Get Your Child Interested in a School Holiday Project
Summer holidays can seemingly drag on forever, and many parents are tired of watching their offspring do little more than sit on the settee watching telly, or playing computer games. Thinking up endless holiday activities to keep children entertained, however, can be every parent’s worst nightmare.
That’s why getting your children involved in a school holiday project – especially one that can be worked on throughout the summer – is such a brilliant idea. Not only will your kids be kept busy, but they’ll learn something as well, and might even get school credit.
Most primary schools, and some secondary schools, encourage children to work on projects during the summer months, whether they are literary, crafty, arty or just for fun. Why not show some of these ideas to your kids, depending on their age, concentration levels and personal interests?
Writing ProjectsEven reception and nursery-age children who are just learning to write can benefit from these ideas, which teach core learning skills and are also great fun!
- Holiday Journal. The best journals are made from individual sheets of A4 paper, put in plastic pockets and then assembled together in a binder - allowing children to "start from scratch" if they mess up. Have your children collect “souvenirs” such as cinema ticket stubs and photos, then draw pictures and write captions underneath. They can prepare one page a day, one a week, or whenever something fun happens throughout the summer.
- A Novel Idea. Buy a cheap notebook or just get a collection of typing paper together. Help your child think of a topic and encourage them to start writing their first novel, letting their imagination guide them. Small children can rely more on illustrations than text.
- Alphabet Soup. Great for little ones. Have them write one letter of the alphabet on 26 pieces of paper, then let them take their time thinking of words, phrases or ideas that begin with that letter. They later can illustrate their “book” and spend time colouring it in. Concentrate on just one letter a day, making this a fun, scheduled morning activity.
Getting crafty is something most children love, no matter how big or how small…
- Papier Mache Puppets. Mix one ½ cup flour with enough cold water to result in a smooth, creamy mixture. Boil on low for five minutes, stirring constantly, then cool (add more cold water if needed) and add peppermint oil to stop mixture from spoiling. Using strips of newspaper, use this “paste” to completely cover a balloon head. Let dry and paint. Decorate and add cloth body, if wanted (use a sock). Create a puppet family, write a script and you’ve got a project worthy to show any teacher.
- Corn, Seed, Pasta and Eggshell Mosaics. Draw a simple animal, fruit or vegetable picture to begin with, then use glue to stick on pieces of dried corn, seeds, dried pasta and crushed eggshells. Older children can make complete mosaic landscapes using simple kitchen staples. They look a lot more complicated than they actually are!
Get your children involved in projects that require a bit of sleuthing and a bit of legwork. The rewards are more than worth the effort…
- Make Your Own Museum. Take the kids out to a fun afternoon at the museum, making sure they take pencils and sketchpads with them. When you get home, look up the paintings they’ve seen at the museum on the Internet, so they can better familiarise themselves with the different styles. Then have them paint or draw their own pictures in the same style, be it Picasso, Monet or Salvador Dali. Fill up a notebook with their art.
- Cheers for Charity. Call up a local hospital or nursing home and find one that welcomes young visitors. Have your children prepare biscuits or a cake, get a talent act ready, or bring their favourite books to read to the residents. Encourage them to keep a journal of their activities to show their teacher when they return to school. They can even interview an elderly person or people and write about their lives to show their class.
- Fun Family Tree. If visiting relatives is on your list of summer activities – or even if it isn’t – make the most of family connections by teaching your children about family trees. Once your child has collected the right information about who’s who, let them design an elaborate tree to show off their heritage to everyone. Look online for inspiration, and they can make something to treasure for years to come.
Making the Holidays Fun
School holidays don’t have to be boring, and neither do they have to involve spending loads of money. With a little energy and a lot of imagination, your kids can make and design innovative and interesting school holiday projects that are both fun and educational. So let’s get started!