It’s half-term. Are you wondering how on earth you can keep your children entertained for the week after having to home school them for the last month and a half.
Lots of us would be jetting off for a bit of sunshine, going to stay with family and friends or simply visiting places of interest but lockdown has put a stop to all that and has certainly made this half term more challenging than usual.
However, do not despair, there are lots of things that you can do to keep your children busy and entertained with most of them being free or costing just a small amount of money.
We have some ideas that will keep them entertained and hopefully get them some well needed fresh air and exercise too.
Use this time as an opportunity to recharge the batteries as we’re sure this is needed much more at this time compared to when the children are physically going to school.
Try some of the following ideas. Hopefully there is something for all age ranges so pick and choose the ones which your children will enjoy:
- Camping! Ok so you can’t actually go anywhere at the moment, but kids love camping so either pitch a tent in the garden or if it is too cold, make a tent in the house using sheets and furniture. This will help them to feel like they are having a night away. You can make a picnic, cook burgers or hotdogs, read stories, play games or cuddle up and watch a film. Add night lights and twinkly fairy lights!
- Dig out old photographs and look through them, either putting them in order or into photo albums as you go. Explain how the people in the photos are related to your children. It’s amazing where the time goes with this one and you get all your photos sorted at the same time.
- Hide bean bags around the house with a little treat attached to each one and let your children have a treasure hunt. Write out clues for them so that each one leads to the next one and add a slightly larger prize to the last one. You can do this outside too if the weather is ok. This can be as long or as short as you want depending on the age of your children, and clues can be pictures, simple sentences or more cryptic for older children.
- Make a long walk more interesting by giving your children a list of things to find along the way such as pinecones, different types of leaves, feathers and include spotting wildlife too such as a squirrel or a butterfly.
- Do an exercise class with your children. Depending on their age it could be a challenging workout or something as simple as dancing along to a Zumba class. The Latin music will make it feel like you are on holiday.
- Have a cooking or baking session. Try homemade pizzas, pancakes, cupcakes or ice-cream sundaes. Let them use their imagination for what they want to make and which ingredients they want to use. You might get your tea made doing this one 😊
- Take a look at some of the virtual tours which many of the museums are doing. There’s something for everyone including the British Museum in London, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Walt Disney Family Museum, and the Natural History Museum which includes exhibits of the African bush elephant, the butterfly pavilion, the bearded lady project and the hall of fossils!
- Set up an obstacle course in the garden and include things to run through and over, jumping, skipping and rolling. Turn it into a race by having things at the end to collect and bring back. The first one to bring 3 bean bags back as well as completing the course wins.
- If your children are interested in performing (this was always a great one for us 😊) get them to put on a show, whether that’s singing, dancing, acting out part of a play or all 3!
- Get hold of a sandpit, wrap them up and let them make sandcastles and sand pies etc.
- Get some large stones and have fun painting them (you can then give them to grandparents as a present when we’re allowed to meet up again! 😊)
- Grab some crayons and a colouring book and sit and colour together.
- Cuddle up and watch a film with some popcorn – there’s nothing wrong with a duvet day or afternoon.
- Have an afternoon of games. If you have outdoor games such as jumbo bowling, golf, hoopla or any of the giant outdoor games such as connect 4, then get them out and have fun. Include games such as hide and see, blind man’s buff and wheelbarrow races, or draw a hopscotch grid on the ground. If the weather isn’t good, then play board games inside, or games like musical statues.
- Have an arts and crafts session using things such as card, tissue paper, wool, kitchen roll tubes, pipe cleaners, buttons, felt, paint and glitter. Try making greeting cards, masks, suncatchers, pom poms, sock animals, little people or animals from the tubes, paint a plant pot or make balloon animals.
- Make friendship bracelets to give to your friends.
- You can buy kits quite cheaply to make bath bombs, soaps, basket weaving, make a magnet kit, stained glass decorating kits, paint a mug kit, shrink keyring kits and many more.
- Set the whole family a daily challenge such as drinking a certain amount of water, eating a specific number of fruit and vegetables, walking a set number of steps or doing an exercise challenge such as 20 squats or burpees.
- Dress up as your favourite Disney princess or dinosaur, include a themed meal and watch your favourite film.
- Decluttering! This is a great opportunity to clean and tidy bedrooms, getting rid of those toys which are broken or no longer played with. Get them to help, and then treat them to something new once they have sorted toys which can be thrown away, sold or donated.
Don’t let lockdown spoil your fun. Make this a week to remember and above all, keep calm and enjoy half term 😊
Caroline & Hannah xx