We made it! The Summer Holidays are here and thoughts of home schooling feel a million miles away. We’re also lucky that the holidays have coincided with our playgrounds on Fairfield Park reopening, it has been wonderful to see the children smiling and hear their laughter whilst parents remain vigilant with the hand gel.
This month, we have a range of activities that you can do with your children indoors, outdoors and some suggestions of places locally which have reopened which you may like to visit.
Tape track: Children love pushing toy cars around the floor. Up the ante by giving them a roll of masking tape and helping them to make roads – it’s easily removed and doesn’t leave a mark.
Stop motion animation: Using playdough, junk modelling or Lego create your characters. Then using a camera (we use an old phone) take a photo of the model then move the model and take another photo, continue doing this until you have a sequence of movement through photos. Then stitch the photos together to create a stop motion video, you can do this by using the Google photos app.
Silly fashion show: Put on a fashion show and see who can put together the silliest outfit. Older children could even craft their own items from whatever they can find in the recycling box. Put on some music, mark out a catwalk and show your family your best strut. Remember to allocate someone as paparazzi because you will definitely want these photos for the memory box!
Marshmallow and spaghetti construction: An old classic which never fails to keep kids busy. You will need some marshmallows and spaghetti and then you can challenge each other to create something out of it. Perhaps a bridge? Or a tower which can hold an object? In the past, I’ve seen a rather impressive version of the Eiffel Tower!
Measure rainfall using a DIY rain gauge: Reuse a plastic bottle and cut the top quarter off and invert it to create a funnel. After that, use a ruler to mark increments up the side of the bottle. Then pop it outside in the rain to measure the rainfall. Can you predict how much rain will fall over a day of rain?
Star gazing: Empty the paddling pool, fill it with cushions, duvets and blankets and get snuggly under the stars. There are lots of free apps you can download to help you navigate the skies. Can you spot Venus? Or Jupiter?
Outdoor cinema: Again, load up that paddling pool with soft furnishings, then set up a laptop or device outside and watch a film together.
Splatter paint art: Lay some paper on the grass and fill some old spray bottles (we use cleaning ones which have been thoroughly washed out) with paint lightly diluted with water and then spray away at the paper to create some splatter art.
Standalone Farm: Easily accessible via a walk along the Greenway (footpath opposite entrance to Fairfield) or down the road via car. Standalone Farm reopened on 3rd August, tickets for a morning or an afternoon slot currently need to be booked in advance via their website and their website also features some useful FAQs which may be worth a read before you go.
Hitchin Lavender: Hitchin Lavender is now open and tickets can be booked in advance. Unfortunately, there’s no picking allowed this year and the play area, barn and museum are closed. But picnics are allowed, they also have refreshments available and the farm shop will be open.
Broadway Cinema: The cinema is due to reopen on 24 August and they are currently putting together a new programme for all to enjoy. Tickets will need to be purchased in advance and there will be more information released on their website in due course.
Wrest Park: Although the house will remain shut for the foreseeable, the gardens are open and a takeaway service from the café is now available. There is a free ‘Summer Explorer Quest’ taking place this year and you can download the trail guide from their website.
Need more ideas? Take a tip from a neighbour: other places recently mentioned on the Fairfield Family Forum Facebook group include Ashwell Springs, Baulk Woods, Oughtonhead Nature Reserve, Radwell Meadow and North Herts Museum.
These are just some of the activities you and your younger children could try this Summer. If you have any fantastic activity ideas of your own, please share them on our Facebook page.
Lucy Whittington has lived in Fairfield Park since June 2019 with her husband and two sons. She is a teacher at Fairfield Park Lower School.