Half Term Activities; fun, fast and free!

Introduction; Half Term Activities

Read on if you’re after fun, free (or at least very cheap) and easy half term activities. Written with a chilly UK October half term in mind, but most activities adaptable and suitable for all sorts of climates.

Because many brains are better than one, seven of us have put our heads together and come up with this list of half term activities. I am so excited to have some cool new stuff to try and have thoroughly enjoyed working with such friendly, creative people. I’ll introduce them, their blogs and websites soon!

You’ve got to love idea sharing. It was one of the best bits of being teacher; like parenting its an amazing job complete with time, resources and exhaustion pressures (although teaching does allow you to go to the loo on your own and sleep!). Getting that worksheet from a colleague or passing one their way always felt good, and made such a difference to my free time and motivation.

You will notice that there are still spaces to fill in this half term activities post – I’m a great believer in there always being room for one more.  We would love to hear from you. Ideas added will include a link to your blog and/or a shout out to your Instagram or Facebook (if you want one!).

Anyway, I’ll stop the chat now…

Half Term Activities for Kids

A is for Autumn Walk

Whether Autumn is your season or not, a pine cone or conker hunt is bound to get you in the Autumn mood. Rachael’s eldest collected twigs and leaves on one such walk and then went home to create a picture of a hedgehog.  Weirdly my biggest did the same thing this weekend!

A hedgehog from conkers!Rachael ons of the activity makers

 

Rachael runs @confessionsofmunchkinmaker on Instagram and also posts on her own blog which you can hop to here. She can be relied upon to give an honest insight into her life as a mother, in a very relateable style. She is a very friendly blogger who will always take the time to have a chat.

 

 

I find that getting ready to go out can be an activity and a half in itself, so I am planning on digging out some suitable collection bags and making sure that the wellies and waterproofs are at the ready! Kids can become so much easier once you’re sharing the joy out and about!  How cute are Cath’s little ones?!

 

C is for Cardboard Box

Wooden puppets for cardboard box theatre

So many things to do with a cardboard box! Our most recent escapade has been a bit of puppet theatre / television play. Gives them a chance to let off steam, get creative and perhaps give you a bit of an insight into how they’re feeling.  Minimal set up, 

These wooden characters are made by Crayola and were bought from the Range. Whether you go for a television or not with your box, there is always a lot of fun to be had with a trusty cardboard box. Let us know what you do with yours in the comments!

 

D is for Drawing

You can get great rolls of paper from craft shops, some supermarkets (I know Asda sells it) and B and Q (wallpaper lining!).

Lots of options but I really recommend sticking a section down for each child, so that they have their own space to get creative. Have it stuck down in the morning and buy yourself a nice, slow start to the day for just five minutes of setting up.

 

E is for Experiments!

Next up is an idea from my oldest Instagram friend Leanne from @dear__katy. Her account made the whole social media place seem real and human to me almost a year ago. She rarely takes a compliment so I’m enjoying her not being able to answer back as I type this. She loves an experiment and has some lovely unique ideas for fun things to do with kids. You can check out her blog here or go and say hello on her Instagram page.

 

This one is my favourite experiment and is perfect if you’re looking for a bit of seasonally appropriate wonder. The only thing you need to do in advance is add the ingredients to an upcoming shopping list and make sure you have suitable containers at the ready! Click here for the link to Leanne’s blog and instructions.

 G is for Geocaching (one of our favourite half term activities)

I’m very excited to soon be trying this suggestion from Cath. See below for her fab instructions!

Cath always makes me laugh and can be relied upon for supportive encouragment. She’s funny and I always look forward to looking up her posts; not least because she can often be found being pelted with water bombs or something similar on Instagram!

Geocaching Instructions

First you download the app, there is a free version with an option to upgrade. Once downloaded you can search for caches in your area. It’s basically a treasure hunt! As they state on their website – the biggest treasure hunt in the world!

The app will give you a general location and a clue. When you get to the rough location, e.g. the park, the app will point you in the right direction and tell you the cache’s distance from you. It will only get you to the general area and the cache is usually hidden quite well – so be prepared for a challenge!  She can be found on instagram @th3secretlife of me and also on her blog which you can find here!

There is either a tube with a list to sign off or a pot where you can take a little trinket. Think party bag toy. You then replace it with something you took with you.

Cath is also a big fan of conker, pine cone and acorn hunting. A traditional outing for her family, she might also collect some leaves, identifying them with her son on the computer once home. How fab an idea is this?! I definitely need to write my own list for the fridge!

She also rates using pine cones to make Christmas decorations; I am so with her on this one – every year we have some hanging from our tree that I made before having kids. Must include them in the fun this year!

H is for HOT and COLD!

The old ones are often the best and I love the spin that Laura and her boys put on the classic “Hot or Cold” game, with their cute hide the teddy bear version.  Perfect for a rainy day and a firm favourite with Laura’s boys.   

 

Laura from @laura.apivibe juggles working from home with raising her two boys and studying to be a wellness coach. Not sure how this is possible but she does it very well!  She talks about parenting, lifestyle, well being and mental health in an upbeat, positive, cheerful style.  Her account is their to make you feel good and it does! – thank you Laura!  She can also be found on her website which has just had an exciting facelift – check it out here!

 

You might find Cath playing similar at a park with her kids, hiding some edible treats to find – another great shout!

 

J is for Just Dance youtube videos.

This one is a hit with Sarah from Corporate to Kids and her children.  Beware some of the songs are VERY catchy.  Also make sure that you check the versions of some of the songs – some say ” clean version” –  I recommend watching in advance.  Click here for Sarah’s favourite!

Sarah’s dry sense of humour and fun always make me smile.  We both have two boys of certain ages which make our lives pretty parallel at times!  She has a catalogue of thought provoking posts over at her website, which you can find here

You can also find her on Instagram sharing fun snippets of her day to day life.  She was able to swap a corporate HR working city life for more time with her two children and writing from home.  She recently gained more time to work on her business, as her littlest started school.

Sarah shares her parenting wins (not many – aside, she’s being modest!) and fails and is very passionate about women in the workplace and birth rights and trauma (having been through a shocking birth).

Another good set of You Tube music videos can be found searching for  “The Wiggles”.  These kept my three interested for ages one wet, tired Friday evening, they even started learning Japanese at one point.  Thanks so much Laura and Sarah for these fab fun discoveries!  If music is your thing, you might enjoy my toddler music post on songs that are more fun with a glove on!

Leaf is for Leaf Printing

 

I’m always tempted to get the paints out when I see what Helly has been up to!   Just look at these leaves.  I know that mine would adore this so am planning on a Autumn walk one day, leaving myself with a painting activity up my sleeve for another.  

I won’t tell my kids this or they’ll be asking for paints from the word ‘what do you want for breakfast’?  Anybody else’s?!

 

Helly runs a very popular and funny Fledgling Flamingos on Facebook, Instagram account and her own website! – this link will take you there!  Her blogging tales never fail to make me laugh or cry (in a good way!).  She gets the whole sappy numpty thing, although she is a far cooler sappy numpty than me!

 

I can’t wait to try some leaf printing, although I suspect ours won’t look half as good as her’s and Ev’s!

 

We are half way through the Half Term Activities now, time to make a cuppa and come back and make that list for your fridge!

P is for Play dough

Who doesn’t love a squidgy mound of play dough to poke, prod and shape! Making your own means that you can have loads, without the cost and without the plastic pots. Click here if you want to see Cath’s easy to follow recipe and guide. I love reading Cath’s posts and am sure you will too.

Here are some snaps of Rachael’s lovely two following Cath’s recipe and making some very cool looking dough!

And for pumpkins!




How cool?  Paint, glitter and glue is all you need says Leanne.  Her lovely daughter Katy managed this one pretty much by herself.

R is for Rocks!

Another favourite of Cath’s and one I keep meaning to try, especially as it is two activities rolled into one. Arguably three! The rocks need to be sourced (Hobby shops and The Range do normally stock them), painted and then hidden with a lovely message on the back for the finder.

If you check your Facebook, you might be able to find local groups which sometimes give hints of parks etc, where they’ve recently been hidden. You are also encouraged to post a photo of the find, so people get to see their rocks again!

 S is for….shopping! (Of course.)

Supporting charities, getting out of the house and maybe some contented playing time when they’re back, are just three of the reasons why I love Sarah’s Charity Shop Treat Day.

The idea’s beauty is all in its in easy, no planning required execution.  As a half term treat they get a couple of pounds to spend at a charity shop – perfect for a blustery October day. I’m so in on this one!

 

T is for Treasure Hunt

Laura, Rachael and Helly enjoy taking their lovely littles on scavenger hunts. Laura draws some pictures, Rachael has sourced some images and popped them in a word document and Helly has turned it into a game of Nature Bingo!

If the weather is too bad Laura might be found rigging up similar around her house, with one post-it picture of a household item leading to a picture of another.

I think we all might be a bit treasure hunt obsessed – definitely plan on giving this a go (even though my art abilities are dubious).

 

 W is for “Where am I going to put that?”

 

You have to love Rachael’s thinking; when faced with a pile of conkers and other ‘treasures’ she makes an Autumn vase. Celebrating Autumn and nature, entertaining the kids and tidying up in one fell swoop. Genius. The ones we can’t turn into Christmas decorations will definitely be popped into a vase!  I hope to have a photo of it ere shortly!

Y is for Yoga and Z is for Zen Den

Cosmic Kids! 

 

Leanne has told me about this before so I only have myself to blame for only recently checking it out. A great wind down at the end of the day or a lovely, chilled activity to share and enjoy inside.  A zen den before bed (also on cosmic kids) makes for a lovely and free way to enjoy some calm time at bedtime.  Boys already familiar from school and I love the emphasis on them taking care of their emotional well being.

Click here for one of the Cosmic Kids Zen Den youtube videos.

 

A lovely account on Instagram has recommended B being for books!  How did we miss this, great idea! I will add this in properly soon but what a great shout – she uses props to bring a story to life or costumes to act it out.  You can check her instagram account out here, thanks Cassie!

And finally if you’re looking for some more fun, I recommend popping over to Mother of all that is Perry’s Blog for some great ideas for little ones.

 

 

2 comments

  1. I can’t wait to try these. It was really great to share ideas because now I have a plan for half term and I don’t need to write a list as it’s all here xx

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