Being away from home is hard for any child, but it is especially hard for those who are new to boarding life. Exciting activities that promote the wellbeing of boarders are important, as they not only distract children from home sickness, but they also allow them to learn social skills and competitiveness.
We get that constantly having to come up with new, engaging and exciting activity ideas can seem like a tiring job. But, don’t worry, with National Workout and Wellbeing Week just around the corner, we have thought up some out-of-the box activity ideas that you can introduce to the boarders at your school.
Creative Indoor Activities
Let’s start with creative indoor activities. After a long week of learning, boarders may want to spend time with their friends and get creative. Some will want to relax and unwind, whilst others will be busy at their chosen sport club. Here are some of our crafty ideas that will get your boarders creative juices flowing…
Make Your Own Board Game
Boarders have probably played most of the board games on offer, either in their boarding environment or at home with their families. So, why not encourage them to create their own?
All they would need is some paper or card, some colourful pens and a couple of dice. Though, depending on the game they want to create – they may also want to make some little figures or cards, like in Monopoly. Alternatively, they can use any small items around their dormitory that may be suitable.
This activity will encourage a pair or a small group to let their imaginations take over, while also thinking logically about what does and doesn’t work. They will have to work as a team to sketch out their idea before actually implementing their design and rules.
Once they have their game set up, test their communication skills and ask them to explain the rules of their new game to a larger group. This will give them a sense of achievement and pride, especially if they witness others engage with their ideas.
Create A Postcard For Home
Keeping boarders connected to their home network is important to their wellbeing, as it gives them a sense of inclusion and prevents them from feeling home sick. They can create their postcards in two ways, they can do it digitally or by hand. If the boarders have access to a computer, they can use a website called Canva to design a template. The electronic format allows them to include photographs which may show some of the amazing things they have done while at School, choose appropriate colours and spell check their writing before printing.
Others may want to create something more personal, something by hand. Give out some A5 card, preferably white, and let the boarders imaginations run wild. Paints, crayons, glitter, stickers, even already-printed photographs can all be used to decorate the postcard. Once they have designed the front, have them write a little passage about their time at school.
Castle Building Competition
There is nothing better than some competitive creativity. Set up your own castle building competition, where groups of boarders compete to create the best castle made out of cardboard. This will keep them entertained for hours, and you will probably find that their attention to detail will be showcased.
All you will need is some cardboard, some kitchen or toilet rolls, some string, paint and some paint brushes. Once these masterpieces have been produced, line up a judging panel and decide on a worthy prize for the winners.
Weekends are a good time for boarders to enhance their physical and mental wellbeing. Keeping them active and entertained helps them to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and there are many way of doing this. Whilst we understand that Saturday afternoons are intended for sporting activities, here are some alternative weekend activities that all boarders will love…
Going To The Theatre
Field trips are tricky to organise and somewhat expensive, though they do bring great joy. They also allow boarders to learn and develop in a non-traditional way, Museums and Art Gallery trips are also ways to enrich a child’s knowledge, but the theatre will teach them things without them even knowing it.
There are a lot of independent theatres that put on plays by independent writers or companies, like HOME in Manchester. These theatres often stage plays that have important messages – about race, gender and sexuality. All of these subjects will be of interest to young boarders who are trying to figure out their place in the world.
Going to the theatre is not only a form of education and entertainment, but it is also a form of escapism. Boarders will be able to sit back and relax, and lose themselves in a whole new world.
The benefits to rock climbing are substantial, especially for children and young people whose minds and bodies are still developing. Not only does rock climbing strengthen core muscles, but it improves flexibility and reduces stress.
Some boarders may hone fears of heights or falling, which means this may be the perfect activity for them. Not only will it challenge their fears, but it will also give them a sense of accomplishment when they reach the top of the wall. Their victory will be so much more of an achievement if they conquer their fears on the way up.
Do Festive Activities
Getting the boarders involved in festivities makes them feel much more at home. It puts them at ease, and with Easter just around the corner, why not start planning a massive egg hunt?
Hide some delicious surprises around the school and set the boarders on the Easter Bunny’s trail. Dependant on their ages, it might be a good idea to spray footprints around the school or leave miniature cream eggs as droppings. This will give the boarders a sense of escapism and have them more determined than ever to find out where the Easter Bunny has hidden the chocolate eggs.