10 Tips for Teachers: Creative Summer Holiday Homework

Imaginative activities and projects to pack your students' summer holidays with creativity

13 July 2022

Bonus: Homework for teachers. Take some time over the summer to look after your own wellbeing (although maybe wait until just before the new term starts!) with these Dreamachine Teacher Wellbeing CPD videos and creative activities.

1. Dreamachine Resources At Home Pack

Print off the entire pack or just one or two from this collection of activities from the Dreamachine Schools resources, specially picked out for families at home. They include science, global citizenship and wellbeing activities suitable for all ages, but will need adults to support the delivery as they are written in a lesson plan style. The activities include an interactive science survey into the senses: Life’s Big Questions – with videos to watch presented by Newsround’s Martin Dougan and fun illusions to try out.

2. British Science Week Activity Packs

For child-facing activities that are print off and go try this year’s British Science Week activity packs, which include a Dreamachine optical illusion challenge.

3. Summer Reading Challenge 2022

This year’s summer reading challenge is online and even if your school didn’t sign—up, children can still register to join in online and get books form the library: www.summerreadingchallenge.org.uk/

You could print out this resource from StoryTrails and Unboxed Learning, with lots of ideas for storytelling.

4. The Poetry Society and Stemettes About Us Competition

About Us is all about exploring the many ways life across the universe is connected. Young people aged 4-18 can enter their poems and/ or Scratch projects on the theme of ‘connectivity and the universe‘, to win books and tech goodies, talent development opportunities, and free workshops for their school. All entrants will receive an e-certificate for participating and the competition closes on 31 August 2022. www.aboutus.earth/about-the-competition

5. Teaching for Creativity Taster Cards

Our Teaching for Creativity Taster Card activities are short and simple so could easily be facilitated by a parent or carer!

6. Keep an alternative journal

Document your summer break in a diary, but try to do it without writing a word! Create a scrapbook (or box!) of your summer, to remind you of what you did and how you felt. Try to include something for every week, but you can include as many entries as you like. How many different types of entries can you do? Some ideas are:

  • Draw or paint a picture of what you did
  • Draw the weather that day
  • Close your eyes and draw how you feel
  • Take a photo
  • Collect a memento e.g. a ticket, a receipt, a food packet, newspaper, a leaf, a stone
  • Draw a list of the music you listened to / books you read / games you played
  • Make a collage of something you are looking forward to
  • Make a picture of the tastiest food you ate – try using something unusual in a collage like pasta, lentils or cut up food packaging
  • Listen to the noises outside and draw what you think you can hear

7. Design a new invention

Invent something to solve the problem of ____________.

Draw your invention and label it or make a model of it and a short video explaining how it will work. Think about: How does it work? What size will it be if you made it for real? What material is it made of? Where does it get power or energy from to work? What will you call it?

Check out Little Inventors for inspiration: www.littleinventors.org/ideas

Insert a problem to solve that you think your students will know about / connects to your learning this year or look on www.littleinventors.org/mini-challenges/

Some ideas are: plastic food packaging, ocean pollution, keeping cool in the heatwave, keeping house plants alive, how to stay dry when camping, learning times tables, getting to school on time.

8. Put on an art exhibition

Visit Tate Kids and choose some of the activities to create your own artwork: www.tate.org.uk/kids/make

Once you have enough pieces, stage an art exhibition in your home or garden and invite families and friends. Think about how you want them to feel when they are in the exhibition. Do you want them to feel excited/calm/intrigued or think about issues you care about? How can you display your work to try and achieve this? Take photos and collect some quotes of how they found the experience!

9. Learn some origami

Learn to make something out of origami, the art of paper folding. Maths on Toast have some how-to-videos: www.mathsontoast.org.uk/activity-category/videos/

All you need is some squares of paper – even newspaper will do (an easy way to make a square of paper is to fold one corner over to the bottom edge and then cut along).

10. Write a cultural review

Write a review of a film/book/computer game/album/podcast /play/day out/experience – anything cultural that interests you! How did it make you feel? What were the best bits? What could improve? What surprised you?

You could provide them with a quick list of family days out (preferably free and local) to spark ideas. If your students are London based, here is a list of some free goings on in the capital to get you started:

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