A report, commissioned by the people at Ribena Plus gave us some interesting insights into parents’ perceptions of children’s upbringing. Despite the fact that 71% of parents thought that their ‘low-tech’ childhoods were more fun
than those of the younger generations, the average family spends £10.021 on toys
before their child becomes 18. There is a lot of pressure on parents these days to feel like they have to ‘keep up’ with the latest trends in toys. In fact, 17% felt like they were ‘not good enough parents’
if they couldn’t afford to buy their child the latest craze.
The sad fact is, with more and more reliability on expensive gadgets and computer-based toys, children are spending less and less time using their imagination and learning practical problem-solving skills. Granted, many toys are marketed as being educational whilst fun, and a lot can be said for the use of them as assistance in certain areas of learning. However, is this increasing dependence on the use of expensive toys simply a sign of the times, or are we becoming victims of clever marketing and ‘kiddy’ pressure? Interestingly, 92% of parents believe that imaginary play is important but 16% don't know how to create it with their child.
We have come up with a few inexpensive ideas to keep the children occupied for hours, and give you that all-important bonding time with them. So, turn off the computer games and TVs and get creative!This is ME
Use a long roll of paper. I used the spare wall paper lining, and then just joined them up at the back with sellotape. Have your child lie down on the paper whilst you draw around their shape. Provide the children with colours, wax crayons or even paints and let them draw in the details, eyes, nose, hair etc. Be creative, they can draw in what they are wearing, or their favourite outfit or even write inside of their 'body'. Once the children have finished drawing and colouring, cut out the whole thing and display it on the wall in the play area.Rainbow Footprints
This fun project was inspired by something I did in preschool. I love how the footprints turned out and love even more that everyone can take part. All you need are washable paints and willing feet! Paint the soles of your feet or somebody else’s with different coloured paint then stand up onto pre placed paper, remove your feet and wash them off before running through the house!Shadow Tracing
Children have always been fascinated by shadows, there is so much fun to have with shadows and chalk and every one can get involved as you trace each other’s shadows.
Take an oblong piece of card & wrap around the wool until quite thick. Remove the card and tie small pieces of wool around top for hair and face. Take a smaller piece of card and wrap around some more wool but try not to make this too thick. Then thread the thin wool through the thick piece of wool and tie the ends to make the hands. Tie legs at the bottom or leave it has a skirt.Egg Painting
Hard boil some eggs. Then paint with food colouring. Allow to dry. Great for egg rolling - if you haven't got a hill, a slide will do. (Warning: food colouring stains).Iced Digestives
Mix icing sugar and water in a bowl to make runny icing then put sprinkles smarties etc in bowls and let kids decorate the biscuits. (You can make your own biscuits or cakes of course but this is the quick and easy version.)
Paper Plate Masks
Kids make silly faces or animals on paper plates. Cut eye holes and decorate then stick a straw or lollipop stick to the bottom of plate to hold in front of face.
Half fill a plant tray/plastic bowl with earth. Kids pick small sprigs of leaves, daisies, grass etc. Arrange on soil like a mini garden. Small pebbles can be walls and paths. Tin foil or an old make up mirror can be used for a pond or stream. You can then add to your garden with small toy animals or people.Make CD Hovercrafts
Using an old CD, a sports drink cap and a balloon...attach an inflated balloon to the sports cap that is itself taped to the CD in the centre...as it deflates it hovers over a smooth surface!....very quick and cool!
Updated by Jess