Having the kids off school for a week can be quite costly, especially if they’ve all been discussing with their friends what they might be getting up to. To help to keep the cost to a minimum we’ve listed a few of our top tips below for half term activities.
Home cooking school: With celebrity chefs continuing to rise in popularity, most children are aware of the likes of Jamie Oliver and Heston Blumenthal. By using some every day essentials such as eggs, flour, sugar and milk you can whip up everything from cakes to pancakes – a perfect way to keep them entertained indoors for a couple of hours with the benefit of a feast at the end of it.
Home-made science lab: If you mention the word ‘science’ they’ll like to switch of straight away, so the trick here is to kick off with the word ‘experiment’. No child can resist wanting to know more, with the potential for some explosions, bright colours and loud bands. Don’t worry – there’s no need to cause any damage at all (we promise!) as there are some quite simple experiments you can do at home. This includes the classic ‘mento in a coke bottle’ (causing there to be more fizz than you’ll ever have experienced before from just shaking the bottle), as well as ‘piece of bread on the tongue’ (leaving it on until it turns sweet due to the breakdown of starch into sugars). If you’ve never tried these yourself before do a quick search online and you’ll find these plus many more, all of which cost just pennies to do.
A race in the park: If we’re lucky enough to get some good weather, arrange to meet other friends and their children in the local park but make sure everyone brings something in common, such as a bike, scooter or roller blades. You can then set up a race so that normal afternoon turns into an action packed day of events with rewards for all, such as some home made pancakes when you get back indoors.
Rock/pop band: Most children love music and it’s quite quick to make home-made instruments without having to go out and fork out for a drum kit or guitar. Your old pots and pans, coupled with a wooden spoon will work for drums, with a plastic drink bottle filled with rice making a perfect shaker. Hopefully you get the idea from this. It’s then just a case of seeing what else you can find, letting your imagination run riot and then cranking the volume up and getting everyone to play (I say play but it’s used in the loosest sense of the word!) along. It’s guaranteed to put a smile on everybody’s face and gets even better with more people, so both friends and family should be invited to your music session. Just make sure you warn the neighbours!
These ideas should help you to keep the kids entertained for less and as they need minimal forward planning you can pick on the day what you think would be most fun.