Tag Archives: baking

Summer activities with little planning

I’ve been thinking a lot about the forthcoming Summer holidays. Usually I go with the flow but this year I wanted to arm myself with a handful of activities that I could pull together quickly when the first ‘I’m bored’ calls begin, so I thought you’d like to see it too…

In the garden:

Garden games – It takes very little to get some garden games ready. You can even get the kids involved with the planning and making.

Make some cardboard spots and mark them with different point values – who can score the most with 3 beanbags? Often the children think about different ways they can play the game and they get inventive. BUT you might need to be clear on rules at the very beginning to make this work.

Trampolining a great activity to help with calming down angry children, regulating hyper children, it’s a sensory experience too.

Water fights – get the water pistols out, buy cheap sponges and cut them up, even use old ketchup bottles as squirters. Good for cooling down on hot days. And it provides a nurturing opportunity when getting snug and dry after.

Invite their friends over – yes you might have to supply squash and sandwiches, but it’s a real eye opener watching your children interact with others. And if they’re in your garden, you get to keep an eye. Provide a few footballs, swingball, skipping ropes or pots of bubbles and even the most cool and streetwise 14 year old, will be running around popping those bubbles with the glee of a toddler!

In the house:

Cooking/baking –  yes this can strike fear into the heart of any parent, but it really is great fun for kids and as long as you don’t mind a bit of mess it can be a lovely bonding experience if you choose the right moment.
Whatever your skill level (and your childs) you can have fun with this…rice crispie cakes to homemade pitta bread pizzas, my son (after some sensory therapy) now loves squishing together homemade veggie burgers, and my youngest likes just spreading butter and jam on a piece of bread.

Movie time – grab a few DVDs, whether they’re old favourites or new surprises, make up a bowl of popcorn and bottles of drinks and chill together. This is a lovely way to snuggle, relax and re-charge.

Crafting – again, not everyone’s cup of tea, but even if you leave a pile of paper, some glue sticks and foam shapes on the kitchen table, the kids will enjoy it. You can supervise with a cup of tea whilst they stick each other together, I mean create wonderful pictures, and even if only for 20 minutes, it’s a fairly simple activity that can be enjoyed by various ages. (My children make loads of pictures, so armed with envelopes and stamps we send them as presents to members of the family and then they don’t clutter up my house too much).

Play – lots of our kids struggle to play. They might need some structure in which case you can put out some useful props and sit nearby for help and support…maybe leaving some paper plates out next to a pile of teddies (picnic anyone?), or a half built lego model that can be continued, even a pile of blankets and pegs so they can make their own den. Sometimes that initial prompt can be enough to get them going. For inspiration search ‘invitation to play’ on Pinterest.

Out of the house

Fruit picking – a simple way to get them out of the house but with an end purpose and a healthy snack (who doesn’t nibble a few strawberries whilst picking them?). You could (if you have the time and inclination) make a whole themed day of it…beginning with fruit themed crafts, ending with jam making, or cake decorating with fresh fruit?

Go to the park – Whether your kids are younger or older, the park is light relief. Swings, slides and climbing frames or even a field with a ball. Take a couple of drinks and some snackage, and get out for an hour or two. Arrange to meet friends there if you like, or take a picnic.

Nature trails and walking games – we make nature bingo sheets, just a very simple list or pictures of things they might see on a walk…ants, blue cars, post boxes, the bakery etc and they tick them off as we go. Sometimes we take a camera and they have to take a picture of each thing too. Other times, the bingo card lists leaves and objects they can bring home, so we take a bag or hat with us to fill. This works well with younger children, but you can adapt it to suit whatever age group. This has helped my hyper child focus on something…a big achievement.

Puddle jumping – even on the wettest days, and in fact especially on the wettest days you just need to get out. So pull on your wellies, grab a jacket and go out to jump in puddles. Have fun with your kids!
Before you go, put newspaper down by the door and a pile of towels and pyjamas on the side, so you can get dry and snuggly when you get home.

What do you think? Will you do some of these with your children? What else are you planning? Let us know.

Today’s guest post is from Hayley, a mum of 4 children, 2 of whom are adoptive. They are 15, 12, 7 and 6. Hayley’s children have lots of different diagnoses (ASD, SPD, Attachment problems, FASD and anxiety) between them which are displayed differently in each so she’s well used to juggling activities to suit all or most of their needs at the same time. We’re grateful to Hayley for sharing this post with us. 

Summer Sandpit 11/8/14

Welcome back to our third week of Summer Sandpit. We’re really enjoying seeing what you’re getting up to, and taking inspiration to create our own activities too.

This week – with our theme of cooking – I’m delighted to bring you a guest post from Raisie Bay

blogbadge photo badge_zpsf0b88074.jpgI’m Anne, the author of the blog www.raisiebay.com and I love cooking with my kids. I started a link­up weekly on my blog called Kids in the Kitchen to encourage others to share their easy recipes to make with the kids. I have three children, Star aged 8 years, Boo aged 7 years and the Little Man who is nearly 4. We have lots of fun and make lots of mess. Cooking with kids is not for the faint hearted, you have to let them get on with it and clean up afterwards…or better still get them to help you clean up! It’s never to early to learn how.

Sometimes we all cook together and sometimes I have just one or two helpers, I just ask and see who wants to help.

I want to encourage my children to cook more not only because it’s fun but to help them learn all about food preparation and what we eat. I don’t have a complete ban on junk food, and I’ll admit I’m the first to grab the chicken dippers or fish fingers after a busy day, but teaching my children about food will help them to choose healthier eating habits in the future. It’s also a great way of getting your children to eat things they wouldn’t normally eat. We all want them to eat more fruit and vegetables don’t we? Well, I’ve found that they are more likely to eat them if they have been put into food they have made themselves. Cooking also offers other learning activities like weighing and numbers, and the science of what happens to food when its mixed or cooked.

By sharing our journey of cooking together with other parents I’m hoping we can encourage them to have a go themselves. Also, it’s a great way of sharing recipes.

We have made lots of things together, like very simple but tasty mushroom quesadillas which are a favourite at lunch time in our house. You can see how we got on and find our recipe here.

We were really happy when we were sent some lovely Bahlsen biscuits to make things with, this post has a lovely video of the Little Man making delicious Chocolate Shortbread.

At Easter we made some lovely Hot Cross Buns which turned out really well.

As you can see, we have lots of fun and the children are learning all the time. We currently make more sweet things than savoury but we are working towards a more mixed menu. I’ll have them cooking Sunday lunch in no time!

It sounds like Anne and her family have loads of fun in the kitchen – many thanks for writing a post for us! And now it’s over to you – what cooking do you and your kids do? Does your child have a favourite recipe?  Do they help every day or just for specific recipes? Add your link below…