Autumn half-term is nearly upon us already. After six or seven weeks of school, children are probably ready for a break and to recharge their batteries. As a parent though, it can often be difficult to juggle work commitments and find ways to keep them busy over the holidays.
Here’s some ideas for keeping them entertained during the school break.
The first thing to check at the beginning of the holidays is how your kids’ school uniform has held up in the first few weeks of the school year. Are there any holes in jumpers or knees going through trousers? Have they had a growth spurt?
It’s worth doing a quick stock take to check that uniform is still in good condition, you have enough of everything, and it all still fits. As the weather gets colder, think about the extras you might need like tights and vests, and dig out last year’s hats, scarves and gloves. Also check that they have a decent winter coat, they might have outgrown last year’s!
Make sure that you’re aware of any homework that might have been set for the holidays – you don’t want to get to the following weekend to find out there’s a project they should’ve been working on all week. Kids might moan about having to do it, but it’s always best to get it out the way with so they can relax and have fun.
If you live in or near a city, museums will often put on special shows and workshops during the half-term holidays. Or, if you fancy a day out or live nearer the country, check out the National Trust for kid-friendly half-term activities. A quick Google will come up with lots of fun options local to you!
At this time of year so close to Halloween, you’ll find there are spooky ghost and skeleton walks and ghoulish activities for kids to join in on too.
A great thing about Britain is you’re never far from a patch of countryside, and mostly it’s free to access. Even if you live in a big city, there are plenty of parks to visit and embrace in nature. With autumn in full swing, leaves are starting to fall along with an abundance of conkers, providing endless fun for kids. Look out for different wildlife such as squirrels, robins and hedgehogs. Kids will often want to bring different leaves, conkers and acorns home with them so let them turn them into a collage to show their school friends.
It’s also beneficial for both kids and adults to get out in the fresh air – lots of physical activity will help them (and you) get a good night’s sleep.
If your children are involved in sports, find out if their team is hosting any activity clubs during the holidays, which are a real help for parents who can’t take time off work or work from home. They’re often free or only have a small charge, which helps take the pressure off parents a little.
The weather can be unpredictable in late October, bright fresh sunny days might give way to horizontal rain so it’s worth planning for some indoor fun.
With Halloween just around the corner you can get your kids making homemade decorations out of pieces of coloured paper or card. Bunting is really easy to make using triangles of paper and string; all children need to do is colour them in by drawing on pumpkin faces, monsters, skeletons, witches and spiders.
Or you could cut out paper cobwebs and bats to stick on the windows.