As the summer holidays in the North East continue, it can be difficult to come up with new activites everyday to keep the kids entertained and there can be a lot of costs involved.
The Scottish Government’s National Play Strategy says that children must be able to play freely and safely while learning to manage risks and make choices about where, how and when they play according to their age, ability and preference.
Playing helps children develop an understanding of risk and sets them on the path to making those decisions for themselves in years to come. Not getting outside to play, means children are not able to use their imagination and explore risk.
Play supports brain development, improving the capacity for learning, overall health, and bonding with parents and carers; as well as reducing the pressure to grow up too quickly. From babies to teenagers, kids to get out and play and this summer is an ideal opportunity for parents and carers to get out there and have fun with the children.
This summer there are plenty of things to do, from Barnardo’s Big Toddle, an outdoor fundraising walk for under 5s, to holding your own mini sports day in the local park, to games such as hide and seek, I spy, grandmother’s footsteps and hopscotch. These free games are fun and need no or little equipment.
Get your thinking caps on and design your own quiz or have an arts and crafts afternoon, such as creating little works of art out of freely available materials such as leaves, petals, and twigs.
If your kids like being the centre of attention, help them write and act out their own play. If you have a garden, try insect and animal spotting.
Barnardo’s Eggciting Challenge invloves boiling an egg, then decorating it. Barnardo’s Big Bounce means you can keep fit and learn about the effects on your body.
All children love teddy bears and picnics can be held anywhere. Get everyone to bring a picnic and organise activities such as a treasure hunt, story time and face painting.
For the older children, ask them if they have a favourite racing game for their Xbox or Playstation, then host a tournament.
Remember, any activities in the sun always require sunscreen for the little ones and the big ones.