I don’t know about you, but for me this half term has flown by. Usually this term seems the longest (in fact I think in weeks it probably is). But for some reason it has gone by in a flash this year. And so, instead of limping across the finishing line, I feel caught out by my lack of preparation for the half term break. It’s time for fun…but in what form? Ahhh! Bad, disorganised, mummy!
I’m never one for a lot of forward planning (too much effort). While I love to book in one or two days of meeting with friends or planned activities, I relish the feeling of getting up in the morning and debating with the kids what we will do for the day. (Pyjama day, anyone…??!)
When the boredom kicks in
This does have the downside though that sometimes the boredom kicks in…for the kids, not for me so much. There’s always the thrill of laundry to entertain! When they’re not overtired and being inventive, we can find endless ways to entertain ourselves. But when the tiredness kicks in by mid afternoon, the arguments can start.
Now at this point I can turn the T.V. on. It’s not my favourite tool, but it has it’s purpose. But I usually find that this just leads to as many arguments about WHAT we watch, so it’s hardly a perfect solution. Plus I kind of resent paying to download films too regularly.
So what can we do instead?
Get creative with a bored box!
A lovely friend of mine, for whom I have the utmost respect as a calm and seemingly unflappable mother of three, once advised me to create a ‘bored box’, or ‘bored jar’. And so I did. It’s just the thing we need, come the witching hour.
It takes as much or as little time to create as you want, and can be as simple or decorative as you like. Given the recent Roahld Dahl celebrations you could even hijack the idea of a dream jar and make that your half-term saviour! And you can create it as a surprise for your kids, or all make it as an activity together.
But the key is what’s inside…!
Simple….lots of little bits of folded paper with ideas for what to do. Each day when the boredom kicks in, one or more of your children gets to pick a piece of paper from the jar, and you can enjoy the activity together. Make sure the activities are things you can all enjoy – there’s nothing like a tantrum in response to your genius creativity! But if they are generally things you know go down well with your little people, you should be home and dry.
So here are some of our favourites from our bored-box / dream jar:
Ideas for fun, FREE, activities for half term!
- Create an obstacle course
- Put on a show (fashion/music/gymnastics – whatever takes your fancy)
- Have a disco
- A treasure hunt (naturally!) or a scavenger hunt (you can use Gotrovo either way) – take it in turns to lay trails for kids and adults
- Bake cakes or crispies
- Water/pillow fight
- Build a camp
- Object hide and seek (hide an object, get them to find it)
- Remote control toy races
- Create a mini-spa (nails, hair, facial – even the little boys love this one)
- Messy play – take all the old ingredients from your cupboards and mix them up! Kids LOVE it!
- Outdoor massive chalk drawings
- Leaf or coin rubbings
- Pressing flowers
- Start a collection and categorize it – stamps, conkers, anything!
- Create a bug house
- Run a school
- Have a tea party / dolls and teddy tea party
- Create a secret language or code and write messages to each other
- Play secret spies, vets with the toys, shop keepers etc – imaginative play is the best!
It doesn’t really matter what you do. The ideas need to be specific to what your kids enjoy, but the opportunities are endless. And you can enjoy thinking these ideas up in the moments when you’re NOT all overtired and yelling at each other!
So give it a try, it really does work. It’s a great way to rescue an afternoon from squabbles and crossness and turn it into another happy memory maker! Time for fun….here we come!