Kids know that play time is fun! Parents know that playing is also great for kids’ development physically and mentally and is a fantastic way to enjoy spending time with your children.

Persil recently produced a list of ‘33 Things To Do Before You’re 10’ to help encourage parents and children to try a broad range of play activities. With lives as busy as they are, we understand that it can be difficult to find time to seek out new activities and often the options might seem expensive, elaborate or time consuming. This list generally avoids these pitfalls.

Over the next 11 weeks we’re going to break this list down into manageable chunks for you to try out at home, with handy instructions to guide you. There will be three activities each week, which aside from being really good fun will also help to develop your children physically and creatively.

Why not let us know how you’re getting on when trying these out, or post any other activity ideas you love to share with your children.

Children’s Activity 1: Roll on your side down a grassy bank 

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This was voted the top activity in this list so is a ‘must do’. It also happens to be one of the simplest. All you need is a grassy slope, perhaps in a nearby nature reserve or park if you don’t have one in your own garden. You probably also need a bit of sunshine or, failing that, just a day without rain!

Combine this with a nice picnic and a game of Frisbee if you do need to head out to the park to do this one.

Also, there’s nothing to say that adults won’t enjoy this one too! Get stuck in!

Children’s Activity 2: Make Your Own Play Dough Mixture 

There’s no need to go out and buy expensive Play Dough when you can quickly and easily make it from things you probably have in the cupboard already. You can add different food colourings to different batches to get a good variety to play with. Maybe your children will want to get involved with making the dough too! Pastry cutters are a fun addition to use to make the dough into different shapes. Follow the simple recipe and instructions below to get started:

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Recipe:

250g Plain Flour
50g Table Salt
140ml Water
1-2 Tablespoons of Cooking Oil (i.e. Sunflower Oil)
Food Colouring (as needed)

Instructions: Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Knead the mixture until it is smooth. Add more flour or water as needed to get the right consistency (smooth, not sticky). Blend in the food colouring a bit at a time until you have the desired colour. Put the mixture in a food bag, in the fridge for 1 hour.

Children’s Activity 3: Find Frogspawn

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It doesn’t matter how old you get, the transformation of frogspawn to tadpole to frog is fascinating. Kids love the frogspawn because it’s wibbly and slimy, so why not teach them about this transformation at the same time!

Here at iKidz we want the frogs to have a long, happy and healthy life. Unfortunately frog numbers have declined in Britain because of loss of habitat and the spread of disease, so, instead of disturbing the frogspawn we would suggest tracking some down on a day out to your local nature reserve and having a good look!

To make it more hands on and fun for your children you could fish out some tadpoles using a jar to scoop them up. This way they can have a really close-up look. Be sure to put them back where you found them afterwards.

You and your children could also try to spot frogspawn and tadpoles at different stages in their development. The stages are written below. Tick off each one you manage to spot.

Frogspawn Checklist

1) A young egg – This will be in the frogspawn. Each little bit is an individual egg. A young egg will contain a black dot that isn’t moving and has no sign of a tadpole’s tail.

2) A egg that’s developing – The yolk/black dot in the middle splits into 2, then 4, then 8 until it looks a bit like a raspberry.

3) An egg that’s ready to hatch – The black dot in the middle will now look a bit like a tadpole and may be wiggling about

4) A young tadpole – This will have few or no features and look like a black blob with a tail.

5) A tadpole with legs – This will look like a tiny frog with a very long tail.

6) A young frog or froglet  – By this point you will see a small frog that still has a small remainder of a tail.

7) A frog – Can you spot a fully-grown frog as well?

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October 1 2012

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