Kingston Summer Holiday Play-Along: Getting Started

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So. Summer holidays.

Perhaps you are looking at this endless stretch of time with mixed feelings.

Perhaps, like me, you have an over-active imagination and a brain full of plans, brimming over with fun ideas for games to play and crafts to make – but perhaps your body, like mine, is saying ‘sod off, I just want to veg on the sofa with Nick Jr on all day’. (I’m sorry, CBeebies, we have switched allegiance. It was Peppa who lured us over and Dora who made us stay, that wily minx).

OR perhaps you have the will and the energy to do things with your children, but you have run out of ideas.

Whatever the case may be, I would like to invite you to play along with our Kingston Summer of Fun. Think of it as an online summer camp, where I provide the ideas and you can choose to do them with your children – or not.

This is where we start:

I decided last week that I did not want to get to 2 September, the eve of the Boy’s first day at Big School, and look back with regret at weeks that had flown by too fast, frittered away in front of the TV or in the supermarket getting more bananas. So I sat down with the kids and we made the Summer Fun Box. The idea is that every day, depending on the weather, the kids could pull out one card from the sunny or the rainy side of the box and it would have something fun (or helpful) on it that we would then do.

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I committed in my mind to always saying yes, whatever it said on the card. Therefore, the activities had to meet certain criteria:

1. They must be limited to about half an hour of adult involvement. Free independent play before/during/afterwards is obviously not just okay but encouraged! But they had to be things that I could play-and-walk-away from after an acceptable amount of time, just in case I’d had a very bad night’s sleep.

2. It had to be possible to do them in the house or garden. No outings, because some days are just not suitable for day trips, and then I might have had to say no.

3. All the required materials must already be in the house. If an activity requires a trip to Hobbycraft before it can be completed then it might never happen.

We cut up 24 blue cards and drew rain clouds on them and 24 yellow cards which the Boy decorated with jolly suns. I wrote a different activity on each card. I’d made a list the night before, but the Boy came up with more ideas which we added to the remaining cards.

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Then we took a small empty box, inserted a bit of cardboard in the middle to divide it into two compartments, and did some cutting and sticking to decorate the outside.

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As you can see, we made good use of an IKEA catalogue and stuck “indoor” things on one side (like toys and craft materials) and used some redundant (*sob*) holiday brochures to decorate the other side with sunny outdoorsy things.

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As today was our first official day of the holidays, the first sunny card was selected and it was a big hit with the children. Join me on Facebook for daily activity updates/ideas, or wait for next week for a weekly digest! Come and Play along with us!

DISCLAIMER: Some days I am sure the summer of fun will still be hijacked by Nick Jr and sofa naps… That is okay too. Just make a box for yourself, cut up 24 cards, write “sofa nap” on each one and put them in the box. Draw out a card whenever necessary.


5 responses

  1. What a brilliant idea! I definitely want to say ‘yes’ to my kids more often, but am concerned about how that might actually pan out with my increased workload. Minimal adult involvement is genius!

    • That is partly why I did the box: I wanted to make sure I was in control of what I was saying yes to! So I only put things in that I knew I;d be happy to do/facilitate. And you can make it age appropriate of course, your box would have very different things to mine I’m sure…

  2. Pingback: It wasn’t sofa naps, it was hospital: First Week of Play-Along | Secrets of the Sandpit

  3. Pingback: Shock discovery: children are actual people | Secrets of the Sandpit

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