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Half term at home – 10 children’s activities to do at home during the holidays

It is half term and with many of the usual holiday activities now being off limits in several areas due to coronavirus restrictions, we wanted to share some ideas for ways you can have fun at home as a family. You may not be able to do all the things you had planned, or go to the places you wanted to go with the children this week, but there are still lots of fun activities that will keep the whole family busy this half term. Here are ten ideas to get you started…

10 ways to keep children entertained at home this half term

Autumn crafts – Crafts are a great activity for all the family, you can modify for different ages and it is a fun way to encourage your child’s creativity and imagination. The autumn season provides lots of free materials for craft time: crunchy leaves, conkers, acorns. With some paints, glue and a handful of leaves children can create a number of different autumn crafts.

Baking – Baking is another fun way to spend time with children at home and there are lots of treats you can bake this half term. If you celebrate Halloween you could bake a pumpkin pie to mark the occasion or cut biscuits into spooky shapes and decorate with edible googly eyes. Baking has lots of educations benefits too. Baking together with an adult can help children learn to follow instructions, reading a recipe can help with reading skills and measuring out ingredients gives children the opportunity to practice their numeracy skills.

Nature walk – This is not an indoor activity but is something that can be enjoyed regardless of the pandemic. Even in areas under the tightest Coronavirus restrictions, walks outside are still encouraged. Nature in autumn is beautiful and young children will enjoy splashing in puddles from the rain and crunching through leaves on the ground. You could collect lots of leaves on your walk to use for craft time when you get home.

Spooky film day – There are lots of films available to stream this half term that have a spooky/Halloween  theme but are also suitable for young children. Some ideas are Hotel Transylvania, Coco and Monsters Inc. Older children might enjoy watching the Harry Potter films and teenagers may be more interested in watching a horror film (once younger children are in bed!). Spending time together on the sofa watching a film together is an easy and enjoyable way to have some quality family time this half term. If you don’t celebrate Halloween, or the children don’t like spooky films, grab a bowl of popcorn and watch something else, there are plenty of family films to choose from.

Pumpkin carving – It doesn’t feel like Halloween without a carved pumpkin sitting in the window, does it? This is an activity that will need to be closely supervised but can be enjoyed by everyone, from babies to teenagers. Young children will enjoy playing with the slimy, gooey ‘innards’ of the pumpkin and older children can have lots of fun carving creepy faces into their pumpkins. If you feel your child is too young or just would not enjoy carving a pumpkin, you could paint your pumpkin instead, giving the children a chance to really let their creativity shine.

Cook together – Teenagers and older children may get bored more easily when having to stay at home in the holidays, you could use this time to teach them how to cook. Knowing how to cook is an important life skill and one that can be taught gradually over time. Think of a meal that your child enjoys eating and ask if they want to learn to make it themselves. This will be a good opportunity for quality bonding time and you will be teaching your child a valuable life skill during the process.

girl reading a book in half term

Family book club – It can be hard to encourage children to look away from their phones and screens, especially during the holidays. Whilst some screen time is absolutely fine, perhaps this half term you could start a family book club. You could share your favourite childhood book with the children or you could read one of their favourites. Once you have read the story you could all then share your thoughts and favourite parts. Younger children may enjoy doing some colouring in sheets or craft activities based on their favourite books.

Make autumnal play doughThe Mother Cloud Instagram account has a very simple recipe for homemade play dough. As it is October, why not use red, orange and yellow food colouring to create seasonal coloured play dough. You could also add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg to give the dough an autumnal scent. Play dough is a big hit with toddlers and young children and making it yourself means it will not harm young children if they accidently eat it and making it is another activity you can do together.

Halloween fancy dress party – Trick or treating cannot safely go ahead this year due to the pandemic. However, that does not mean children can’t still celebrate Halloween at home if they want to. On the 31st why not dress up anyway, decorate the house and have a ‘party’ at home. Music, spooky snacks and playing games like bobbing for apples, there is still lots of fun to be had this Halloween.

Games day – Most children will not be happy spending the whole of half term away from their screens and phones but there are many ways to enjoy screen time together. You can play games together on your child’s games console, maybe have a family competition or introduce them to games you enjoy to play. Of course there needs to be balance and breaks from screens so why not play some board games or teach them how to play cards.

 There are many things you can do with the children this half term, we hope this post has given you some inspiration for activities to do at home. Plans may have changed, days out may have had to be cancelled and play dates can’t go ahead but there is still lots of fun to be had during this half term. We hope you all have a lovely week.

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