Welcome Half Term!

Welcome Half Term!

It feels like we were just writing about returning to school, and here we are in another half term. Time goes so quickly - and while these early years in our children’s lives can be busy, and very hard work for parents - they also are the most magic. So, if you’re scrambling for ideas for how to connect with your children in this half term, we’ve got you covered. Read on for some simple activity ideas for playful games and experiences. Enjoy!

Get out to a National Trust property (it might just be free!)

We’re very fortunate indeed here in the UK to be spoilt for choice when it comes to National Trust properties. Almost all properties put on fun free activities during half term, from nature trails to lawn games and craft sessions, usually with the opportunity for a picnic and a spot of local history learning. The National Trust often offer free days out during half terms so do keep your eye out for one-time passes. Otherwise, it’s worth the cost to visit a property if you’re not a member. Look for places with half-term sessions ready planned, opportunities for exploring the grounds on foot or bike, and nature playgrounds or nature trails. They’re a real favourite of ours at Eeny Meeny!

Visit your favourite woodland or seaside nature spot 

The British countryside has so much to offer, so make a day of it and visit your favourite woodland spot (think forests, protected or otherwise) or seaside spot. Do a little research beforehand, such as learning about what creatures are likely to be found in the woods or the seafront near you, and take some drawing materials to sketch them! These could become family favourites to frame for years to come. We have plenty of drawing materials, such as these lovely water-soluble crayons, which can be used during the artistry moments through to bath time. If your visit inspires further play and learning, you might like to offer your children a fun colouring mat like this Colour-in Countryside activity set. Great for giving you a moment to drink a warm coffee or tea, too!

Play games that help you connect

If you have been here for a while, you will know that we are huge fans of open-ended, collaborative board games at Eeny Meeny, and half term is always the perfect time to get out your family collection and play together. We find this is particularly helpful as an activity towards those dwindling days of the holidays, when parents and caregivers might be running low on energy and inspiration for ways to connect! We have a blog post here introducing one of our favourite board game brands, Londji, and another post all about hosting a fun family game afternoon.

Explore the first signs of spring

As we enter the February half-term, spring ebbs ever closer. Why not take your little ones out on a spring hunt? You may spot trees and bushes budding, or a snowdrop or two. It’s worth researching the local Spring minibeast and bird population to see if you can find any coming out of their winter homes, too. This bug spotter kit is a great start to your search, while Moulin Roty’s binoculars will come in handy if you’re searching for feathered friends. This pizza kit for the birds set will encourage garden visitors too - if you’re searching locally!

Get crafting

Finally, crafting is always a winner when you’re looking for simple homely activities to get your little ones involved in. The added benefit here is (hopefully) a little hands-off peace and quiet - or you might be jealous and want to join in the fun! Perhaps you could try making a Valentine’s card or Valentine’s gift for the upcoming romantic day, or give junk modelling with leftover child-safe recyclables a go, and design the bugs or birds you spotted out and about! If you’re looking for something more ready-made to work with, Cotton Twist have a beautiful range, such as this Superhero Mask Kit, or for older artists, perhaps this Sequin Lion kit, which will also support fine motor skills.

Happy half term!

As always, we hope you enjoy this time to connect with your little ones. The days may be long, but the years are short. Good luck!

Emily Hanson

Freelance Writer, Education and Play Specialist

Emily Hanson is a freelance writer with specialisms in education and play. Emily holds a PGCE and M.Ed from the University of Cambridge - although her proudest achievements are her two beautiful daughters.

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