Beat Summer Holiday Boredom With Free Play Idea’s For Kids!

Helping your kids get the most out of Play : Persil’s Free Play Initiative offers hints and tips. Childhood as we know it is over reveals Persil’s global study entitled ‘Giving Children the Right to be Children’. 85% of UK mums are concerned that children are growing up too quickly in our country and therefore children are being deprived of childhood (64%) due to lack of play…. Modern living is having an impact on children being able to enjoy the simple childhood pleasures as experienced by previous generations.

But while times have changed, Persil’s research uncovers 71% of mums worry that kids won’t form good relationships without social play so it is not only enjoyment from these activities but also the development of our further generation that will be effected unless priorities change.

By play, Persil means ‘free play’, so not video games or organised fun, but more unstructured play, stuff like climbing trees, building dens, playing pretend games/role playing, using their imagination and exploring….. play without parents telling and showing children how to do things.

This summer, as part of the Every Child Has The Right campaign, Persil is launching its Free Play Initiative 2008, a nationwide scheme aimed at helping parents find inspirational ways for their children to express themselves through imaginative, unstructured play. This culminates in the support of Playday, the national annual celebration of children’s right to play, on 6 August 2008.

Did you know?

Free play helps the following areas of children’s development:

Boosts their imagination and creativity
Improves language and expression
Helps them stay active and prevents obesity
Reduces stress
Helps raise self-confidence
Increases emotional development and social skills for later on in life
As a guideline it’s recommended that parents should try to make one hour a day of active, ideally outdoor play for all children. They need little structure or encouragement because children are naturally active. They just need the time, permission and the right space.

To help your kids get the most out of their play time, Persil’s Free Play Initiative focuses on five areas within play that can help a child’s development – Play, Explore, Create, Imagine and Experiment.

Here are some free play ideas for your child to experiment with under the five areas:


Play

Create your own circus! Invent tricks, paint your face, make outfits and come up with dance moves… Then why not draw a picture of your circus.

Ask Mum to give you four things (maybe a duvet, a wooden pole or garden canes, a rope, or a cushion), then see if you can build a den out of them to play in.

Try making your own musical instruments from things you find outdoors – put pebbles in a jar and make a shaker… tape two branches together and use flower pots as drums! Then get your friends together and form a band!

The Benefits: it keeps children fit and healthy, encourages creativity, helps with their physical development and raises self-confidence.

Explore

· Spin a globe and then pick a country and let your children spend the day learning about it. Help them look on the internet and find out five facts – you could even cook a national dish.

Explore in the garden or at your local park for interesting objects like flowers, leaves animal tracks, insects and bugs. Write down what you find and what you think they are and try and find five different types of leaves and flowers and then stick them down on a piece of paper.

Pretend that you’ve been shipwrecked in the garden and you need to build a shelter for protection. Look around you and see what you could use to build your home.

The Benefits: When children use their imagination, it stimulates their minds and inspires curiosity. Plus, doing things in groups helps form good relationships through social play.

Create

Make a time capsule using an old container with a tight lid. Collect things to put into it that describe your family. Ask everyone to contribute something (a recent photo, a drawing, a favourite magazine). Hide your capsule or bury it where no one will find it for a long time.

Make your own mask using paper, cardboard and string. Ask your Mum to cut two holes for eyes and decorate

Do some model making with old cereal boxes, Smartie tubes, toilet rolls – anything you can find. Then make up games with what you’ve made.

The Benefits: Creating encourages self-expression and helps to develop a child’s imagination. It’s good for intellectual development and, best of all, you can really get dirty and not get in (so much) trouble!


Imagine

Imagine that you are having The Queen over for tea. Bake cakes and cookies (get Mum to show you how) and invite your friends over to join you. What goodies do you think The Queen would enjoy?!

Act out a play of your favourite story with your friends or make up a story of your own. Write your play down. Here’s how it starts: “Once upon a time, there was a giant banana that grew so big, he began to…”

Why don’t you draw a picture – maybe of you dressed as a pirate, spaceman or superhero?

The Benefits: When children use their imagination, it stimulates their mind and inspires curiosity. Plus, doing things in groups helps form good relationships through social play.


Experiment

Why don’t you draw with crayons on a piece of paper and come up with some wild and wacky inventions – like a bedroom tidying machine?!

Gather together a collection of small things. Take each of your shapes and try
drawing around them on the same piece of paper with coloured pencils. With all

the shapes drawn colour each one in and see what new shapes you can make.

Why not do some cooking or baking with Mum? Experiment with different flavours
to create something yummy.

The Benefits: Experimenting is great because it teaches children how things work. It helps develop problem-solving skills and physical and emotional growth. And it’s fun too!

To find out more about the Persil Free Play initiative 2008, Playday 2008 on 6th August, build a scrapbook to document your summer holiday of free play or to find out loads more fun play ideas, visit Persil.com

For more key findings and a summary of qualitative research conducted by the Persil Mumsnet Panel please log on to media site www.persil.com/medialibrary

Persil Free Play Initiative

As part of the Every Child Has The Right campaign, Persil is launching the Persil Free Play Initiative 2008 this summer to help encourage parents understand the importance of play in childhood by providing inspirational play ideas. The Persil Free Play Initiative 2008 culminates in the support of Playday on the 6th August. To find out more about the Persil Free Play initiative 2008, build a scrapbook to document your summer holiday of free play or to find out loads more fun play ideas, visit www.persil.com

What is free play?

• Free Play does not mean UNSUPERVISED

• In the process of free play, children develop their mental, emotional and social skills

• Free play is both INDOOR and OUTDOOR play

What is Playday?

Playday is the annual celebration of children’s play, coordinated by Play England, based at the National Children’s Bureau, working in partnership with PlayBoard Northern Ireland, Play Scotland and Play Wales. Now in its 21st year, the national campaign involves thousands of children and young people getting out to play at locally organised events. Playday events range from small-scale neighbourhood get-togethers to large-scale public events organised by local authorities and national organisations. Persil is a proud supporter of this year’s Playday, taking place nationwide on 6 August 2008. For more information about Playday events and this year’s Give us a go! theme, visit www.playday.org.uk.

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