School out for summer? If you find yourself with a little more free time with the sprog than usual, and if you happen to live in a country which (like Japan) uses handheld fans as freebies for advertising, then strip those fans to the skeleton, remove the unwanted ad, and have your child make a nicer one!

After drawing an outline around your fan on a piece of A4 paper, have your child rip off all the advertising from both sides. This is a most pleasing, time consuming and involving activity, and you can praise them for destroying it so thoroughly.

While your child fills in the outline of the fan with any image that takes their fancy (a sticker collage, a drawing, the first 500 words of the dictionary), take the plastic frame and give it a scrub with a kitchen sponge under the tap. It takes 2 minutes. Then dry it, and spend 5 or so minutes talking to your child about what they are drawing.

When the masterpiece is complete, have them cut out the shape and use a stick of glue to stick it on to the frame. Simplicity itself, and a nice little creative activity that you can do for no extra money. And the result?


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