I’m pretty shocked to find that the summer holidays are almost over. I’ve been so busy and had such an amazing time with my children this summer that when my neighbour told me this morning that her children start back at school on Wednesday, I was caught unawares, because that means we’re back to play group and all our regular activities next week too. I’ve really quite enjoyed the freedom of following our own time table, and it’s given me real food for thought in terms of where I see us going in terms of education – but that’s a story for another day.
One of the things we did this summer was attend the launch of the Sainsbury’s Bumper Book of Summer book. This book is full of activities for kids aged 3-12 years. The activities have handy symbols to show the age of children who can participate, how long they take, and easy to follow step-by-step instructions.
While the book was written and launched with the summer holidays in mind, it’s not limited to the six weeks of school holidays. Many of the activities in it span seasons – things like treasure hunt, making a carton city, or making a bird bistro would be as relevant on a Saturday or at half-term as they are in summer. Because of the age range it is written for, we’ve only done a hand full of the activities from it this year, but it will go in the cupboard, ready for rainy days, and later on, when the children can do more things.
The book comes with over 100 stickers, a wall poster for planning activities, and for the craftily challenged, a DVD with step-by-step guides.
For parents who struggle to come up with ideas for thing to do with the children, it really is a lovely, handy, quick ‘flip reference’ and at a pretty good price – £5 for the book and an accompanying scrapbook.
Parents who spend a lot of time doing activities with their children already might find it a bit basic, but even I discovered some fun ideas from it – like making friendship bracelets, which we then did with friends who came around one day. We even borrowed the technique to make Truffula Tree Trunks in one of our Dr.Seuss week activities.
Have a look at www.boredombustingideas.co.uk for more on the book.
At the launch they took some of the activities from the book and the children were able to do them. For example there was an amazing face painter who did the most beautiful face painting I’ve ever seen.
Then the children we traced the children’s outlines and they decorated their me-monters (we forgot ours there!). They decorated cookies – an old favourite activity in our house – played in the beach sand, made shell photo frames, Amgave a weather forecast in the ‘news’ (a very cool box-turned-TV), did stickering, an obstacle course, and a host of other activities. It really was a lot of fun, so much so we barely noticed the rain. Ameli even got to hold the biggest snail I’d ever seen – an activity we’ve put down as ‘hold a scary monster’ for her National Trust 50 Things check list.
The launch was lovely and we had a great time, and Ameli has asked a few times if we could go back to London and do it again, and the book is well worth keeping on hand, especially since it will last for a number of years. I think it’s a particularly useful book for dads or grandparents who often feel intimidated by spending large chunks of time with little people, not knowing what to do with them. The book tells you how to set up, what you need, how long it will take – everything. An all round winner, especially for the price.