Engaging Summertime Play Solutions For Energetic Kids Around Perth
Words by Jenny Miraudo.
The twilight sleep between New Year’s and the return to school is relentless: we’ve all had one bowl of trifle too many, the kids are asking for the toy shop already and sleep schedules are off kilter. The time between nap and bed (if you should be so lucky) can drag on when the days are hot.
Well don’t let your toddler-terrorists get you down because we have compiled a list of educationally-sound craft activities sure to entertain your offspring (disclaimer: for at least half-an-hour). Some don’t even cost a cent, but there’s no shame in throwing a few dollars at the situation too.
Pick a special spot for a magical fairy garden
Give the kids the special task of hunting for special trinkets for their very own patch of garden (or a baking dish filled with soil will do just fine). This one requires a little bit of reconnaissance: places like Waldecks, Spotlight and Bunnings are great starting points and just as much magic can be found in some hand collected stones and gumnuts. For an added special touch, consider a trip to The Pickled Fairy in Fremantle. This beloved institution is a trove of trinkets and there are always fairies on hand in-store to lend their expertise.
Design your own cooking decorating pallets at Bake Boss
This one is so special that you will need to ask directly at the counter! The lovely staff at Bake Boss will print you a pallet of water-based decorating colours complete with a cute paintbrush. All you will need after that is some sugar cookies (or even just rolled out fondant) to get decorating.
Pick out a pot and get creative at Pears On Pottery
The creative team at Pears on Pottery have created a sublime space where all are welcome. During the holidays, they run two hour blocks of daily paint sessions which is ample time for your children to get stuck into a design that would bring a tear to the eye of Keith Brymer Jones. The workshop itself is also pram friendly and is right next door to Humblebee Coffee.
Get messy and brew some potions
This one really doesn’t have to cost a dime and is only limited by imagination (and your comfort with dirt). Challenge your children to make a range of potions using water, sand, twigs, glitter, rice, pasta, confetti, dishwashing liquid, jelly cubes, or really anything you can tolerate. If your children need more realism in their play, request potions for particular ailments, such as a potion for a full night’s sleep or a potion that makes children clean the playroom in record time.
Work on those fine motor skills with some tiny house construction
Capitalise on the TikTok craze and set your children to work on assembling miniature houses. The kits are widely available, but Australian company DIY Kits has the biggest range we’ve seen. Budding engineers can start small by constructing just one room or can go full-throttle on a three-storey mansion. This task definitely requires dexterity and some handling of fine tools but the silver lining here is that it requires absolute concentration for at least two full afternoons and the payoff when the whole thing is complete is hugely satisfying.
Enrol the kids in the Superheroes, Arty Science and Strength Workshop
The passionate team of experts at Strength Heroes has dreamt up a platter of offerings for curious minds throughout January. The workshop is suitable for children ages six and above and parental attendance is not required. Here, kids will spend the day dreaming up their own superhero complete with unique strengths.
Make some unique soaps at Batherapy
We’ve all seen the rise in popularity of sip and paint sessions around Perth, but hot on their heels are these super fun soap, candle and bath bomb workshops hosted at Batherapy! They also host School Holiday sessions, where you can take the kids in to make their own bath bombs or soaps, with the supervised workshops running for 1.5 hours. Both workshop will take your kids through what goes into a soap or bath bomb and the science behind them, while they get their hands dirty (and then clean) creating their own. Each child will go home with a selection of soaps or bath bombs made from all natural ingredients to safely enjoy, with sessions suitable for kids 5 years and up (bath bombs) and 8 years and up for soaps.
Enrol in a sushi making class with the Cooking Professor
If your children are in need of some rewarding one-on-one time with a devoted parent, stop into the kitchen space on the corner of Scarborough Beach Road and Brady Street. Here you will find the Cooking Professor who will walk you through whipping up two sushi variations. Everything is supplied – even down to the aprons – and you receive the recipes to take home. A donation to Dementia Australia is made with every ticket purchased.
Book into an acrylic flow art workshop at Creative Obsessions
The team at Collective Obsessions has recently moved into a workspace in Balcatta and have a range of engaging offerings. Flow art involves mixing acrylic paints with water to make beautiful designs and is all the rage. In this workshop, kids will make two coasters and a larger canvas. The best news? The skills covered in the workshops are updated each holidays meaning your young ones can go back time and time again, and you will reap the reward with a gradual set of coasters!
Make a toilet roll solar system
In times gone by, there is no way you would’ve seen us offering up a roll of sacred loo paper in the name of science. Throw caution to the wind and offer your children a roll of toilet paper each to create a scaled model of the solar system. Start by drawing the sun and then spare squares of paper to mark the distance between the sun and each planet. This is an engaging STEM activity with minimal outlay and has a striking visual effect on curious minds.
Have a wholesome sing along with some family karaoke
Skip the karaoke bar and have hours of fun at home with a plug-and-play karaoke microphone. These days, you can connect most of these bad boys to your music app of choice via Bluetooth and some even come with a built-in applause button.
Put your own memory to the test and dust off some old school games
Do you remember the days of the old schoolyard? If so, put them to good use and run your kids through some energetic paces. We’re talking Red Rover, What’s The Time Mr Wolf and Red Light Green Light (yes, like in Squid Game). This one won’t cost a thing more than your enthusiasm and energy as you lead the way and get involved. If it’s good enough for Bluey’s dad Bandit, then biscuits, it’s good enough for us!
Treat the family to a Bush Tucker tasting experience in Henley Brook
Dale Tilbrook is a Wardandi Bibbulmun woman who has been a Swan Valley local since 1998. These tours are informative and highlight the amazing range of bush foods in the local environment. Dale also talks through agricultural practices and allows time to taste a delightful assortment of delicacies.