun creating your masterpieces!
If you try any of these over the holidays why not share your pics with us on Facebook or Instagram using this hashtag #DADKidsFun