The school summer holidays are about having fun, taking a break from the daily routine, relaxing and making great family memories. The activities you choose can also have a positive impact on your child’s physical and mental health wellbeing.
Children’s charity, the Sunflower Trust, inspires you to use some traditional ideas that will help your children to thrive and build resilience and skills for life.
We all enjoyed climbing when we were young didn’t we? Whether it’s clambering up trees, enjoying tree top obstacle courses, using a climbing wall or scrambling over play park equipment, climbing is an activity with many benefits for a child’s development, including:
- Improving muscle strength and flexibility
- Helping with left/right brain integration (good for all areas of life from sports to learning)
- Great overall exercise
- Good for developing planning and problem solving skills
- Helping with co-ordination skills
Children just love building dens and then playing in them for hours on end, eating tea or snacks in them and even sleeping in them! This is a very flexible activity that they can do indoors or out. Den building is great for:
- Organisational skills
- Problem solving
- Developing creativity and imagination
- Learning to work as a team
- Using as a role play setting
Most parents worry about how much time children spend on screens. One of the issues is how screens might be affecting their eyesight. Taking part in activities such as bug hunting is a great way to ensure your child is using their eyes to focus in different ways as well as getting them outside into natural daylight and away from their computer or TV for a while. Of course, bug hunting is an educational experience as well, helping them to learn about nature and habitats. Older children might enjoy looking at the insects under a microscope or with a magnifying glass. Younger children will enjoy trying to create bug hotels in the garden to check back on daily for new guests!
This activity will become a summer long project with many benefits:
- Connecting them with nature
- Encouraging them to spend time outdoors
- Promoting an interest and understanding of food/nutrition/healthy eating
- Developing their nurturing skills and a sense of responsibility in looking after their plants
- Provides sensory stimulation and fine motor skill practice
Building an obstacle course
This activity has endless positive side effects as you can add in all sorts of exercises to help with your child’s co-ordination, fitness, stamina, balance, left and right brain co-ordination, eye and hand co-ordination, concentration, muscle strength and more. Ideas could include:
- Balance an item on head and walk a set distance
- Walk along a piece of string on the ground
- Stand on one leg for a set amount of time (make this harder by having to close their eyes)
- Throw a ball into a bucket
- Tap head and rub tummy
- Bunny hop a certain distance
- Star jumps
Also, encourage your child to set up their own obstacle course to develop their organisational and creative skills. They will no doubt enjoy challenging you to complete it!
An oversized bouncy ball will make a whole range of mundane exercises suddenly seem like a fun game.
- Gets them moving
- Improves core strength
- Improves posture and balance
- Improves co-ordination
- Improves concentration
- Provides a positive outlet for their energy
- Can be used as a wobbly chair for children who don’t like to sit still
- Can even be used for a silly game of giant catch in the garden!
Sunflower has supported hundreds of children who have needed something extra to improve their overall wellbeing. Alongside ensuring their physicality is as good as it can be, Sunflower teaches each child mindfulness by mastering their thinking and taking control of their own emotional state, thereby building resilience.
To find out more about Sunflower call: 01483 531498, or email: email@example.com