Samar Nabulsi, Co-Founder and MD of Big On Children shares her tips for keeping the kids amused at home during the summer.
In the kitchen: Make your own play dough. Some of the best activities to do at home with the kids take place in the kitchen. Besides baking cupcakes and decorating them using organic food colouring, candy and sprinkles, you can also use the colouring to make your own play-dough. Making it at home puts your mind at ease and by including the children in the process, encourages them to understand what ingredients are used make it and what it takes to clean up when done. Make smaller quantities and throw them out after they have finished playing. This also provides the opportunity to do the same activity using different colours a few days later.
Things to do in the living room: Try a DIY kite. The package comes with a plain white kite, basic paint colours and its accessories. You can spend as much or as little time as you like designing, decorating and colouring the kite before you even start to fly it.
Things to do on the Plane: Dominoes are a bit retro and are not often thought of these days but it’s a great fun game to help with counting and observation - and it doesn’t take up much space in the travel pouch.
Things to entertain your child while you take a well-deserved 20 minute bath: Guaranteed to keep your child glued to watching themselves as a hero or princess in their own movie. At Big On Children we have a series of personalised products including a personalised DVD. All you need is a clear photo of your child looking straight into the camera. Then you can choose one of the five different movie titles and 10 minutes later your child will see themselves starring in their own movie. The boost of self-esteem and confidence the children get when they see themselves as the star in the movie is a joy to see.
Things to do in their bedroom: Summer is probably the best time to engage your child to clean out their rooms. Start by getting boxes and begin putting away the toys they do not use anymore, along with old clothes that do not fit and explain to them that these are going for donation. Help them understand that by giving away old toys and clothes they are making other children in need happy. Take them with you as you make those donations so they see and feel how good it is to help others in need.
Things to do before bedtime: Re-live your childhood through the greatest musicals of all time. ‘The Sound of Music’ is a classic but remains one of the best sing along movies to do with children. Play or watch all the parts in the movie where Julie Andrews sings with the children. Get more creative and use your puppets at home to sing and ‘yodel’ along with the puppet show song ‘The Lonely Goatherd’. The puppets and your singing will engage your children and will inspire them to interact with you. Become your own Von Trapp family singers (dad can join in too) and sing along through the rest of the tunes together. End your musical production as the sun sets and before they go to bed. Sit by the window ledge to watch the sunset and sing ‘The sun has gone to bed and so must I’. Take the opportunity to stand in line and do the whole dance of good-bye waves. The laughs and giggles before bedtime is such a nice and comforting way to end the day.
Big On Children, Dubai Mall, 2nd floor (between Kidzania and Sega Republic). www.bigonchildren.com (04 388 2345).