With another school term almost over and the Easter break looming, you may already be thinking about what you will do with the children during the hols. It may be that you have already have a holiday planned, or that you have scheduled plenty of activities to keep yourself sane and the children out of trouble. On the other hand, perhaps your holiday plans are like mine this time… dependent on the mood and the weather. If this is the case, it can be a good idea to have a handful of activities up your sleeve (or on the pinboard). A varied mix of indoor and outdoor activities for the Easter Holidays is best as you never really know at this (or indeed any) time of the year in the UK what the weather holds in store on any given day.
I am sure a quick Google search will lead you to heaps of craft projects involving eggs and chickens and other good things. In fact, you may already have a little book of Easter activities and I am thinking that your brood are more than likely to return home on the last day of term with painted eggs in paper baskets and perhaps something that involves a few stray feathers, so I am proposing a variety of different creative activities to engage and connect with your family.
1. Go out chalking.
Chalks are cheap and now come in a wide variety of sizes and colours. Remember what fun it was chalking out on the pavement as a kid? It may be that your children are quite happy drawing on the pavement freely, but it is a lovely opportunity to get down on your hands and knees and join in with them. Draw a shape and ask your child to go next and turn it into something, then ask your child to draw a shape for you to transform. Encourage wild imaginings. Leave a trail around your garden, down your road or all over your local community.
2. Play noughts and crosses in the woods or park.
Noughts and crosses is one of the simplest games to play on paper, but much more fun to collect 4 sticks and 8 stones (4 each in two different colours) and play with them. On the beach, you could substitute your stones for different types of shell and in Autumn, use conkers. For another twist on the game, use just three stones each and on your turn, move one of your stones, either horizontally or diagonally, into one of the three remaining empty spaces, repeating until someone gets their three stones in a row and wins.
3. Create and capture memories.
Fed up of being The Entertainer? Get the children to plan a day on a budget. Ask them to decide where you go, what you do and encourage them to take photographs of the best bits to print out and keep as memories. For small children, decisions could be as simple as whether you turn left or right when you walk out the door and at every junction, or you could give them the freedom to plot something more adventurous in advance.
4. Make a newspaper or magazine.
Work with your child to create a newspaper or magazine with images and articles on your holiday activities. Tailor content according to age and encourage them to choose the content. You could interview each other, include photographs, drawings, articles and create your own word-searches, crosswords, puzzles and quizzes. Alternatively, encourage siblings, friends or cousins to create magazines for each other on a favourite subject… it could be a band, breed of animal or another interest. My brother and I used to spend days making magazines for each other before going on holiday, only swopping our creations on the morning of travel, the contents keeping us interested and engaged for ages in the back of the car.
5. Make your own kite and fly it.
The internet is an amazing resource for all sorts of patterns, ideas and projects. YouTube has some fabulous videos on how to make a kite or you can find simple written instructions on making your own kite here. Instructions for a non-glue kite for tiny tots using recycled plastic bags can be found here. Alternatively, you could invent your own design. When done and dried, take your kite up to the top of a hill or a deserted beach or field, far away from any trees or electricity lines and fly it. Flying a kite is a skill in itself, so take turns at guiding, launching and untangling.
6. Create an indoor garden.
Plastic supermarket packaging materials or old baking trays filled with soil make brilliant bases for miniature gardens that would brighten any window sill. Cress seeds are readily available in packets and grow quickly on damp cotton wool, so think about including something edible in your garden or make a little garden in which everything is recycled… from paper flowers to plastic bottle-lid ponds.
7. Make wild art.
If your outdoor activities are stuck in a rut of cycling the same route or visiting a familiar playground, take a different path on your walk through the park or woods this week and gather sticks, stones and fallen branches as you go along. Find or clear a space and use the materials you have collected to make an image. You can make it as BIG as you like or make a series of pieces as a mini art trail.
8. Go indoor camping.
If it is still too cold to pack up the tent and head to the seaside, set up camp in the living room for the night. Building your camp can be a whole creative activity in itself… gather cushions and blankets, then construct your tent using sheets and pegs or throw a massive sheet over the dining table and create a fabulous cosy nest inside and read stories in there by torchlight.
I hope these ideas spark some of your own… please share them in the comments below. May your Easter be full of fun and chocolate and may you remember what it was like to be a kid again. Hey, I know I said no eggs, but when you’ve done all of the egg-free activities above, why not get your children to make an Easter Egg Hunt just for you? Kids take great pleasure in seeing their family have fun… especially if they have created it. EnJOY!
To receive regular tips on living a more joyful life with gratitude and creativity, sign up for my mailing list.