All children need the odd TV-free day during the long Summer holidays, (says the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence), or at least a two hour limit on ogling their iPad, smartphone, DS et al.
If you’re chicken about going cold turkey, fear not. Here are Bedruthan’s ideas for a fun, switched-off summer holiday of simple pleasures.
- Devise a play together, then act it out. Depending on the age and enthusiasm of your children, you can get them to write a little script or just improvise on the spot. Kids of all ages instinctively find parodies of well-known stories hilarious, so you could try doing a send-up of Cinderella or Frozen. Give them free license to get out every pillow, blanket, sofa cushion, cardboard box, clothes airer, ironing board or chair in the house to build the biggest den ever.
- Design your own outdoor treasure hunt and remind them of the magical real world that exists beyond their oft over-pixelated, computer-generated universe. Draw up a list of things for them to tick off as they find – dandelions, a butterfly or a smooth stone, say, for younger kids or a four leaf clover, something symmetrical or warmed by the sun for older ones – then head to your nearest park, woods or playground. Make sure you have some (non-electronic) prizes on hand to reward them for their efforts.
- Gather up some pens, paper, card, scissors and glue and plenty of magazines with pictures in and make a scrap or story book. You can assign a theme such as ‘All About Me’, ‘My Favourite Things’, or ‘When I grow up…’ Get them to design a book cover and even come up with their own book title.
- Go night walking together. Take a torch each and head out after dark for an exciting mission. Take older children to the local park and play hide and seek by moonlight. For little ones, simply walking familiar streets at dusk can be super exciting.
- Go for a leisurely ramble, collect some flattish rocks and make some alphabet pebbles. Cut out letters from magazines and newspapers, then glue and varnish them on, or paint them yourselves. Have some fun making words and sentences, and if they make their names they look great in a box frame hung on the wall.