This time of year is full of transformations, temperatures rise to a more agreeable level (at least we hope they will) and we can begin to forget the dreadful weather of the last few months. Summer flowers cheer us up with their bright and cheerful colours. Rabbits, birds, butterflies and bees come out to play. Summer is a time for picnics, kite flying, carnivals and festivals.
It is a great time for children to come out to play and we should really make the most of these longer days. Here are a few ideas to add to your list of activities. We at the Playwork Register are sharing a few of our favourite ideas. Some of these have come from the ‘netmums‘ website.
You will need: glue or sticky tape; pipe cleaners; tissue paper or normal paper; wooden pegs; selection of felt tip pens and any other pieces of material to decorate your butterfly. To make the wings cut out some rectangles of different coloured tissue paper and fold like a concertina on the longest side. Then decorate them with coloured pens or pieces of material. You can then finish the body (a peg) by adding eyes and a mouth. To make the antennae cut two smallish lengths of pipe cleaner and stick down to the top of the peg. Finally open your peg and place your folded wings in the middle and ‘clamp’ down.
Cardboard box tractors
Summer is a busy time for farmers and this is a great activity for machine-mad boys and girls. By using a cardboard box and other craft materials they can have their very own tractor to decorate and play with. All you need is: a cardboard box; card; felt-tip pens; coloured paints; silver foil; sellotape; pipe cleaners (optional).
Fold the box out flat which will be the main body and decorate it. Then, draw four wheels on the other bits of card, two big ones and two smaller ones. The two smaller circles make the headlights and cover in foil for a realistic effect. You can also make a crank from card or a pipecleaner, which is also covered in foil. When the paint is dry stick all the accessories on to the box. Then push the box back into its box shape and there you have it a colourful tractor ready to get to work in the countryside!
Welly hurling is one of Britain’s most eccentric sports and everyone can join in, it’s great fun for all ages. All you need is a wellington boot and some open space. You can mark out a throwing line with anything that is around you, maybe some twigs or a jumper. Then the aim is to throw the welly as far as you can. The technique is similar to throwing the hammer in athletics (turning around first before letting go) or you can try other techniques.
Make a snail farm
This is a chance for children to spend a few days feeding and observing snails in the garden. All you need is a clear plastic bottle with its top for their home, and some sellotape and soil. You’ll also need some lettuce or a selection of garden weeds, such as dandelions, for them to eat and of course a snail or two from the garden. First of all cut a small door in the side of the bottle and make some air vents by carefully piercing the bottle. Half fill the bottle with damp soil and place your snails inside. Put some of the salad or weeds into the bottle, Put the bottle top on and seal up the door. Now observe your snails. How do they move? What do they seem to prefer eating? Have they made a snail trail inside the bottle? After a day or so the snails should be released where they were found.
Make your own Slip Slide
All you need is a plastic sheet, roughly between 3×8 meters and 3×30 meters or any size that is big enough to stay on. Roll out the plastic and weigh it down by something that won’t hurt if you hit it (sandbags are popular). Soak the slide along its full length with a hose pipe and keep the hose at the top so that you get continuous fresh water supply. Turn the hose off when you are not sliding on it, in order to conserve water.
For more summer play ideas visit netmums, Play England and Love Outdoor Play website.
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