February half-term break is coming around already, and with schools having been shut for the first six weeks of 2021 and home schooling back on for most parents, you might be wondering how on earth you can keep them entertained during the break.
With the country in lockdown again, there won’t be any school ski trips or family holidays, but there are plenty of ways to keep your kids occupied from, and close to home.
Pancake Day falls in half-term for many kids this year. Whether it’s traditional crepes, American-style fluffy pancakes or even savoury versions, get the kids involved in making their own creations – older siblings can even help supervise. Our How to have a flipping marvellous Pancake Day post has some great ideas.
YouTube has some great ‘learn to paint' channels and tutorials for kids of all ages (and adults too), so the whole family can join in. They’re designed to help anyone be able to paint, even those who don’t think they can draw a straight line. The Art Sherpa and Paint it Kids are two great channels to get started.
If you want to limit screen time and build something instead, why not encourage birds into your garden by making a DIY bird feeder? The Woodland Trust has some great ideas for making cheap and easy versions, or you could even get the kids to make one out of Lego!
Do a school uniform stock take
With schools having been closed since Christmas, it’s a perfect time to do a stock take if they do re-open in early March. Many schools will be keeping the windows open to keep the air circulating so it’s worth checking that your kids have enough warm clothes such as jumpers, school hoodies and plenty of layers.
Get them involved by giving you a fashion show of their current uniform to see if they have everything they need, that it all fits and is in good condition.
Get out in the fresh air
Going on a walk in the fresh air is really good for the spirits, but it can cause some moaning before you’ve even left the house. Make it more exciting by setting some challenges for your kids – how many different animals and birds can they spot?
Once you get home, ask them to draw what they’ve seen and to write a letter about the walk to their grandparents or other relatives. With many older people shielding, it’ll be a nice surprise to get in the post.
BBC Bitesize has some great videos for making learning fun. Even if it’s the holidays, if your children have a particular interest, there’s nothing to stop them carrying on learning during the break. There’s also games for primary-aged kids and revision help for older children too.
Kids of all ages will be missing their friends, so why not organise an online get-together with some of their besties? Platforms such as Zoom and Houseparty can make the process really easy and with help from other parents you can come up with a theme, quizzes and even match up food and decorations so they feel like they’re having a proper party.
Take a break
Trying to balance working from home and keeping kids entertained isn’t easy. These are just a few ideas so remember it’s OK for you to take a break too. Don’t worry too much about a little extra screen time and keeping them busy every waking minute of the day. There’s absolutely nothing wrong if you want to sit down your kids down in front of a film with a takeaway, while you enjoy some peace and quiet.