Visit an Art Gallery
Many children have never been to an Art Gallery and there are several in Shanghai. Encourage your child to pick a favourite painting and then go home and try to paint in the style of the artist. Modern art is usually a winner for all abilities; one of my favourites is the work of Mark Rothko, colourful and easy to reproduce.
Make a Quiz
Children soak up knowledge and have information available at the touch of a keyboard. Encourage them to devise a quiz to test other members of the family. It might be capitals of the world, things we learned on holiday etc. Linking this to work in school means they are able to show off their knowledge. Then they can have some fun as the Quizmaster, awarding points for correct answers and imposing the rules. Children love that power!
Keep a diary
Particularly if travelling during the holidays, encourage your child to keep a diary and/or scrapbook of their holiday. Tickets, postcards, photos etc will all make it more interesting and fun. When they get back, some children enjoy making an exhibition about the country they visited to share. Starting a blog means that their experiences can be shared with friends as they travel and is a great way to encourage writing for a purpose.
Learn a new skill
How about hula hooping, or roller blading, or juggling, or ice skating? Even skipping or perfecting a forward roll, as many children have not learned. This is even more fun if Mum and Dad learn at the same time and parents act as role models, actively demonstrating resilience, perseverance and even good humour as they struggle to gain mastery.
Make a film
Filming is second nature to many children of this age and there are a range of ideas that can motivate them. They could make a film about their life, perhaps a TV advert, or create comedy sketches to make people laugh. Y5 and Y6 children can get technical with their new iPads and use inanimate objects, carefully moving them and stopping and starting the camera so they appear to be alive. Their film can then be admired by invited guests to a gala premiere event.
Finally…get active! Holidays should be all about spending time with your children and there is no better way than getting out and about (Air Quality permitting). Go for a bike ride together, go to a park, play sports, fly a kite, go swimming! All activities encourage a healthy active lifestyle for the future. Whatever activity you pick, have fun together. These are the moments you will treasure in the future!
Eleanor Jess, Head of Primary