Fun ideas to share with your children
Make your own Goop!
Goop can be great fun for all the family and is a perfect rainy day activity. With only three ingredients this activity is sure to keep children busy learning and playing together.
What you will need
2 cups of water
2 packets of cornflour
What to do
Step 1. Mix the cornflour and water together in a large container or bowl
Step 2. Add and stir in the food colouring (have fun mixing and trying new colours)
Step 3. Mix all of the ingredients together
All you need is a tree
Introduce a love of nature with some good old-fashioned tree games. Create some fun childhood memories just by heading to your local park, or your own backyard, and introducing kids to some tree games. Here are a few ideas:
This game should be played in an area where there are plenty of trees. Players get into pairs and one person is blind-folded. They are then led to a specific tree by their partner. Here, the blindfolded ‘tree-hugger’ feels the tree and has to remember, the shape, texture and smell of the tree. Then they are taken back to the starting point, their blindfold is removed and they have to try and identify their tree.
Limber up and climb high
Climbing trees is one of the real joys of being a child. It is a great way to observe and appreciate nature and a great activity for children to do with their friends. The fun can be quickly ruined with a broken limb so here are a few tips to keep tree climbing safe:
- Always step on branches that are thick and strong enough to hold your weight
- Select safe footholds
- Don’t go higher than a set point (parents should set height restrictions).
- Always descend the tree facing the trunk.
Countdown to `five trees`
Similar to hide-and-seek, Five Trees is a game that needs to be played in an area that has at least five large trees in it. Each tree is given a number from one to five. The child who is ‘in’ stands with their back to the trees and counts to 20. Each of the other players hides behind a tree so that they cannot be seen. The player who is ‘in’ turns around and shouts out the number of a tree. Anyone hiding behind that tree is then ‘out’. Everyone else is safe. Then the child who is ‘in’ turns around and counts to 20 again, while those still playing run and hide behind a different tree. Continue this, until there is only one hider left!
Building a tree house for your kids is the perfect project to do as a family and will provide years of fun and happy memories. A tree house can be as simple or elaborate as you wish and provide endless hours of fun for children. You can build one high in the boughs of the tallest tree for older children or low to the ground with just one to two steps up for younger ones. The important thing is to start with a plan and get children involved every step of the way: picking a tree, designing the tree house, purchasing materials and then building it.
Berry picking is sweet-smelling, delicious fun! Take your children on a road trip to the nearest ‘pick-your-own strawberry farm’ and enjoy getting a little messy together. An affordable and fun way to teach children about where our food comes from and get them eating more fruit. Fresh air, sunshine and a belly full of berries will ensure your sticky fingered little farmers sleep soundly that night. The experience doesn’t end with the picking! Take your harvest home and create some delicious treats.
Don’t forget: Gumboots or old shoes, hats and sunscreen, water and baby wipes/face washers.
Get your feet wet (or pull on some gumboots!), make a stocking net from a wire coat hanger and head for a still pond or creek. Reach as far as you can into the pond and drag your net along the bottom where the little tadpoles are hiding. Lift your net half way out of the water to see if any tadpoles are splashing around in the bottom of the net. If you catch one, scoop it out with your hand and place it in a container filled with water from the pond.
If you want to take the tadpoles home, make sure when you fill the container you also scoop up lots of good plant matter from the bottom of the pond for the tadpoles to live off. As the tadpoles' legs begin to grow they will need a place to rest. Use some stones or gravel to make an island for them. Then wait and watch as the tadpoles grow into little frogs! Encourage your children to be kind to nature and return them to the pond in which you found them.
Children love to camp outside in the backyard. Backyard camping is a fun way to play and engage with the natural world and can lead to all sorts of imaginative games. It gives you the best of both worlds - the great outdoors close to the convenience of an indoor bathroom and a well-stocked kitchen.
Children love night time activities, especially if it means they get to stay up a little later. Enjoy the evening by taking turns in making up stories or playing shadow puppets with flashlights in the tent. Wander around the backyard with your flashlights looking for night time creatures. Listen for owls and other nocturnal animal sounds and search the trees for possums. Gaze at the stars and let the child’s imaginations run wild. What can they see?
What you will need: Tent, sleeping bags, flashlights and insect repellent.