Summertime is a time for freedom…freedom from school, homework, and super-busy schedules…and it’s also a great time to let your imagination run free! So I’ve decided to make this summer the Cardboard Box Adventures Summer of Imagination. I’ll be featuring lots articles this summer in this blog about creativity and imagination and of course, reading.
In the meantime, here are a few activity ideas for kids that have lots of room for imagination. They can be adapted for kids of different ages:
- New kinds of old games. Invent a new kind of hide-and-seek, or maybe a new and more complicated kind of capture-the-flag.
- Create an obstacle course…either for kids or for toys.
- Put on a short play. Find some dress-up costumes. Create a play around those costumes (it might end up being about Spider Man and a princess and half a zebra), either by writing it or by verbally planning it. (Kids have no problem reminding each other what to do or say.) Maybe you can even find some curtains for your stage area to make it extra-exciting.
- Make a story chain. This is an old game. Let one person start a story and stop at an exciting part. The next person continues the story in their own way. Go around until everyone has added to the story. The last person gets to finish the story and everyone says, “The End!” After the story, kids could draw pictures to illustrate different parts of the story they created.
- News report. Put together a news report of the day and present it to parents around dinnertime or whenever they’re ready. Start by saying something like, “This is __________ Family News for Friday, June 21” or “Welcome to Channel 6 News.” Have headlines for any events that happened during the day and tell about them in the news report. Don’t forget to include weather and any sports that may have happened during that day too. If kids are allowed to use a digital camera, phone, or tablet, they can take pictures throughout the day to go along with their newscast.
- Buried Treasure. You need a yard or outdoor area you can dig in, at least two kids (or two teams of kids), some kind of “treasure” for each team that will be buried, something to dig with, paper and crayons. Separate each team have them figure out where they want to bury their team’s “treasure” outside in the yard. Then have each team draw a treasure map showing the location where they will bury their treasure. Then each team takes a turn going outside to bury their treasure in the spot they marked on the map. Then the teams exchange maps and race to see who can find the other team’s treasure first. To make the game more complicated, the first map could mark the location of a second map, that leads to a third map, that finally leads to the treasure. Alternate version: Skip the maps and have older kids make up riddles that tell the location of the treasure (or the next riddle).
- Design a castle. You could draw the outside or inside or make a kind of blueprint, build a model…or even a sandcastle. I’m doing this myself right now and it’s pretty fun. I’m working on my next Sir Kaye book: The Lost Castle Treasure and I need a good map/blueprint of the castle in my story so I can keep track of where everything happens. If your kids come up with a cool castle that they design and want to share it, feel free to post a picture of it on my CBA Facebook page, or even the brand new Sir Kaye fan page on Facebook.
Have an amazing Summer of Imagination! And check back here all summer long for lots of information about why imagination is so good for kids.