Re-discovering old favourites

We’re nearly there!  Like many of you,  we’re on the last few days of the summer holidays.  We’ve done lots of outings, caught up with friends and the boys have enjoyed various summer camps.

A recent conversation with a friend got me thinking about how much easier it often is to go out rather than stay in with the kids bickering and constantly asking for screen time.  The boys are incredibly lucky to have many lovely toys but am I alone in feeling that they are often neglected simply because they’ve forgotten they are there, or the novelty has worn off?

It got me thinking about how to re-generate interest. Here are a few ideas which we’ve been enjoying

Re-loving LEGO: 
The boys are very lucky to have various sets and a big box of bricks.   Once built, I’ve noticed that the sets often gather dust and the big box hasn’t been opened of late.  My sister-in-law passed on this great tip on for “Roll and Build”

  • Line up 6 little pots or bowls, imagining that they are numbered 1-6 left to right
  • Get the kids to sort Lego pieces by type into each bowl (minifigures in one, flat pieces in another, accessories, rectangular, square etc in others – the kids enjoy picking the pieces and sorting them)
  • Take it turns to roll a dice and pick a piece from the corresponding pot
  • Build anything you want with your pieces!

I often find that the boys’ interest is then piqued and they carry on building long after they’ve stopped rolling the dice!

We also love 365 Things to Do with LEGO Bricks, a great book with a random number generator on the front which guides you to a corresponding numbered activity.  Our favourite so far has been building a cinema using an iPad mini, complete with seats for the mini figures to watch the film (yes ok, maybe I got into that one more than the boys!).  I’d recommend this one as a present for any LEGO fan, especially when you’re not sure which sets they’ve already got.  It’s available on Amazon* here.

Re-loving the trampoline:
Who doesn’t love a bounce? Here are a few ideas to get them trying something new:
“Crack the egg” or “Popcorn” – one person sits in the middle of the trampoline holding their knees to their chest.  The other person jumps until they “crack the egg” or “pop the popcorn” (their arms open and they fall over)
“Bum wars” – the last one standing wins!  Each player drops down to their bottom and jumps back up, landing on their feet.  You are only allowed one bum bounce and one feet bounce.  If they do more, they are out
“Bet you can’t…” – give them a series of challenges which get more difficult/longer as they go on.  “Bet you can’t… do 5 star jumps, then bounce on your bottom, then do your highest jump etc”
Dodgeball – the boys like to play it with those little plastic balls from a ball pit, or one big football.  Jump around without touching a ball!

Re-loving board games and other activities:
Write down a few activities on pieces of paper (e.g play a game you haven’t played for a long time, do a drawing, put some music on and dance, cooking etc), fold them up and put them into a jam jar or a pot.  Get the kids to take it in turns to pick out an activity which you do for a set amount of time (15 minutes often works well and this avoids any moaning if it’s not something they especially want to do!).

Lou’s top tip: get the kids to write down their own activities to pick out

*A note on Amazon links: any recommendations on here are genuine and my own.  Lou Likes is a participant in the Amazon Associates Programme which means I may receive a small commission for any purchases made as a result of clicks from my site.

If you’re looking for other ideas of what to do, you might also like these posts:
Things to do (for free!): Narnia Trail, Banstead Woods
Things to do (for free!): Geocaching
Things to do: classic board games



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