Explain to your child/children that they are going to be creating their very own jellyfish because like you and me, jellyfish come in all different shapes, colours and sizes and creating a jellyfish can help us to discover a little more about ourselves. There are many ways to find your jellyfish, draw them, make them using card, an upturned paper bowl, half a paper plate or a plastic bag, sew them using felt, ribbons and scraps of fabric, you can even create one using ironing beads, mosaic pieces or with finger prints! Ask about the jellyfish, what they like doing, how they are feeling etc and make sure to keep the jellyfish safe.
Take a trip to the coast, find a book about the seaside at your local library or look at images and video clips online. Talk about all the sights and sounds of the seaside and how they can make us feel. Some children my find some aspects, e.g. the sea, sea creatures quite frightening, accept those thoughts and feelings and talk about and plan ways to feel better about them. Now capture the seaside in art. You could use photographs taken at the beach, create a collage using images from magazines/travel brochures, paint or sketch a seaside picture or make a seaside jar/bottle or tray by filling it with sand, pebbles, shells, images, miniature figures etc.
Creating patterns and shapes in sand can be an incredibly mindful and relaxing activity. No need to find a beach, play sand is perfect and can be stored in a deep tray, plastic tub or similar. Encourage the time to feel the sand running through the spaces between the fingers or through a clenched fist. Draw pictures, shapes and patterns using fingertips and enjoy starting anew in the sand with a sweep of the hand. Take pictures of the sand creations, add objects and figures or even add glitter to sparkle it up. Note: Some children may not be comfortable with the feel of sand, if that is the case, suggest using a pencil, feathers, spoons and cups to make patterns and move sand.
Whether it be cookies, crispy cakes, fairy cakes, tray bakes, sponges or a tiered masterpiece, making and decorating edible treats can be a fun and creative way to experience a sense of pride and wellbeing. Try to get the children as involved in as many steps as possible (perfect opportunity for some holiday maths) and then marvel at the outcome before tucking in – Why not add it to the picnic feast!
A summertime treat that is fun to make is jelly so why not get the children involved in making a delicious jellyfish jelly! Together decide which colour/flavour for the head and whether you are going to add fruits, sweets to the mix before melting, mixing and setting in a bowl. Then think about and prepare what you will use for the legs; we find sponge fingers, grapes, apricot halves, piped cream (decorated with sprinkles) or strawberry laces all work well and help make your jellyfish jelly a real showpiece. Alternatively use small bowls for children to make their own jellyfish jellies!
Plan and make a picnic to share together at the local park, woods, on the beach, in the garden or if the British weather isn’t playing ball, have an indoor picnic by clearing a space and spreading a picnic blanket on the floor in your home – This is a great incentive to get children to tidy their bedroom and the cuddly toys can join the picnic too! Why not add your bakes or jellyfish jellies for an extra special picnic touch!
Create an under the sea relaxation space. Get the children to paint an old sheet with waves and their favourite under the sea creatures. Suspend the sheet between chairs to make a canopy and sit underneath on a rug/cushions, maybe add a nightlight and together relax and slowly breathe in and out to the sound of the waves.
Lucy & Sarah