The long Summer holidays provide parents in Malta with the perfect opportunity to increase the quantity, quality and benefits of outdoor, cross-curricular experiences for their children. Outings and activities can be thoughtfully planned, allowing children to learn, refine and assimilate skills and knowledge. Parents can act as mentors, delivering highly personalised instructional content, encouraging collaborative discussions and inspiring further research.
The choice for learner-centred outings is endless and children can be actively involved in knowledge acquisition in very simple ways. By visiting a small traditional village bakery and a fully-fledged industrial bakery, children may not only learn about the process of making bread but will appreciate local traditions and debate the effects of industrial machinery and new manufacturing processes. A visit to the Xarolla windmill in Żurrieq would provide a different spin by shedding light on the process of flour milling. Use the windmill to extend the children’s learning by delving into the physics of forces and discussing renewable energy sources. The theme of recycling could also be tackled through a visit to a local glassblowing factory followed by a DIY recycled marble run. This is a fun and inventive way to encourage engineering, problem solving, physics and creativity. A visit to a dairy farm allows children to experience first-hand the daily operation of safe milk production and the care dairy farmers give to their cows, providing the perfect opportunity to discuss the effects of pasteurisation as well as essential nutrition. Cultural awareness and competence are key skills that may be cultivated during a scavenger photo hunt in Valletta. Provide children with a list of photo missions designed to challenge their creativity, improve their observational and photography skills, as well as encourage them to appreciate our capital city’s architecture. The National Library Malta is a place where children can come into contact with old, historic books and documents and also tour the historic building to learn more about paper conservation and library etiquette. On a luzzu to St Paul’s Islands, rugged rocks, serene seagulls and the early morning stillness may be observed along the Xemxija coast before a refreshing dip in the clear water. Exciting activities can also take place at home using limited resources. Cooking, bed making, towel origami, napkin folding, gardening and sugar craft help to develop smart home and hosting skills. The home may also be the right place to encourage mutually beneficial relationship building between generations. Workshops, such as kite building using only flour and water for glue, kite paper, bamboo sticks, masking tape and crochet string will allow the younger generation to learn how older adults played through significant productive activity, resulting in meaningful social connections and engagement.