Monday 22 February 2016

Half-term Activities: Painting, Baking and Reading

I didn’t manage to make plans and the weather was unpredictable during the half-term holidays. So instead of planning every day, I ended up taking a different approach with the children. I asked them to choose activities they wanted to do and gave them the tools and freedom to get on with them. I love the idea of empowering children to find the things they love and take charge of their own learning journeys. In particular I love the idea that one of these things may well be activity that turns out to be the passion and life’s work and they are allowed to blow on the embers of that passion rather than stifle it.

Gorgeous decided that he didn’t need to do anything that required too much work and would be happy reading all through his holidays. So I took him to the local charity shops and pick out the books he liked the look of – anything with dinosaurs, football, animal facts and scary stuff basically.

Little Man asked if he could make some cakes for our neighbour. I asked him to find the ingredients and lists anything he needed, then gave him the money to go to the local shops. I liked that he got on with it, was careful about measurements and cleared up after himself. He has always loved good food (like his mum) and is practical at doing things for himself (like his dad), so his choice of activity did not surprise me.

His cakes came out looking really nice, but unfortunately tasted slightly bitter. He followed the recipe from the Usborne Children's Baking Collection book set very carefully, but I think the recipe didn’t ask for enough sugar to be added.

Little Lady asked to borrow my phone and watched watercolour tutorials and followed a few to create some watercolour landscapes. We both had a go and I really enjoyed myself. I hadn’t realised she would be such a perfectionist, she kept finishing, deciding she didn’t like her work and starting again until she was happy.

You can see the tutorials for the pictures she tried above here and here.

I really liked giving them free reign and leaving them to it. For their next holidays (Easter break at the end of next month), I am going to ask them to make a list of things they want to try and try and work through some of it with them.


  1. MashaAllah all three of them are so creative.. I really like your idea

    1. Jazakh'Allah sister, I have come to believe that all children are creative and that as adults we no longer see ourselves that way, I think we are all creative too.

  2. Asak, Mashallah i really admire how u r so creative with the kids r almost the same age as urs,so activities like painting , my 10 year daughterloves to do but her 2 year sis jus doesnt let it happen.with paints getting smeared n water do u let the elder kids do their stuff when the lil ones always want to be in the stuff.

    1. Jazakh'Allah sister,I love doing creative stuff with the kids but I ake them take responsibility for their mess.
      My three year old kicks up a fuss too when my older daughter is painting, so I set her up her own paper and paints where I can keep an eye on her.