As the English weather is slowly perking up, the thought of outdoor activities is very appealing. Here at Advance With Us Childminding, we have a few ideas to share with you about how to keep your children entertained. The best part is, all activities are free, or at least, affordable, and many are educational too!
Make a bug hotel:
What’s a bug hotel? Well, it’s a man-made micro-environment for bugs and the simplest and most cost effective way to get started is to simply use a paper cup. This activity is particularly good as even young children can take part. So, start off by decorating the cup with paint, glitter, coloured paper. Using a biodegradable cup would mean no impact on the environment! Don’t forget to name your bug hotel! Once all dried up, fill the cup with twigs, short bamboo sticks, leaves and moss. Make sure that you fill it quite full, but not to densely so that there’s enough space for the bugs to crawl around. Bamboo is particularly good for bees and ladybirds. Finally, it is ready to be hung in a tree of your choice. Once guests start arriving at their lodging, many are the opportunities to identify them. Here again, this is an excellent opportunity to devise an observation file.
Encouraging your children to plant, water and grow plants is an engaging and fun way to learn. There are many easy to use seeds available in local supermarkets, gardening centres or online. Cress is an easy choice as it both grow really quickly and your children will be able to make their own observations. Once you’ve started, what is stopping you? What about encouraging your children to grow other fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet peas and strawberries and allow them to see all the hard work that goes into putting fruit and veg on our plates? A good follow-up activity would be writing up instructions for growing plants and even compiling the plants different stages of growth in a leaflet.
Make a pond:
Have you thought about how you could support the wildlife in your local area? Well, here is a simple way, build a pond! All you will need is an old washing up dish bowl or large plastic container. First, dig a hole in the soil large enough to accommodate your bowl or container. Then, place it in the hole so that the edges are flush with the ground. After, place a few stones at the bottom to help animals which may fall in by accident so they can climb out. And finally, pour rainwater if you have any and pond plants. And, voilà!
There are plenty opportunities to enjoy a night of stargazing. As well as learning about constellations, we love that the night sky can lead to conversations about space and the planets. You may even be lucky enough to see a shooting star! Whilst watching the stars, you could ask your kids to draw what they see. This ultimately makes for a relaxing late-night activity that your children will absolutely love! We recommend a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows too! A follow up activity could involve writing a small solar system fact file including the pictures children have drawn of course!
We love the idea of creating a time capsule for your children to look back on later. This is a small box size that can be buried in your garden or just hidden in a storage or attic until a later date. Items you could put in the box could include family memories, birthday cards, pictures and drawings, favourite toys, newspaper, secret diaries, pieces of school work the children are most proud of. Whatever you decide to include in the time capsule, it is sure to bring excitement later on and show maybe parts of themselves they had forgotten about!
I hope you found some interesting ideas for entertaining your children in my blog and encourage you to share any pictures of you taking part in the above activities to me so we can see all the fun you are having. Stay tuned for further blogs from Advance With Us Childminding. You can contact me on 07958 457 085 whether you want to discuss your ideas to keep children busy, childcare needs or simply want to come and view my beautiful childminding setting.
Hope you enjoy!