A play will provide hours of fun, but it will also involve a large amount of learning
across all areas of the curriculum. For example
Allowing the children to choose their own story line and cast:
‘provide activities that encourage children to ask questions, seek answers, take
decisions and solve problems’ (Personal, social and emotional development)
‘encourage the children to enact stories and to use them as the basis for further
imaginative play’ (Communication Language and Literacy)
Designing the invites/programme on the computer
‘encourage children to show each other how to use ICT equipment’ (Knowledge and Understanding
of the world)
Casting of parts
‘Find ways of involving children so that they are all able to be active in ways that
interest them and match their health and ability’ (Physical Development)
Making props and scenery
‘Support children in thinking through their projects, making suggestions and offering
options’ (Creative Development)
‘Provide a range of boxes and materials for models and construction such as ‘dens’’
School holidays can be hard work for some childminders with more children to care
for over a wider age range. So how do you keep them all entertained on a limited
budget, especially if the weather is bad?
Here are a few ideas that have worked well for other childminders, that you might
like to try.
Turn your living room or play area into a theatre for the holidays. The children
help to ‘write’ a play. If the children are unable to read, then use pictures as
prompts for lines rather than words. It is best to use a simple story that all the
children are familiar with, for example ‘The three little pigs’ or ‘Goldilocks’.
Allow the children to cast the play themselves, encouraging them to think about the
role and the age/ability of the different children and help them to find or adapt
parts to suit.
Encourage the children to think about make up, costumes, props and scenery, and provide
resources for them to use. Some children may prefer to be more involved in the behind
the scenes work than ‘on the stage’ so ensure that this work is valued equally.
Lots of activities can be easily adapted to suit different age groups.
Icing biscuits is always popular and very cheap. A packet of Rich Tea or Digestives
can go a long way! The older children could be given the responsibility of making
the icing and giving it different colours. Supply a selection of different edible
bits that the children can use to decorate their biscuits. The younger children will
be happy to just pop things on, the older children normally take time in planning
how they want their finished biscuit to look and design patterns and faces. Make
enough so that the children have some to eat and some to take home for their family.
This may also include lighting and music. Older children may like to design invites
for the parents, tickets, posters or even programmes with a cast list! These can
be produced using craft materials or on a computer. Explain to the children how professional
actors and actresses spend weeks learning their lines and rehearsing before their
first performance and talk about dress rehearsals etc. On the day of the performance,
help the children to prepare refreshments for the interval and set up the ‘theatre’
ready for the parents.
“We did this every summer holiday and had so much fun! Even the little ones of 2
were involved in the production. The parents enjoyed seeing what the children had
been doing and it was a great way to involve them. I took lots of photographs to
record the event and the children loved looking at them and talking about the play
(and all the things that went wrong that made it so funny!)”
Other ideas along a similar theme are
TV Game Shows.
Provide the materials and resources for the children to make and host their own version
of popular TV game shows. The children will get so much fun out of the planning and
preparing of the show.
‘Raven’ could be simplified to small assault courses in the back garden or park and
the children can make paper feathers for their ‘lives’ and use tin foil around kitchen
roll tubes for the ‘rings’.
Older children may be able to adapt more adult programmes such as ‘Deal or no deal’,
perhaps involving the younger children in holding the boxes. (You might need a trip
to the shoe shop to collect some boxes.)
Interactive DVDs are now available to play in groups on the television, for example
Junior ‘Who wants to be a millionaire’
Playdough/salt dough/clay/fimo are excellent for mixed age groups. The little ones
will enjoy exploring the texture and making simple models, whereas the older children
will be able to make more detailed models/pots etc. to take home.
Sometimes older children actually enjoy playing with the ‘baby’ toys for a short
time. I have seen a group of Dads in their thirties have great fun timing each other
to see how quickly they can do a child’s shape sorter!
Don’t forget to ask the children what they would like to do this school holiday….use
their interests to plan activities and have a great week!
This website has been created for young people, teachers and parents. It's packed
full of information about the 2012 Olympic Games