How to survive half-term in a global pandemic

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Remember back in the good old days when us parents used to panic about the cold and rainy October half-term? How the hell would we fill the time?

Now of course we realise how damn good we had it. The plethora of options we had was bloody astounding! Play dates at their mates houses, manky soft plays, sleepovers at grandparents, trips to the cinema (mask-free)…

If you’ve hit half-term humpday and are struggling for ideas to entertain your terrors; check out this list of cheap and easy old-school activities to keep them smiling… and keep you off the wine!

  • An absolute hit activity in our house was this ‘Colour In Cardboard Rocket’. Let me tell you; frazzled parents; this is a godsend because it takes a good half day to complete and then they actually play inside it for the other half of the day: Result. Comes in a ‘house’ version as well.
  • Make a den! Maybe you’ll go for the full ‘wrap-up-warm-and-head-to-the-woods’ effort using branches and rocks and tree stumps. Or maybe you’ll play it safe and opt for an indoor den using blankets, towels and every chair in the house. Whichever version you choose; throw yourself into it! Kids of all ages will love the process and the finished product.
  • Beat That is an addictive and hilarious game for the whole family. Invest now to fill in a few hours at half-term and it’s bound to be a hit on Christmas day too. Possibly even funnier with a few sherries in you!
  • I’ve got to say; I’m not recommending this one from experience; but my friends who have slightly more chilled-out kids tell me that an at-home spa day is an absolute winner. Face masks, foot spas, hand massages… sounds idyllic. However I feel there is more chance of my kids serving me a three course meal than going for this rainy day activity.
  • Dobble is just about the best game I’ve found which is guaranteed to kill an hour and brings out the competitive side in kids from toddlers to teens. It can get a little rowdy in our house when playing this I’m not gonna lie. There’s also now a Harry Potter version if that floats your boat!
  • Bring the cinema to your house! Get the popcorn, the ice cream and the drinks. Let the kids pick the movie, shut the curtains and turn the lights off for full cinematic effect… you never know; you might even get a little sneaky snooze.
  • What about a mini Great British Bake Off? You could make three or four different treats and then do a taste test? What’s not to love there? Check out the ‘Ultimate Kids Baking‘ book. It’s bursting with inventive recipes that kids will love having a go at.
  • Go on a beach or woodland treasure hunt! Sometimes it’s really tough to actually get the kids off the sofa and off the screens. I find a bit of bribery does the trick! You know the drill; “If you come and do a beach treasure hunt with me and find ten beautiful shells that all look different; I might, and I say might get you an ice cream on the way home.”

  • If you were a nicer parent than me; you could spend a morning decorating the house with a load of Halloween tat. Then if you were really enthusiastic you could even do a bit of bobbing for apples and dance round the sitting room to Thriller… don’t let my lack of spooky enthusiasm stop you.
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Categories: Kids Stuff