One of the things I love about school holidays is the opportunity to think big about play. I aim to think of play, not only in sessions, but over days and weeks. Creating play environments is a perfect example of this because it starts with the building phase, then the play phase, and the play evolves with the environment. It’s wonderful to watch the kids play like this. The Summer days are long, so the children are particularly enjoy playing in the late afternoon, from 3.30 to about 6 pm.
Below is one of the school holiday activities the children enjoyed. We did it in two parts.
Part 1: Decorate an Outdoor Tree
Recently, the kids and I made handmade Christmas Tree decorations. As we finished each decoration, we hung them on the trees outside. The decorations looked pretty on the trees, so we left many of them there because they were cheap to make, and most decorations were made of relatively weather proof materials, for example, the pine cones, button wreath and chocolate case decorations. Spoons also make for a wonderful outdoor tree decoration; this is the spoon mobile we made last year: Fairy House or Pirate Trap.
This is a fun activity for kids in the lead up to Christmas. You don’t even have to make your own decorations: a box of cheap baubles work well too.
Part 2: Extend to a Fantasy Play Space
I’ve seen play space ideas pop up everywhere, like this one from Picklebums, and here at KleenexMums. I love the concept because it’s like making your own toys and is full of creative potential. The idea is to create a mini play environment with toys and items you have around the house. I’ve set out below an example on how we created a play environment.
1. Tree House
My son and I had previously painted a Santa House and we placed this between some branches to create the Tree House. A tree house can be made of a piece of wood, thick cardboard, painted or unpainted box, plastic container or anything else you can think of.
2. Fairy Food Cups
I attached mini patty cake cases on to a few leaves with craft glue. Later, while the kids were playing, I put cachous in. The kids thought it was such a fun surprise when they found them!
3. Fairy House Play Space
In a fruit box, we found a range of related items to create a fairy play space. It was the children’s idea to put pegs around the box. I pretty much gave them the concept and they ran with it. These are the materials we used:
- Piece of wood
- Wood chips
- Gift box
4. Set up
As the children played, they added toys, and other things like the bricks from the Rock Garden to the mix.
6. Packing up
Packing up wasn’t difficult. We left the outdoor tree decorations, packed up the mat and brought the toys, cushions and play space box inside. I wanted to make it easy to set up again in case the kids wanted to play the next day. In the morning, I found these two playing with the play box inside.
This sort of creative play takes a little effort to set up but I find the play lasts for days so is well worth it.
More School Holiday Ideas Posts
- Sunny Coast Kids: School Holiday Ideas
- KleenexMums School Holiday Activity Ideas
- 15 Adventurous Things To Do With Kids
- School Holiday Diary
- 10 School Holiday Ideas to do at home
- 10 Healthy School Holiday Activity Ideas
More Extended Play School Holiday Ideas