Here’s a challenge for your children during lockdown. Get them to put away their computers and phones and try these pre-techno games and activities published in The Summer Camps Trust Book of Things to Do.
1. Secret language
How about inventing a secret language that only you and your family will understand? Use the word egg before every vowel in every word so hello becomes heggelleggo.
2. Pinhole viewer
Create this homemade viewer by taking a shoebox with a close fitting lid. Make a 3cm hole in one end and at the other end make one clean hole with a needle. Fix a piece of greaseproof paper across the middle with tape. Fasten the lid on tightly and point the pinhole at a bright object such as an electric light. You will see a large picture on the greaseproof paper.
3. Paper flowers
Make paper flowers using four tissues of different colours. Unfold them and lay them flat on each other. Start at one side and fold an inch backwards and forwards like a concertina. Tie cotton around the middle and fluff out the petals. Alternatively, draw petal shapes on tissue paper, attach them in a row to tape and wind that around a drinking straw or twig.
4. Pine cone barometer
A pine cone is a barometer and can tell you whether the air is damp or dry.If the air is dry, the cone opens, the reverse happens if air is damp. Pine cones can be turned into models using pipe cleaners for arms and legs and fixing a painted head to the cone hiding the join with a paper collar. Use corks for feet and top off your creation with a paper hat.
5. Create a mossy garden
Enjoy the opportunity of reconnecting with nature on your daily walk and bring something of the outdoors back home to remind you of nature’s beauty. Why not create an indoor garden using moss and twigs which you have collected on your stroll? Line a goldfish bowl with moss, make sure you keep it watered and that the bowl has a cover on top.
6. Spot the crops
How many crops can you recognise growing in fields on your walk? You can tell some from their leaves which can be easily seen at certain times of the year. In the autumn and winter you may glimpse piles of the roots in the fields.
7. Make the right move
Draw eight squares in the shape shown in the diagram and place six coins, two different sets of three, in the starting positions. The aim is to change the pieces over in the least amount of moves. It is possible to put a black piece where every white piece was in 11 moves, moving a black piece first, then a white piece to an adjacent empty square.
8. Magic trick
Amaze your family with this elastic band trick. Put the band around two fingers of your clenched fist as shown. When you straighten your fingers the band will move to the other two fingers. This is due to the position of the band inside your hand where it wrapped around all fingers as shown.
9. Game on!
Halt is a game for two players who stand back to back and at a signal start walking away from each other. Either player shouts, ‘Halt’ and on that command the players stop and turn to face each other. The game is to estimate the least number of strides it would take to reach the other player, then the partner with the lowest bid must prove this can be done.
10. Catch the coins
Before you start this game, make sure you’re away from windows or glass. Place a coin on your elbow as shown in the drawing and catch the coin by swinging your arm down quickly. Increase the number of coins on your elbow and along your arm and catch them in one smooth swing. Do not throw them up before you swing your arm to catch them.
The Summer Camps Trust Book of Things to Do costs £10 plus postage and packing, go to summercampstrust.org