26 Sep Keeping holiday boredom at bay
If there’s one question on the minds of every parent as the end of term looms, it’s how to keep the kids entertained over the school
We all want to make sure our littlies keep their young minds alert and engaged during the break – ideally with something active, creative and educational – but the reality is that many of us end up getting the guilts as our pint-sized humans spend way too much time developing square eyes in front of their devices. At the same time, we live in fear of those two dreaded words:
Our Uniting educators are experts at creating fun and educational activities that stretch brains and put smiles on little faces. Our vacation and before and after school care programs do more than give your child a place to socialise and learn when they’re not in school – we teach them skills for life.
Recently our entire learning team (covering preschool education, childcare, day care and vacation and before and after school care services) participated in professional development on ‘real-world’ STEM learning. STEM – which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – is an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to education that helps children and young people develop creative and critical thinking skills, that can be applied in a real-world context.
One way some of our programs apply the philosophy is through getting little investigators out into the great outdoors as part of a bush kindy program. During these regular excursions, children get the opportunity to have a change of scenery and see, smell and touch plants and natural surfaces, as well as feel and hear the breeze.
The good news is, that you can easily recreate this experience in your own backyard or at your local park with a self-directed ‘backyard treasure hunt’ activity that promotes discovery, curiosity and mindfulness – perfect for the school holidays.
We’ve made life easy with a free printable activity sheet that invites children to explore the outdoor environment as they hunt for ‘treasures’ including sticks, pebbles, feathers and leaves. With your help (or independently for older children), explorers consider questions including:
- What do my treasures feel like in my hand?
- Can I see any patterns or similarities?
- What can I hear around me?
- What can I feel on my skin or under my feet?
- Can I see anything that shouldn’t be here?
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