I bet you can relate to this. It’s a lazy summer day. The kids are somewhere in the house doing… something. You decide to take a risk, be opportunistic. Your stomach flutters with anticipation. You settle onto the couch with your book, open it up, and read the first line of the page 5 times, one ear on guard for imminent interruptions. Finally, that first line sinks in. You’re there. The words roll, the characters materialise, and images of the story begin playing in that little theatre inside your mind. But then….
You ignore it. Sink down further into the couch. Again …
“Muuuuuuum”. Suddenly a head is hovering over you.
And just like that you are mercilessly wrenched back into the room, determined to find a screenless distraction for your kids that will keep them busy for hours. Why not try some of these? Apart from getting them exercising their creative muscles, these storytelling ideas are fun ways to create and document memories, and give kids projects that they can be inspired by and proud of.
Have an Awesome Sydney Adventure
Having a staycation? Why not explore the city through a new lense and encourage your kids to journal their Sydney holiday experiences? Journaling gives kids a greater sense of self-awareness and encourages them to take in new sights, sounds and smells. The My Awesome Sydney Adventure journal gets kids using their imaginations, creating stories, visualising themselves on top of mountains, recording their best (and worst) experiences, the foods they ate and the people that they’ve met. It’s about getting them off screens and soaking up the world around them. Find it here.
Create a Summer Diary or scrapbook
If exploring Sydney seems like it belongs in the too hard basket, then why not encourage your kids to create a Summer Diary or scrapbook. Allocate one page to each day and document your family adventures through stories, drawings, collected items and photos. Kids can document new hobbies, latest accomplishments, goals for the year. It will also become a lovely memory book for them in the future — not to mention keep them busy for hours.
Form a Summer Family and Friends Book Club
Gather other families (would work well if you're on holiday with a group) and take turns choosing age-appropriate books to read. Write a list of questions for discussion about the characters, plots, themes, and settings (you could probably find these online). Make the book club get togethers a fun potluck dinner with foods that relate to the story - your kids can take part in the cooking and help brainstorm appropriate foods. For example, if you're reading James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl, each participant can create a dish incorporating peaches, like peach cobbler or salsa.
Shoot a film
Bring Hollywood right to your living room by putting together a television show (a comedy sketch or a sports program). Create a name, outline a basic concept, and write a script. Or assign specific roles to each participant, be it family member or friend: script writer, director, producer, camera operator, or actor. You can even create a music video with original lyrics and costumes, or recreate a famous music video with your own twist. Get everyone together for the debut screening (OK so it does involve screens but we think we can let that slide with this one!)
Explore Other Galaxies
The mystery of the universe provides an awesome space for imagination to grow and big ideas to come. Visit the Sydney Observatory and then encourage your child to create a planet or galaxy of his / her own. Invent the planet's name, characteristics (like rings, red earth, moons, lansdscape). Who are the inhabitants and what do they do there? The potential for stories is endless! Take it a step further by making a papier-mache planet. Then splatter white paint on black paper to create new constellations and a starry backdrop to suspend the planet against. Reward your kid for the hard work by making cone headice cream aliens! Details of the Sydney Observatory can be found here.