Today’s guest post is from the lovely Anna at In the Playroom. Anna is a Mum of 3 boys, living in London, blogging about crafts, days out and family fun. Her blog is well worth a visit and you can also follow her on Twitter. Anna is giving us ideas for Half Term Activities.
Half term is soon approaching, and with the colder weather setting in, it’s tempting to stay indoors and hibernate but of course the children will still need entertaining! So, to help you make the most of your week here are some suggestions for all weathers and all budgets.
Days out Outside
If you do decide to brave the chilly weather and get outdoors, there are loads of interesting places to explore here in the south-east. I would recommend:
Free to enter, lovely country park near Watford. You really do get the feeling of being out in the country, and it is also home to 100 Aker Woods with Winnie the Pooh’s home and many of Winnie the Pooh’s friends. There is a lake to walk around, and there is also a playground here for the use of children with Special Needs and their siblings. Bring wellies and an umbrella in case of rain!
Budget level – Low Budget
This is open until 3rd November, so half term is your last chance! For those who have not been before, it is a model village with working trains running all around. There is loads to see, and although it is almost the same as it would have been in Victorian times, it still keeps the children enthralled! It also has playgrounds and a train which you can ride.
Budget Level – Moderate
This is also still open over half term and has some special Brick or Treat activities including fancy dress and 2000 brick orange pumpkins! You can also still enjoy all the rides and the Lego displays in miniland as usual.
If the chance of rain does put you off the above, then what about some of these days out which are under shelter. It will still give you all a change of scene and keep the children busy!
Days Out Indoors
Kids screenings at the cinema
The cinema can be a great day out, somehow it feels more exciting than watching the same movie at home, especially if the film is in 3D or you can treat the children with some popcorn. Most Cinema chains have cheaper kids screenings in the morning on weekends or every day throughout half term, which makes it an ideal cheaper option! Have a look whats on Vue Kids AM or Odeon Kids.
If your child doesn’t like the cinema or doesn’t fancy what is on, you could always recreate the cinema atmosphere at home by making some popcorn together before watching a new movie. Netflix is a brilliant option as there are a lot of movies on there nowadays!
Budget – Low Budget
Local Activities in the Shopping Centre
Many of the bigger shopping centres like Westfield or Intu will have children’s activities on over half term, such as workshops. With half term falling over Halloween, my local Intu will be having children’s Halloween workshops and we have been to some great Pizza making workshops before. These may need to be pre-booked.
Budget Level – Low Budget (Unless you get tempted by all the shops once you are there of course! 😉
Soft play is always a popular choice, for the children to burn off some energy! And hopefully it will give parents the chance to relax and have a coffee while we let them get on with it! Trying a different centre a little further from home, or one you have not been to before can be a way of making this idea more interesting too. Some centres have exciting features like climbing walls or go carting, which could be great! When you have more than one child this can start to really add up, but it definitely keeps the children entertained and wears them out!
Budget Level – Moderate
If you do want a couple of days at home to take life easy a bit, which can be lovely after the routine of getting up early and out of the house for 8 or 8.30 every day for school, then here are a few ideas for simple activities to keep the children entertained at home.
- Cutting and sticking collages from magazines or pictures printed from the internet
- Board games or cards games
- Write a story or make their own comic
- Design a robot, spaceship or whatever they like
- Build a train track
- Give them cardboard boxes and see what they create!
- Decorating stones or conkers
- Plaster of Paris
- Making Quizzes for each other
There are loads more ideas, you could even write your own list then give it to them if they come along saying “Mum, I’m bored!” Sometimes it is useful to make a time-table for the half term week and fill it in together with the children so they know what to expect. For example picking one activity inside the home, and one activity outside the home that they can do each day. For the rest of the day then, they can amuse themselves but it gives that bit of a structure to the week which some children do need.
Whatever your plans for half term, I hope everyone has a great week!