February Half Term Activities
I love half term, the time with the family, recuperating from a hectic term and the mandated holiday from work. Looking after the kids during this time makes it essential you’re unplugged from the corporate beast. You care for and have fun with the very reasons you work in the first place.
However, as much fun as half term can be, we all dread those two or three words. I’m bored. “No!” I hear you cry, “After everything we’ve done. My wallet is empty – how can you be bored!”
Here are my ways to avoid over-spending during the holidays but keeping the kids entertained.
Indoor activities during the February half term
1. Teddy bears picnic – If you go down to the woods today……
Invite the kids’ friends, grandparents and others round and have an indoor picnic.
• Hand out teddy masks or bear ears to each child as they arrive – or get children to make their own from paper plates, card, headbands and felt
• Dig out as many old teddy bears as you can find and scatter them around
• Borrow or buy some plastic tea sets and arrange them alongside the teddy bears
• Lay out different coloured blankets (search charity shops for extra supplies)
• Keep toys or anything needed for activities in picnic baskets
• Hang bunting (you can even make your own), balloons and streamers and hang around the house or fence posts or trees
• Use chalk to draw large paw prints on the path leading to your front door
• Bubbles – kids love chasing bubbles
• Colouring in: Check out pound shops for teddy bear or outdoor-themed colouring in books, or print off colouring sheets.
• Best-dressed bear competition: Give children some time to create costumes for their bears with scraps of fabric, newspaper or even plastic bags. Award prizes to the best creations.
• Teddy bear hunt: Each child has to find a bear with their name on, which has been hidden with a little prize or treat.
Teddy party games:
• What’s the Time Mr Bear?
• Hide and seek, where the teddy bears must hide with their owners
• Use the Teddy Bears’ Picnic music for pass the parcel or musical statues – and make the teddies join in too, of course
• Calm children down at the end of the day (or throughout, if necessary!) with a game of sleeping bears
2. Treasure hunt
Combine with a kids’ party, get the street involved or just the family
3. Movie time – bring the BIG screen to your living room.
Perfect for those rainy days. Let your little one(s) choose the movie theme for the day e.g. Disney day, Harry Potter Day, Action Hero’s day and gorge out in a movie marathon.
Print Admission Tickets – templates
Make your snacks – recipes
Load the floor with sleeping bags, blankets, and pillows for some snuggling while watching the film. Or turn your living room into a drive in movie and make your own cars.
4. Arts and crafts
Get the kids create this half term and make lots of fun things at home
5. Disco time
Move the furniture out of the way to make some space and get ready to boogie – why not include your favourite games like musical bumps or musical statues too?
Make your own microphones – instructions
Put up some fairy lights or make your own disco balls
Choose your music
Make your own drinks bar
6. Get cooking
It’s never to early to teach your kids to cook, healthy and nutritious meals. It’s a fantastic activity to do with your children; they can learn and practice a whole range of skills. There’s no escaping the fact that cooking and baking with kids is going to be messy, so get organised.
The BBC has some great tips on cooking with kids – read more.
7. Science Experiments at home
There are a lot of experiments that can be done using simple ingredients found around your house (always with adult supervision of course!). Bring science awesomeness into your home with DIY experiments right now, this list of 20 DIY science experiments from iflscience.com includes, making things seemingly disappear, freezing water instantly and making your own hydrogen rocket engine!
8. Make an indoor Teepee den
Teepees and homemade tents are a lot of fun indoors and out! Perfect for making a fort or den for the kids and grown ups to enjoy! There are hundreds of resources online on how to create your own on the next rainy day. We like these teepee instructions from Tesco Living blog.
9. Board Games, Jigsaws and card games
Card games – Netmums has some ideas on the games to play with kids. Their list includes:
Beggar my neighbour
10. Reading time
Sharing a book with a child is one of the most fun activities on this list. It’s the perfect time to get snuggled up, get close, laugh and talk together. A shared love of reading will help them in their education and you will be amazed at what it can do for their confidence. In our house, David Walliams is one of our favourite authors but here are some other great reads to try. The Book Trust’s 100 best books.
If you’re more of an outdoors family here’s a quick list of activities you could do if you’re happy to brave the wintery weather this half term!
1. Go to the park
2. Back garden activities
Paint your own plant pots
Make your own bird feeders
3. Go to the beach
4. Go to a museum – locations near me
5. Bike ride or a walk as a family – pack a picnic
6. Cinema – Mini mornings at Vue Cinemas have tickets from only £2.49
7. South Lakes Safari Zoo – Free entry from 1st Jan – 28th Feb 2017 Adults and Children
8. Holiday Football Coaching – locations near me
9. Tennis for free – locations near me
Have I missed something off my list? I’m sure I will have there are hundreds more ideas out there, but please comment and tell me about your favourites! You can join moneyextra.com on Facebook and Twitter too.