I can’t always be sure when I suggest an activity that it will excite or engage the children, but I was reasonably confident when, one evening after school, I suggested they make their own Rocket Colour-in Gliders. “YEHHH!!” came the response.
They each excitedly picked the different parts to make up their gliders, and then set about colouring them. There was much debate about how they fixed together to form the correct glider shape and a few last minute adjustments to create their perfect glider. Once they were happy, they (rather too enthusiastically!) flew them around the kitchen mostly aimed at my head(!) before heading out to the garden to try them outside.
“You need to face where the wind is” they encouraged one another.
After a while they rushed back in, asking to make another one so that they could pitch their first gliders against their second.
For an easy, go-to activity, a mask is always a winner! The little ones can explore an early mark making opportunity whilst older children can get as creative as they wish. They always spark enjoyment in the children and are often the start of some fantastic role-playing games. We’ve enjoyed lots over the years, here are just some of them –
Apparently, this year, “record-breaking sunshine has encouraged midsummer butterflies to emerge unusually early, with dozens of species appearing a month before their usual flight season.” I wasn’t surprised to read this as our garden has been inundated with some beautiful butterfly species for a few months now.
We absolutely love butterflies here and they often inspire our arts and crafts. Nothing signals Summer like butterflies in the garden. Our annual sunflowers always attract lots of beautiful butterflies and the children never fail to get excited when they spot a pretty butterfly flying by.
I recently wrote about the activities that have kept my 5 year old son occupied during lockdown and next up are these Mosaic Kits.
When they tire of screen time and their school work and your daily walk becomes a chore rather than a pleasure, I have found these to be a really good activity.
We tried some pirate and space themed ones but of course there are all manner of themes to choose from. We got ours from Baker Ross. Each kit includes 4 different design card templates & self-adhesive foam pieces.
You simply stick the coloured self-adhesive foam tiles onto the pictures. Like the Hama Beads, they are another mindful activity and require good concentration and fine motor skills.
If you’re lucky, they may buy you five minutes peace, but should you get roped in to doing them too, they are surprisingly therapeutic!
Back in March, along with Mums and Dads the world over, I suddenly found myself needing to entertain my 5 year old son for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.
There have been a few activities during this lockdown period that have been huge hits with both him and us that have helped him constructively while away the hours away from screens!
First up were Hama Beads…
In those first few weeks of Lockdown, Hama Beads gave my son a real enjoyment and focus. He created endless designs either from themed kits or from the endless characters he realised he could find to copy online which pleased him no end!
A bit like a puzzle, Hama Beads require concentration and mindfulness. Apparently, when children use Hama Beads both sides of their brains are in action at the same time. It is a logical and creative activity, and therefore fantastic for developing young minds. Hama Beads also encourage children to control their fingers and train their hand-eye coordination as they move Hama Beads the correct way to be inserted on to a pegboard. Hama Beads will also help them learn to count, match colours and recognise geometric shapes. It also stimulates their imagination and improves their fine motor skills.
Take a look at some of our other favourite lockdown activities –
As a Mum and childminder, there are certain brands I find myself turning to time and time again. If I want to buy educational, long lasting, high quality games and resources there are certain brands that I know will always deliver on quality. Again, with Arts and Crafts supplies, there are certain brands that produce quality resources that will stimulate, interest and excite the children.
First up, Crayola is a brand that specializes in art supplies. It is probably a brand best known for its crayons, which we of course love but it produces a whole range of arts supplies that we have enjoyed over the years too…
Their first markers are fantastic for little ones and their very first mark making activities…
Prior to lockdown, the older kids were loving these scented pens…
These twistable crayons are fantastic and solve the issue of snapped crayons…
And as you know, we are great lovers of stickers here, fantastic for little ones developing their fine motor skills.