Young children, boys and girls, love camps - there's nothing better than a 'secret' place where they can hide from grown ups and feel inside a world of their own. As summer approaches, it becomes easier to build camps outdoors. Find a secluded spot in the garden and fashion some branches into a cover, or use an old sheet and drape it from the fence. You can even buy tents for next to nothing these days - the kids will go mad for that!
During colder months, and on days when the weather's not so good, you can build camps indoors. Erect your masterpiece in a spot where the children won't get in the way, bearing in mind that it may have to stay up for a few days! Use sheets or large towels, draped from furniture to radiators, or over clothes horses. Use clothes pegs to help secure your materials in place.
Young children love enclosed spaces in which to play. It really does become their own world set apart from the real one, and gives them a place that is theirs, where you cannot follow. They will quickly stockpile teddies, dinosaurs, dolls, tea sets, cars and all manner of kids' paraphernalia! Let them loose in their imaginative play, it's great for them to engage in pretend play, especially if they voice scenes between animals or teddies which helps them develop their language and thinking skills. Listen to them discretely from a distance and they will bring joy to your heart!
Here are some fresh ideas to keep your kids occupied in the garden. Get the little ones helping with some unusual tasks like picking fruit (if you have some!) or pulling the heads off dandelions and other weeds. Build a camp by draping an old sheet over a bush or some garden furniture. You're young ones will love to hide from you, and have their own 'house' to play in! Fill some buckets with water, grab some big decorating paint brushes and get them painting the (outside!) walls of your house, garden shed, garage or patio! Older children could try painting letters or numbers or shapes on the wall. Doing tasks like this - and using grown-up tools - is great fun for little ones and getting wet is always appealing for them too!
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