Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Ball Pit-Bingo and An Excellent Excuse To Play In The Mud

Ball Pit-Bingo

You Will Need: 

  • A paddling pool full of plastic balls/large box full of shredded paper (or similar) 
  • Card, 
  • 9 pictures of objects/characters printed from online or cut from magazines for the ball pit bingo balls,
  • Pens

 How To Do It:

  • Take the 9 pictures for the ball pit and stick them onto card. Cut each one into a similar sized circle, and hide them in the ball pit, these are your bingo balls.
  • Make up bingo cards, a 3x3 grid with each square matching a picture you have collected for the ball pit. If you are printing the pictures out, you could make up the grids on the computer as well, using smaller versions of the pictures for the ball pit. 
  • If you are cutting out/drawing them try and make the ‘matching’ pictures similar enough to recognise, or you could use letters or numbers. Each grid should have the pictures on in a different pattern.
  • Hand out a bingo card to each player and explain that you will take one bingo ball out of the box at a time. Each player will mark the bingo ball on their card. The first person to have 3 marks in a straight line, in any direction is a winner.
  • If you want to re-use the game, laminate the bingo cards and bingo balls and use dry-wipe markers to mark them.


Use mud and water, crushed up chalk and berries (please check that the berries aren't poisonous before letting your children play with them!) and sticks, draw pictures on your patio or garden walls.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Host Your Own Mini-Olympic Pentathalon and Slightly Creepy Family Self-Portraits

Mini-Olympic Pentathalon (Inspired by Change4Life)

You will need: 

  • Some excitable children/grown-ups 
  • A wall 
  • Some chalk 
  • A bean bag 
  • A hula hoop 
  • A Bucket 
  • Play Equipment 
  • A soft ball 
  • A plastic bottle
  • A small prize (eg, choice of tonight’s telly) 
  • A pencil and paper 
  • A watch

How To Set It Up:

High Jump: Stand next to a wall, get each child to jump as high as they can and touch their hand against the wall, put a chalk mark where their hand touched. Highest chalk mark wins.

Shot Put Darts: Put the hula hoop flat on the ground and the bucket inside. Mark a point a child sized throwing distance away as the throwing line with chalk on the ground or a jumper. Give each child the bean bag in turn and give them 3 tries to throw the beanbag into the hula hoop for 1 point or the bucket for 5 points. Highest points wins.

Hula Hoop: Time each child spinning the hula hoop around their waist, time from the moment they let go to the moment it hits the floor. Longest time spinning is the winner.

Obstacle Course: Design a course around your park or garden, eg race from the bench to the climbing frame. Touch the top bar on the frame, climb down and race to the swings, two big swings on the swing, run twice around the tree then once down the slide before trying to make it back to the bench first to be the winner.

Relay Race: Grab an empty plastic bottle and use it is a baton. Split into two teams and each team into two. Stand one half of each team at either end of a small race area. Eg Team A, members 1 + 3 stand by the tree, Team A, members 2 + 4 stand by the bench. Give number 1 the plastic bottle, they have to run to member 2 pass them the bottle and then go to the back of the line. member 2 runs to member 3 and so on. First team to have the bottle back in team member 1's hands is the winner.

Family Self-Portaits

You will need: 

  • A small mirror (shaving mirror works well) 
  • Small pieces of paper + a big piece of paper 
  • Colouring pencils or pens 
  • Scissors 
  • Glue sticks 
  • Photographs of any family members not present

How To Do It:

  • Sit with your paper, pens, mirror and photographs, on each piece of paper draw a different piece of each persons face, eg Mummy’s hair, Uncle Bob’s moustache, Jeff’s left ear – make sure you have drawn hair, 2 eyes, 2 eyebrows, nose, 2 ears, mouth, 2 cheeks, 1 chin.
  • Cut each part out and stick them onto the big piece of paper into the shape of one big face.

Monday, 6 August 2012

More Exciting Things To Do With Toy Cars and A Bit Of Baking Too

Tyre Painting

What You Need:
  • Toys cars, trucks or trains, 
  • pieces of paper, 
  • washable paint, 
  • lots of plastic sheeting, 
  • big trays/plates

How To Do It: 

  • Put the paint on the plates or trays thinly spread around.
  • Load up the cars by pushing the cars through the paint so their tyres get covered in paint, then drive them across the paper.
  • If you’re feeling adventurous, try it in the garden with push along toys, scooters/bikes, make a big puddle of coloured water with food colouring (or paint if you have a lot of paper or plastic to cover the garden with) and peddle through the puddle on the bikes, they can ride around the garden leaving coloured trails behind.

Cooking Scones

Try this recipe at BBC Good Food for perfect scones.

Why not try different flavours? Add an ounce or two (50-100g) of cheese, marshmallows, raisins, olives, cherries or anything else that strikes your child's fancy! (Don't forget to take out the sugar if you are making savoury scones)