founder of Sqooll, which supplies
monthly themed activity kits to time-
strapped parents. “It also helps to
inspire and entertain the children so
they don’t get frustrated or lose interest
in the activity,” she says.
Theming involves picking a topic
and planning activities and day trips
around it. They can be done daily,
weekly or monthly, or as long as the
child is interested. In school, your
children might be studying topics like
months of the year, festivals or the
solar system, and a certain amount
of the timetable will be allocated to
the theme. Subjects like science, art,
language and physical education
incorporate activities based on the
theme to help reinforce knowledge
acquisition. The same can be
accomplished at home.
Using themes gives days
structure, and days out to places you
might have visited a hundred times
can be rediscovered in a new way
when linked to the theme. Starting
with a day trip can help you identify
a theme. Follow your kids’ lead. If
you go to Ocean Park, for instance,
says Julie, watch if your child prefers
sharks or penguins, or cable cars
instead of aquariums. Then go to
the library and pick out both fiction
and non-fiction books on sharks,
if they liked them, and do an art
activity based around sharks. In the
pool, play the tag game sharks and
The beach, the outdoors and
water also lend themselves nicely to
summer themes. Even a trip to your
usual park can take on new excitement
when incorporating a theme like
nature. “Have them draw things they
might see and then go on a scavenger
hunt, or take pictures or videos of
things you find,” says Rachel Hunter,
a China-based educator and founder
of Sun Scholars, a site full of summery
activity ideas.
Rachel devised her 12-week
summer programme after fretting
Theme: Cool Down!
Summer is hot and sometimes thundery. For a slice of winter, take a trip
to an ice rink. It’s great exercise, but even if you just watch, it’s a chance to
talk temperatures and seasons.
A sweater!
At home, put ice cubes in the tub or in bowls, with or without
water, and watch kids play. They’ll chase the ice with their hands and
marvel as solids become liquid.
Make ice-lollies. Add up ingredients, measure quantities and
experience fractions.
Use grey or blue paper and get kids to dip two fingers in white paint.
Play some music while the kids “skate” their fingers across the paper to
make patterns. Or, they can use felt pens to make pictures and skate ice
cubes over the lines to blend the lines.
Summer 2013