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Need help entertaining your kids this summer?
NALA and EBS launch 'Z-Cards' designed to help entertain your children this summer through education games
Keeping your kids entertained can be a tricky business at the best of times but now that school's out you'd be forgiven for running out of ideas.
This summer, the National Adult Literacy Agency and EBS have put their thinking caps on and come up with 24 great ways to keep your kids entertained, whatever the weather.
All the fun ideas are packed inside fantastic little Z-Cards – credit sized-cards that fold out like a map and are guaranteed to keep kids entertained and learning all through the summer – be it on car journeys, rainy days or out and about.
From 20 Questions and Colour Connections to Marbles and Treasure Hunts, it's the ultimate parent's survival guide that fits neatly into a wallet.
So, if you're desperate to drag them away from the TV and games console, drop into to your local EBS branch to pick up your free copy.
Here are some of the fun activities:
- Long car journeys
Eat an Alphabet
Get your kids to describe how hungry they are – starting with the letter A take turns. The trick is to remember what everyone said before you. I'm so hungry I could an Apple. I'm so hungry I could eat an Apple and a Banana. I'm so hungry I could eat an Apple, Banana and a Cat!
Count to 100, every time you get to a number that's divisible by seven (7, 14, 21) or has a seven in it (17), say "Buzz" instead of the number. For older kids, to make it even harder say Fuzz for every number with a three or that's divisible by three. If you make a mistake it's the next person's turn. The first to get to 100 wins.
- Go wild outdoors
Draw a circle on the ground. Each player puts 4 marbles inside the circle – it's best if everyone picks a colour. Take turns trying to knock each other's marbles out of the circle with one large marble. If you knock your own marble out it goes back into the centre!
One person counts to 10 while the rest of the players scatter. When 10 is reached everyone freezes in their spot. The person counting takes 4 giant steps towards the closest person and tries to hit them with the ball. If they hit, that person gets a letter 'S' but if they miss then they get the letter. Now it's the other person's time to count. Players get knocked out whenever they reach SPUD - hit or missed 4 times – outch!
- Rainy days and stuck indoors
Everyone's made a fortress right? The next rainy day that comes around, help your kids make their own supersized fortress in the sitting room. All you need is a couple of chairs or a table covered with a blanket – they'll stay busy all day long playing make-believe inside.
Make rain sticks
All you need is a cardboard tube, some dry rice, tinfoil, tape and long pipe cleaners or bent up wire hangers. Have you child colour and decorate the tube to their hearts content. Then coil some pipe cleaners or wire inside the tube and close-up one end with tin foil and tape. Now pour in some rice and secure the other end with more tin foil and tape. That's it – your kid now has a rain stick they can turn upside down to make lovely rain sounds.
For many years EBS has supported literacy projects across Ireland with the National Adult Literacy Agency. One such initiative, the NALA EBS Family Literacy programme has been hugely successful in providing much needed resources and information to support families learning together in a fun and informal way.
This latest initiative links with a new website called www.helpmykidlearn.ie. Play is one of the most effective ways children learn and the site is packed full of fun activities that support children's literacy and numeracy. It also helps parents, who are usually rushed off their feet, with lots of practical ideas they can build into their daily routine, milestones to look out for and useful tips.
"Children learn everyday – from the moment they are born they start to soak up things like a sponge – at home, out and about, even at bedtime. All our research shows that parents know how important their role is in helping their children learn but very often they are stuck for time or easy access to resources. We designed this new Z-Card with EBS to support parents with fun activities and tips that can be integrated into any part of their day over the summer holidays – so get stuck in, shout as loud as you want and most of all have fun!" said Inez Bailey, Director, National Adult Literacy Agency.
Commenting today, Barry Delaney, Marketing Director, EBS, said: "EBS is committed to supporting families throughout Ireland. The purpose of this Z-Card is to provide fun activities that parents can do with their children to improve their reading, writing and maths skills through fun every day activities. EBS has worked with NALA for many years now and we're delighted to be able to bring a new initiative to families this summer. The cards will be available in all EBS offices nationwide and are free to the public."
For further details about the Z-Cards log onto www.nala.ie or www.ebs.ie or call into your local EBS office.