The school holidays are nearly here! If you’re wondering how to keep the kids entertained, don’t panic.
21 ways to keep the kids entertained
1. Go out and about
There are some fantastic websites who have put together guides of places to go this half term to keep the kids entertained.
- Little Ankle Biters curates school holiday guides for Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Oxfordshire.
- The Mummysphere have put together a February half-term guide for Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
- Muddy Stillettos now covers most of the UK, so take a look at their site and pick your county to find the relevant guide for you.
- Little Bird shares ideas and discounts for family activities.
- Where can we go also shares ideas of what’s on, which you can filter for your area and by dates.
2. Get creating!
You could buy one of my craft boxes, which include 4 themed art and sensory ideas designed to capture your child’s imagination. For example, with the Superhero Adventure craft box, where you can become a superhero for the day!
If you’re going on holiday take a Squidgydoodle craft box with you. It includes everything that you need to complete the activities, so you can use it wherever you are. I have a few paint free versions, so you don’t need to worry about the aeroplane liquid restrictions.
If you want to do some free creating, you could do some junk modelling. You can find more about the benefits of junk modelling in my blog post. Don’t forget to share your creations tagging @squidgydoodle or #squidgydoodle as I love seeing them.
3. Treasure hunt/Scavenger hunt
A treasure hunt or scavenger hunt is a great way to keep the kids entertained. You could make one for your kids, or download one, or get your kids to make one for you or for their sibling, friends etc.
We have a Gotrovo mini treasure hunt game, which we often take on holiday with us. It’s great for little ones who can’t read yet, as there are picture based clues which you can hide, then follow.
We did a downloadable treasure trail for Cheltenham on a weekend away with the kids. It was a good way of getting the kids to explore and walk a lot further than they would have done usually, without complaining!
4. Obstacle race
My kids love an obstacle race. If the weather is bad, you can still do it indoors. My exercise mat is a regular feature of any games my kids play!
5. Camping in the garden
If you’ve got a tent, why not camp in the garden?
6. Design a game
Ask your child to design a game, it could be a board game, or a more active game.
7. Build a den
We have lots of blankets and scarves and pegs that my kids often use to make an indoor den with. Some people drape blankets over their dining table. My kids construct elaborate designs involving the sofa, chairs, stools. They usually request that they can eat their tea by torch light in their den!
8. Do some cooking
We’re big fans of baking during the school holidays. My kids love the Gruffalo recipe book. Favourites are the mouse toast and potato owls!
9. Movie day
A movie day doesn’t need to involve a trip to the cinema. You could watch a film at home, with popcorn, snuggled up on the sofa together.
10. Museums and galleries
There are lots of child friendly museums and galleries. Like the Tate Modern, National History Museum, Science Museum in London, Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery , Roald Dahl Museum and Chiltern Open Air Museum, in Buckinghamshire, The Story Museum in Oxford or further afield we love Eureka! in Halifax.
11. Make a habitat, or food for an animal
12. Go for a walk
If you have reluctant walkers in your family, you could try motivating them by Geocaching, or join an orienteering trail. Thames Valley Orienteering Club run regular events at some beautiful venues in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, which you can enjoy as a family. You visit a series of checkpoints and register each one with an electronic timing chip, which helps to keep the kids entertained. The checkpoints are marked by flags on the ground and may be along paths, earth banks, streams etc. It’s great fun!
13. Make the kids King or Queen for the day!
Would you dare to let your kids be in charge for a day? What do you think they’d make you do?
14. Dance party
15. Create a band
Your kids could create their own musical instruments and then create their own band! Here’s a great round-up of ’13 homemade instruments that actually play music’ from Red Tricycle.
16. Play a family game
If your child loves games, they’ll love the activities on Playtivities! It’s packed full with creative family games to encourage your kids off the sofa, iPad etc
17. Go to your local library
18. Get them gardening
The BBC website has a gardening with children guide.
19. Ask them to create a play
They could create their own costumes, accessories or props for the play from junk, or they could make puppets. Find out more about the benefits of storytelling and some creative ways to bring a story to life in my blog post.
20. Paper plane making/throwing competition
21. Let them be bored
You might be wondering why the owner of a craft box business is encouraging you to let your child be bored! Research has shown that it’s good for kids to be bored sometimes.
Children need to sit in their own boredom for the world to become quiet enough that they can hear themselves. It is only when we are surrounded by nothing that something comes alive on the inside. – Dr. Vanessa Lapointe
When your child grows up you won’t be there every moment of the day, finding things for them to do. They need to learn how to motivate themselves and being bored is a part of that.
Boredom breeds creativity and imagination, which is what Squidgydoodle is all about. I’m passionate about encouraging children to use their imaginations to discover, explore and create. You can do that with my craft boxes, but I’m equally as happy if your child decides to turn your sofa into a pirate ship and your lounge into a stormy sea just using their imagination.
Do you have any ideas of how to keep your kids entertained this school holiday?
Note: I have not received payment from any of the brands mentioned. They are solely products or companies which I have used and would recommend to others.