School Holiday Play Tools

As happens at the end of every term, Ethan is careering at full speed towards the wall of mental exhaustion, I’m hoping he will last the week so meltdowns can occur safely behind doors (fingers crossed x).  He is ready for the holidays, and I’m trying to be!

Once kids get used to having their toy or tech focused play objects removed at intervals, imaginative and ACTIVE play will gradually become easier and more natural – as it should be!  This is something I think is so important to kids; how often do they play without a very specific ‘guiding’ principal?  Creating imaginative active play without the aids of modern toys is a skill that is fast getting lost in the toy aisles and app stores.

I have thought carefully about these items which are all inexpensive and can be re-purposed in a number of different ways.  Importantly, they all lend themselves to active play and are wide open for kids and caregivers to interpret in a multiplicity of scenarios.

  1. Skipping rope | Tug of war, handy for tying up prisoners, actual skipping!
  2. Sidewalk chalk | Essential for hopscotch, drawing the Four Square, handball, driveway netball/basketball  courts
  3. DIY outdoor bowling set | Fun for little guys and big kids, mix some paint with water swish around in plastic bottle, drain excess and leave to dry.  Put a little sand/rocks in the bottom so they stand easily and voila!
  4. Multiple balls | Must haves.  Essential for backyard sport, ball tag, fun relays
  5. Elastics | Have you forgotten how many hours we spent playing elastics as little girls?  2, 4, 6, 8 in the middle out the gate…..
  6. Hula hoops | I spotted these at the $2 shop last week, perfect for makeshift goal hoops, ‘safe’ territory, races rolling the hoops
  7. “Adventuring Tools” / Scavenger Hunts, you could create an on-the-fly scavenger hunt in ANY location, speed it up with a timed version to get them really moving
  8. Large cardboard box |  Can be used to create a hut or home base, or as a target for shooting balls into or hoops around

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Melissa

I live in rural Auckland, New Zealand. Two boys, one big, one not so big and 2 boy dogs belong to me and I them. I love Coca Cola in all of its sugar-less forms and I love you internet. I take way too many pictures of my kids and collect them all here. This is what I am doing when I should be cleaning or cooking or doing other 'useful' things.