Once the weather’s warm enough to be outside, there are so many more things that you can do together as a family – and it doesn’t matter how messy you get!
Next time there’s a sunny day, try out some of these fun activities.
If your children love to get messy, then this activity is huge fun. You’ll need a roll of wallpaper liner, and lots of poster paint (you can buy this cheaply in large bottles, and it lasts for ages). Unroll the paper on a driveway, patio, or path – anywhere with enough room to play. Then dress the children in their swimsuits, and let them play. Foot painting is probably the most fun – squeeze some of the paint into containers such as ice cream tubs, so that they can paddle in the paint and make crazy footprint paintings all over the paper.
We all leave a trail behind us on our journey through life. Our footprints follow where other people have led, and in turn, the little footprints of our children follow where we are leading them, until it’s time for them to go and have their own adventures. Enjoy the sight of their little feet making a colourful, crazy trail – you can always join in.
When they’re finished, you can hang the artwork on the washing line to dry, and wash the children with a garden hose or paddle the paint off in a washing up bowl of water!
Painting with water
If you have a paved driveway or patio, you can turn it into art. Give the children a washing up bowl full of water, and some decorating brushes or rollers, and let them draw and write wherever they like – nothing lasts for long, as the sun comes out and dries it off again, giving them a new blank canvas to work with every few minutes.
Chalk drawings last a little longer than water paintings, but they’ll disappear next time it rains. Why not draw hopscotch or some other game, and play it with ‘live’ counters? If you have an area with square paving slabs, you can even make yourself a giant snakes and ladders game. Or invent your own game, drawing different pictures, letters or numbers on each paving square, and set the challenge of jumping to ‘the number 3’ or ‘the first letter of your name’ or ‘a picture made of straight lines’.
There is an old tradition of writing a blessing in chalk above the door of the family home.
Bless this house!
Churches sometimes give out chalk in January to do this, at the start of the New Year, but why not make it a summer tradition?
You could write a blessing on your doorstep, for the people who live in your home (with stick figure pictures of yourselves!) or a blessing for people who come to visit to make them welcome.