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  • Writer's pictureAnika

Activities for older children to do over the summer - keep them fit and connect with their history

Today I want to talk to you about some slightly different activities for children to do over the summer holidays. I don’t know about you, bit do you remember having that wonderful feeling of 6 full weeks stretching out in front of you and for you to do whatever you wanted as a child? (within reason of course!) And filling that time with a range of things – from just playing, to reading and writing to getting to know your grandparents more?

I remember spending long summers with my grandmother and being fascinated by her heritage and background. She was born into Nazi Germany and ended up escaping just before the Wall was built – with my mum and her siblings.

I also remember having a very strict (and wonderful) gymnastics teacher who always gave us a number of tasks to do over the summer so that we’d stay fit rather than having to build up all our stamina again after the holidays.

And finally, I remember a teacher once asking us to write a holiday journal with all the things we’d seen or done, or things that mattered most to us. Things we’d learnt, things that were hard, things that stayed with us and we wanted to share with the class after the summer. A bit like a scrap book and journal combined.

So that’s what I want to talk about today – 3 ways for children to journal or write in their holidays that will hopefully be so engaging that they don’t even realise they are writing. ;-)

1) Family History – interview your grandparents or other family member:

Your older child could interview their grandparents with a wonderful journal as a guide. It is a great way to get them to know each other better, understand their history but also preserve some precious stories for generations to come – captured in that wonderful innocent voice that children have.

We have a Life Journal with questions that cover Early Childhood all the way to later years with specific open questions that your child can use to interview their grandparents. You can find ours here but there are a whole host of journals and books similar to this online too, or in good, independent bookstores.

2) Have a fitness journal

The aim here is to make a note of any exercise or activities that you do throughout the day, each day of the holidays. I have found that when the kids get started they get really motivated, so will walk the stairs (and count them) rather than take the lift, or will want to do a bit more playing on the trampoline, or swim one more length, or other activities just so that they can add everything up in their book.

When I was little the gymnastics teacher would ‘mark’ each child’s book and let us know what activities were good for stamina, or building strength. This gave me a good understanding of what does what from a very early age. I remember my sister and I used to set ourselves (at the time) outrageous goals (like swim 500 lengths of the holiday pool before we head home) and it really motivated us to keep going and hit our goals even if we didn’t feel like it or it was raining!

I think I will do something similar for my kids this year too. And see how we go!

3) Write a journal or a scrap book or a book

This could be a whole host of things. It could be a piece of fiction that they just work on and create based on their imagination. Or it could be a short diary entry for each day based on what they did. Or it could be that the children write in their journal every few days with high lights of what they’ve experienced and you help them stick in tickets or film stubs or print off photos that they can include as well, alongside their description of what they did

I’ve found at a very basic level this works for younger children as well – I remember a year when we were in Scotland with my eldest and he had only just started to write. He would do one or two sentences and then stick in a leaf he’d found, or a ticket stub from the steam train we’d been on that day. It was a lovely activity to reflect on the holiday together and I still have the book today.

And if you really want to go to town there are some great websites out there (like Blurb or lulu) to upload their work and turn it into a printed copy (maybe that’s an incentive for them!?)

That’s all from me this week. Over the coming weeks I’ve decided to change things temporarily. Yesterday, we launched our Crowdfunding Campaign, that will be running for 5 weeks until Tuesday 13th September. The blogs over this period will be a mixture of topics around parenting and regular updates on how the Crowdfunding campaign is going, opportunities to get involved and updates on the rewards available.

I will also take a break from our Monday Night conversations until mid-September, so that I can focus on the Crowdfunding Campaign while it is live.

If you want to find out more about the Crowdfunding Campaign you can do so here. As most of you know, over the past 2 years I’ve been on a journey to create fun and unusual toys for children. To inspire creative play in children, as well as help parents find 5 minutes peace when they need it most. If you want to get involved and make a pledge, I'd be over the moon.

NO MATTER HOW BIG OR SMALL YOUR CONTRIBUTION, it will make a huge difference and put us one step closer to moving beyond pure made-to-order sales and supply the PlayTableCloths and DoodleCloths on a larger scale in independent Toy Stores around the country, as well as online.

Please pass this link and email on to any of your network that you might think would be interested, too.

Thank you for your support. It means the World to me.

Next week we’ll talk a bit more about things to teach children them and why this is great on many levels (as opposed to outsourcing teaching skills to others as we often do) – plus I will give you an update on how the first week of Crowdfunding has gone.

I hope you have a great rest of your week.

Let me know your comments and do share any topic suggestions that you might have. Simply email me at or respond to me on Instagram or FB at mummymadethis.

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