Be it the theatre, concerts, puppet shows or street performnces. Children are often passive when watching TV but will respond animately at a live show, aware that the performers can see and hear them. Kids also focus better on live shows as there aren’t competing entreatments and distractions of home.
Have a city day. Out and about in cafes, museums, shops and seeing the sights. Plan a day of fun for your child or if your kids are older, buy a public transport day pass and just go roving wherever the fancy takes you.
Visit unusual places. Widen your horizons by taking your children to some unusual places that aren’t on the standard kids’ itinerary : these might include antiques emporia, cemeteries, workshops, follies and other extraordinary buildings. Tell them stories and have some facts at your fingertips to bring these places alive in the imagination.
Break the routine. Families can end up doing roughly the same thing every day of the working week, so it’s worth sometimes trying to break the mould. You might have a picnic dinner on a rug in the garden or at the park., take the homework to a cafe, go for an evening swim or call a friend round on the spur of the moment. Little highlights will invigorate you and your kids.
Put them where they will cause the least damage, spread newspaper on the floor, drape them in old shirts and stick around to check that they don’t tramp paint about the place – but don’t stop them. They can paint on the floor or on a table, but an easel is most convinient. Choose one that also has a chalkboard side.
Channel your child’s desire to customise your walls and belongings. Buy some decorators, lining paper and unroll it across an entire room. Provide paints, felt tips, stickers, stencils and whatever else your child wants and leave them to it. The result may be a panorama , a series of cartoons, a banner or just a great scribbly mess, but the opportunity to deface such a huge expanse of plain paper is irresistible to most children. It’s also a fail safe activity for play dates.
How about you give your children your old camera? My dad used to give me his old camera to snap. I had no idea what I was doing at the time, but look where I ended up! You might find your children’s creativity there! It’s important that you let your children play like that!