February half term is not the best half term. A bit like October half term the weather is dull, cold, wet and really not conducive to days outside as there’s nothing worse than getting cold and damp and then the kids coming down with colds for the rest of the week and wingeing like mad. Your sanity needs to remain intact and thinking of things to do with the kids in half term stretches not only the brain cells but also the bank balance.
For me the dilemma this year has been whether to book any time off. I work full time and the holiday entitlement I do get is precious. Having weighed up the chance of decent weather -v- a fairly decent activities schedule at the school holiday club I opted to keep my holiday and use it later in the year. So for three days next week Addy will head off to holiday camp and get to hang out with her school friends run her legs off and engage her creative side in some pretty cool activities.
They will be heading off to the local cinema at the marina to watch the new Shaun the Sheep movie. Grabbing an ice cream from the ice cream parlour and enjoying some outdoor time in the park, add in making a Paddington Bear, baking bread, making marmalade sandwiches and the usual games, movies and craft sessions she will have a great time.
The week will probably fly by and I know that if I was at home we’d add things into the mix like doing some baking (we enjoy eating cake mixture just as much as the cakes), heading to a big local soft play and maybe meeting up with a few friends or even checking out some local attractions that we are members at such as Twycross Zoo. We bought an annual membership pass in the summer of last year and we can go as many times as we like in a year for a one off fee. I love places that offer this as it makes it really good value for money because often two trips and you’ve got your money back. Luckily Twycross is one of those places that there is lots to do both indoors and outdoors and I am looking forward to being able to take Addy on one of the junior keeper days later this year when she is old enough.
For free activities that we can do during half term then a trip to the library is always a good couple of hours. Addy will spend ages going through the shelves and shelves of books and often take herself off to a corner with a pile of fact and knowledge books to read. This means I can take my book and put my feet up for a good hour and we usually end up walking out with at least twenty books to plough through. Another thing we like doing together that doesn’t cost much is checking out the family splash sessions at our local leisure centre. The pool is clean and warm and an hour in the pool jumping on inflatables and diving for things in the pool certainly tires Addy out which makes for a nice chilled afternoon.
If your kids love movies also check out your local cinema to see if they are doing any low price kids screenings. The movies may be a little older than the current big hits but for a £1 you can have a great family outing that doesn’t cost the earth and maybe treat the kids to a few sweets. Prefer to stay home and watch movies? Create your own movie den, dim the lights and make buckets of popcorn and snuggle up for an afternoon.
As a parent I can’t believe the first half term of the year is already here but thankfully every time they get a little easier to get through. It’s about being creative and finding ways to keep the kids entertained and the stress levels at an even keel. If you want some more great ideas of what to do with the kids during half term check out the brilliant round up from other parenting bloggers on the Attractiontix blog. There are some amazing suggestions on there and I particularly love Alison’s suggestion from dragonsandfairydust.co.uk about taking the kids to museums and galleries as they often have loads of free events that will stimulate inquisitive little minds.
What are your top tips for getting through half term?