Children’s Activity 13: Make a Mini Assault Course in Your Garden

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Making a mini assault course in your garden doesn’t require much space or equipment. In fact, part of the fun is being inventive with things you already own and turning them into an obstacle to be negotiated in the assault course. If you are short on space you could make the assault course have just a few sections but get your children to go through it forwards and then relay back. If you have a number of children playing you could time how long it takes for each of them to complete it. Set up a leader board and pin up each child’s time. When everyone has had a go, the child who completed it in the shortest time is the winner! This could be a great addition to a birthday party. Remember to cater the obstacles to the age of the child. For example, a toddler will need small, secure obstacles whereas older or taller children will be able to tackle bigger sections.

Here are some more ideas about how you could put together an assault course at home:

1. For extra difficulty get them to go through each part forwards and then do it walking backwards! Or you could have a circular assault course where obstacles are arranged in a circle. Time your children to see how many times they can get round it in two minutes.

2 Incorporate things you already have in your garden such as climbing frames, chairs or stepping stones. You can also get household items like blankets to make a low den that they have to crawl through or a bin that they need to throw a ball into.

3. The assault course doesn’t all have to be physical. How about hanging a maths challenge at a certain point in the course? They need to answer it correctly before continuing to the next part.

4. If it’s hot and sunny, why not incorporate a paddling pool into the assault course. Or, get them to charge through a point where they’re getting sprayed with a water pistol.

5. Add a theme to the assault course or a narrative to get their imagination going. If you’re not racing through the assault course you could turn it into a wild adventure through a dangerous forest where rubber snakes need to be fished out of the paddling pool before you can safely cross. You need to stick to the stepping stones or you crocodiles might surface to get you. At the end, they have to dig down to find a prize such as gold, chocolate coins!

Children’s Activity 14: Make Some Bread

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Baking bread is not only fun to do, it also teaches our children basic cookery skills and will give them a sense of pride to see the whole family enjoying something they have made. We particularly liked this recipe by Jamie Oliver. It’s easy to follow and easy to do. We think your children will particularly enjoy getting stuck in with kneading the dough.

Try using half wholemeal flour and half white flour for a more nutritious loaf. Have fun with making the dough into different shapes or turn it into little rolls that your children could have for their lunch. Other ingredients you could add are nuts and seeds, sundried tomatoes, rosemary, thyme or raisins. Once they’re cooked you could also lightly brush the top with melted butter and sprinkle poppy seeds on the top that will stick to the butter.

Children’s Activity 15: Make Breakfast in Bed for Your Parents

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If it’s your birthday coming up you could suggest that breakfast in bed would be a great birthday present! It means your children can do something nice for your birthday without breaking the bank. If your children are much younger, perhaps your partner could supervise the breakfast making. If they’re old enough they should be able to manage it themselves. The day before you could write any instructions for them such as how to make a cup of tea or coffee. To make it extra special they could pick out some flowers from the local florist to present on the tray with your breakfast.

This is something I remember doing when I was younger and how rewarding and enjoyable it was to see how happy it made my parents, so remember to give your children lots of praise so they feel good about doing nice things for you. Who knows, perhaps they’ll want to make you breakfast in bed more often!

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November 1 2012

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