This darling image via Flickr
Here’s a special post dedicated to all you wonderful vintage mummies out there. Especially those of you who, like me, are in the midst of school holidays and the challenges that brings. There are always loads of general holiday activities for kids at these times, but I thought I’d share with you some of the activities I’ve organised for my girls that have a bit of a vintage bent.
You can scale the complexity of these options up or down depending on the age range of your own mini me’s.
The Art Gallery -
Most cities have art galleries with free or cheap entry for children. Do a little research into which exhibitions are currently showing and pick the one the most sparks your imagination. Spend some time a day or two before hand planning out your art gallery adventure together. Look at some of the images online and plan some thematic outfits for them, because after all, you won’t get away with dressing them like 19th century urchins or mini Monets very often.
Pack snacks, drinks, drawing pads and crayons. Then when you break for lunch, let them start drawing their own versions of the art they’ve seen. Give them a wall at home to tack their new art works to and invite some friends or family around for their gallery show.
High Tea -
Yes, there are venues that are running High Tea specifically for children, but you may not want to go to that expense. Hosting your own proper High Tea party, even if it’s just the two of you, can be a blast. Break out a cute cloth, the cake stands and make up your own finger sandwiches – even if they do contain Nutella. But most importantly, dress for tea.
Here’s where party dresses, petticoats, tiaras and reams of faux pearls come into their own. Add in a few nome de plumes, creative back stories (‘I was a Baroness, I just gave up my title.’) and you’ve got yourself one memory worthy of the Lifetime Chanel.
Treasure Hunting -
No complicated maps involved in these hunts. Just a child sized handbag (or backpack), a little pocket money, a calculator (for mum/dad) and a list of the four top op shops or thrift stores in your town. Okay, I’ll admit this one is a little sneaky as it means you can do your own treasure hunting while they do theirs, but that’s half the fun.
Giving a child a small amount of money, freedom of choice and the chance to start learning about their finite resources, is fun and educational. (Gulp) This is one activity that helps to shape the vintage treasure hunters of tomorrow.
Yes this may be too advanced for the very young, but there is a way to start developing those important sewing skills. Choose an image that appeals to your child, and find a line drawing version somewhere online. Google Images is fantastic for finding basic clipart for these sorts of projects. Print out and paste this onto some card. Following the lines, use a hole punch or skewer to perforate holes along the lines, keeping some space to make sure it doesn’t tear. Giving kids a needle at this point might not be the best choice, but there’s another good option. An elastic threader! The ‘point’ is actually a dull ball so it doesn’t prick, but it has an eye opening at the other end. Using different coloured wool, they can then start to ‘sew’ along the outline of their pictures. And there you go – basic sewing skills are born.
Flower Pressing -
We’re going a bit Victorian here as far as activities go, but this is one activity that just keeps on giving. You’ve got the flower picking (great for a bit of alone time for you), the identifying (thank you Google), the pressing and drying (under all those encyclopaedias they’re unlikely to use thanks to the same Google), then the craft activities that come from there. Turning the flowers into gift cards, book marks, decoupage; you name it! It doesn’t have to be fancy, just a bit of craft glue and clear sticking plastic (or ‘contact’ as we call it here), and let them go wild. It’s far less messy than glitter and they’ll learn even more along the way. Another fun fact to add into this activity is finding out what each flower means, the old language of love. Does your flower mean friendship, passion or parental sanity?
These are only a few of the activities in store for my girls this school holidays. And the best bit about these activities is that it gives them even more fodder for their imagination. Basically, think outside the square, think like a child, and think about how much fun things can be if you see everything as a new adventure.
What other activities can you add to the list? Share it is the comments.