Thrive Approach Parent And Child activity ideas

With the summer holidays fast approaching it can be a busy time for us all. Letting your children watch films on TV or play on their devices can seem like an appealing option during the lengthly break, but play is incredibly beneficial and helps children’s brain development as well as teaching vital emotional and social skills. With the help of Thrive’s Trainer and Regional Co-Ordinator for the South West Julie Harmieson, we've listed some great activities, many virtually cost free, that you and your children can do together during the summer break.

Face painting

What are the benefits?

Face painting teaches children about eye contact and building relationships. Clinical psychologist Dan Hughes has linked eye contact with the feel good chemical oxytocin, which explains why children love this activity. Not only does face painting teach children skills that will be key in later life, it makes them feel happy, loved and calm.

What you need:

Face Paint Brushes ( suitable for use on face) / sponges

Which developmental stage this is great for:

Being (Developmental strand associated with feeling safe and having needs met.)

Or why not try:

Virtual face painting with feathers!

If you don’t feel like getting messy, use a feather to ‘paint’ your child’s face. The same life skills are there to be learnt and fun to be had!

Nature themed treasure hunt:

What are the benefits?

A lot of the time we think an activity has to have a ‘point’ or an outcome, but sometimes the sensory aspect of an activity can be enough! This activity gets children motivated to explore, but also gets them to use the thinking part of their brain. This is another great activity for giving children that feel good factor. They’ll love the look on your face when they bring you the biggest leaf they could find, or a stick shaped like a snake!

What you need:

An outside area and a list full of items for your child to find.

Doing (Developmental strand associated with being taught to explore safely and know body limits.)

Or why not try:

Making pastries

It doesn’t matter if the outcome isn’t perfect; just let your children enjoy the kneading of the dough and being in their creative brain.

Noughts and crosses

What are the benefits?

This activity teaches children about problem solving and consequence. They’ll learn that if they take a few minutes to think before making their move they could win the game! And even if they don’t, their thinking brain will be activated for the next round!

What you need

Paper and pens.

Which developmental stage this is great for:

Thinking (Developmental strand associated with feeling and problem solving.)

Or why not try:

Playing Guess who

This is another great game for activating the brain.It also helps develop language skills, as children have to work out how to phrase their questions to eliminate their component.

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