Friday, 3 July 2015

Creative Things to Do with Your Kids This Summer

Blog 26

With the start of the summer break, many parents might be looking for activities for their kids. If you are one of these parents, this blog is for you.

Even if you take a week or two for your family vacation, there is still lots of time for activities to do at home, especially if your kids do not attend day camps.

As an artist and instructor, I always encourage others to increase the creativity in their lives. Here are some suggestions on things to do during the summer. As I live in the Ottawa area, I will make some recommendations that are specific for the area, but I am sure your area will offer similar venues.

If you have artistic kids, you might consider going with them to the National Art Gallery which offers lots of kid-friendly activities. They make looking at the artworks in the gallery lots of fun and encourage the kids to create their own masterpieces. The Artissimo program runs from 11am to 4pm on weekends and holidays, as well as daily in July and August. For more details, please go to

Another great option is the Canadian Children's Museum in Gatineau where your kids can travel the world through exhibitions, props, costumes and hands-on activities. It also has a fantastic outdoor park. For more information, please go to

These are only a few recommendations, and there are many more possibilities to choose from. Almost all family-oriented museums offer activities for kids where they can build or recreate something they saw. However, you do not necessarily have to leave your house for a fun day.

Depending on the weather and your space, you can either set a camp up in your backyard or in an area of your home. If you do not have a tent, a table or even two stable chairs covered in sheets can do the trick. Have a picnic, and read or tell your favourite stories. You can also lie on a blanket in front of your tent and watch the clouds or the stars looking for shapes. Later, you can draw or paint a picture of what you saw.

Most kids love to play dress-up. Whether you organize a pirate day, a princess tea party, or recreate a historical area, bring out the costumes, prepare some food for the occasion, and your kids will not only create their own story but also play a main part in it.

Play “Restaurant” by encouraging your kids to participate in creating a menu, order pads, and definitely by having them participate in the preparation of some easy meals. Guten Appetit!

On a rainy day, setting up different games will definitely lift up the spirits. Pictionary is a great game to increase creativity and good for laughs. Have you ever considered creating your own game board? The kids could get inspired by a game they love and create their own version on a sturdy cardboard. Finally, they can make the rules.

At the beginning of the summer, you can also encourage your kids to create a vision board of things they would like to do during their holidays. Magazines, travel catalogues, combined with markers and crayons will encourage everyone to create their own wish list of activities.

At the end of the summer, you could pick photos of some special moments of your holidays and put together a scrapbook to keep alive all the beautiful memories.

These are just some suggestions. I would like to hear if you and your children have some special summer activities that everyone is excited about. Just remember, being creative does not mean that you have to draw or paint. You can build something, make music, create a new recipe, try out a new craft, or even write a short story or a poem. Whatever you do, I hope you will keep your electronics out of your hand for a while and enjoy the fun of creating.

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