The summer always seems to be a long time coming. Yet, when it eventually arrives, it can be daunting for those parents who have to think about entertaining their little ones during the holidays (as well as trying to keep their creative and literacy skills alive) – all on a budget!
What better way to keep the children’s minds active – whilst making precious memories – than to create a summer scrapbook?
Scrapbooks not only help preserve memories for years to come, they’re also a fun and educational way for children to occupy those days when there is nothing planned or when the weather is inclement – a regular occurrence during the British summer!
Here are some of our top tips for making a super summer scrapbook!
Low key or lavish?
This depends on the children – there is no right or wrong and try and let them lead on this if possible – sometimes, ‘less is more’! Some will choose to have simple drawings (or scribbles!), others might use written captions (age dependent) and some will want to use physical mementos, such as digital photos, a ticket to an exhibition, cut-out pictures from an attraction leaflet – in fact, anything that reminds them of that particular day.
If you already have some days out planned, make sure you collect as much as you can from your trips. Postcards, photos, feathers, shells, straws, even sand. You will need lots of different things to be able to colour, decorate and stick as much as you like!
Make the pages really stand out!
The great thing about taking photos is that you can take hundreds but only need to print out the best ones. You could make a photo collage of your favourite snaps and add some colour by sticking coloured or shiny paper around it. The children can improvise by using bits of wrapping paper or even kitchen foil.
They can add texture by sticking leaves, twigs, grass or sand to the pages – anything that has been collected on their day. If the children love to paint, they could use a couple of pages to interpret their day out through their painting.
If they run out of things they have collected, they can use little bits from around the house, like buttons, fabric or colourful cut-outs from magazines. The list is endless – you can really let their imaginations run wild!
Scrapbooking can be such a fun and relaxing activity that most children love – the result of which will be a beautiful keepsake that they will treasure for years to come.
If you decide to embark on a summer scrapbook adventure, there are many ways in which you can make memories and collate content that won’t break the bank! Here are a few ideas – but above all…enjoy!
A day of cooking or baking
Let the children pick a recipe, then visit your local shops for the ingredients and cook something together that you can all enjoy eating. Cake baking always seems to be a firm favourite!
Pick your own (PYO) is a fun, less expensive (and almost always messy!) way to buy your fruit. Save pennies and find out where your local PYO farms are – you can even have a little competition to see who can pick the most fruit!
Have a movie day
Choose a couple of favourite films, get some popcorn (and hot chocolate if the weather isn’t great) grab the favourite teddies and blankets and put your feet up with the children.
Museums don’t need to be boring
Whether the children are interested in sports, animals, art or history, there is usually at least one free museum in the area, some of which will have interactive family-friendly activities during the holidays.
Den building and camping
Weather permitting, you can build your den outside. All you need are some boxes or sofa cushions, a few blankets, and a bit of imagination. If you have a tent, you could arrange a camping trip in your garden with the children for one night.
Hold your own garden races with games that don’t need much equipment…a sack race with pillowcases, a tug of war with a dressing gown belt! Jumping over boxes and under old blankets – you can let your imagination run wild!
Visit your local library
Local libraries are often under-used but can be a real blessing in the summer holidays. You can borrow audio books (great for long car journeys) and DVDs as well as normal books, and many libraries run a Summer Reading Challenge. You can also use the library to research free events in your local area.
As well as delving into the children’s dressing-up box, have a look in your own wardrobe and play dress-up with your old clothes. You can also use this as a recycling exercise by sorting through your clothes together, and taking to the charity shop or clothes bank the ones that you never wear and the little ones have grown out of.
Top tip for settings:
Being able to take their summer scrapbooks into nursery after the holidays also presents settings with a great opportunity for children of different cultures to be able to share some of their experiences with others. This is an excellent way of promoting the British Value of mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.