More desserts...

 

Decorate a room

Holiday times present a perfect opportunity to decorate that room you've been meaning to finish and children love to help - especially when painting's involved. Ask them to help you select colours, lay out the sheets and paint the colour onto the walls. Once the job is done, they'll like nothing more than showing guests their handiwork...

Sculptures

Make use of all those used boxes and containers by encouraging your child to create something unique. You could give them scissors, glue and paint and set them a theme (robots, rockets and princess castles are usually popular) or simply let their imagination run wild and get them to come up with something totally individual.

Collages

You could ask your child to make a collage out of items they've collected from the garden/days out or give them recycled card, paper and materials to create their very own masterpiece. Another easy way to ensure lots of fun without a penny in sight.

Painting

Indoors or out, painting big pieces of paper is a fun way to spend an hour or too. You could pencil in some faint shapes for them to colour in or leave them to create their own designs. If they like it enough, you could even use it as a mural for their bedroom wall. 

Stick names

Collect little sticks in the park and help your child make the letters of their name. You could mount them onto card and use them as a door sign for their bedrooms or attach them to string and hang them in their room.

Make a pirate ship

Build a pretend pirate ship in the garden from chairs, blankets, plank of wood, homemade pirate flag and cannons made from old wine cartons and plastic balls.... with a bit of imagination the possibilities are endless.

Build a tent

Tents are inspirational places for role-play and imaginative activities and the good news is you don't need the fully-fledged camping variety to make it work. Simply stand four chairs together and use sheets and blankets to make the roof, door and floor. If you have enough space, you could even use tables, stools and other furniture to create little rooms and sections inside.

Make a collection bag

Give your child a bag and ask them to collect things on their way. Whether it's grass and soil from the back garden or sand and pebbles from the local beach, they'll enjoy exploring their surroundings and trying to find unusual, interesting items to put in their bag.

Making play-doh

Children will adore making play dough and they will have fun exploring different food colourings to give the dough that lovely vibrant colour. All you need to do is mix together 1 cup of plain flour, half a cup of salt and 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar, then add a cup of water and mix until smooth. Add a dash of food colouring followed by 2 tablespoons of oil and cook on a medium heat, stirring constantly until the dough forms a ball. Non-toxic, cheap and easy.

Home sports day

Invite other parents and their kids around for your own little sports afternoon. You could set the activities out on a chalk board and make home made trophies/medals from card and papier mache. It's a lovely social idea and a great way to boost confidence and have fun. Some home made pizzas or snacks will add to the fun. Think sack race, egg and spoon race, mad relay (see above), three legged race – the oldies are the goodies!

Galleries

Many cities have free galleries open to the public. Depending on your child's age, they pose a perfect opportunity to teach them about art, photography and the whole notion of creativity. There are often kids classes and talks designed for children so it's worth checking your local museums page, local events or signing up for the galleries newsletter to ensure you know of any up-coming events.