If you’re starting to panic about how to keep the littles occupied this half-term, help is at hand. The most important thing you can do with your children is spend time with them, so don’t worry if you can’t afford to take them to expensive venues every day. There are plenty of fun things to do that won’t break the bank. Why not try some of the ideas below if you’re struggling for inspiration?
Enjoy free local activities
Every town or city will have free events on offer if you keep an eye out for them. Maybe there’s a special kid-friendly exhibition on at your local museum or art gallery. Perhaps there’s a storytelling session or a music workshop. Or you could make visiting the library an activity and help them pick out some inspiring books for the week. Some churches even run free activity weeks for parents who aren’t able to take the week off work.
There’s nothing that fires up a child’s imagination like a good craft session. Maybe your kids love sewing, crochet or knitting, or perhaps they love getting messy with a table full of paints. You could give them the materials to make a junk model based on a story they love or you could bake some cupcakes and decorate them together. Hama beads, scratch art, stained glass and friendship bracelets can also make for hours of fun. Hit up your local craft shop if you’re short on supplies, or if you’ve already got Lego, playdough or a simple paper and pencil set you could get your create on with those.
Enjoy the great outdoors
It’s so important for kids to get out in the fresh air and enjoy a bit of exercise while they’re about it. If it’s wet and chilly, stick your wellies and splash suits on and remember to pack a change of clothes. Take a walk on the beach and play a bit of frisbee. Head to the park and kick a ball about or feed the ducks. Drive to a nature reserve or the nearest woods and see what animals you can spot. If you’re still in the creative zone, why not take some art materials and sketch the scenery, or use your camera to capture key moments and make a journal when you get home? Alternatively, you could practise your map-reading skills with a bit of orienteering or take part in a treasure hunt. The world is your oyster!
Eat some treats
As a child you often remember the food you ate as much as the activities you did. Why not have a winter picnic or an indoor barbecue? Treat yourselves to a takeaway or eat some classic party snacks. It’s never too cold for kids to eat ice cream, and popcorn always goes down well while you’re watching a favourite family film. Healthy foods can also make great snacks. Why not make a fruit salad or smoothie together? Getting your kids interested in food can be fun and educational, and is also a great way to bond and get a bit of extra help in the kitchen.
Hang out with friends
Everything is more fun with a friend or two in tow. You could either get together with another parent who has kids the same age, or do a deal with other parents so they have all the children one day and you have them the next. Spending time with cousins and grandparents is always really special if you’re fortunate enough to have family members nearby. If you’re feeling really brave you could throw a fun day for a big crowd of friends and family using some of the ideas above. Other parents will be eternally grateful, and your children will remember it for years to come.