Half term holidays almost here!
I don't know about you, but for me this half term has flown by. Usually it seems the longest of the school periods (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, as we usually do, I feel caught out by my lack of preparation for the half term break. Bad mummy!
I'm never one for a lot of forward planning (too much effort), but while I love to book in one or two days of meeting with distant friends or planned activities, I love the feeling of getting up in the morning and debating with the kids what we will do for the day. (Pyjama day, anyone...??!)
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. Especially with Halloween decorations to make (but more of that in another upcoming blog). But when the tiredness kicks in by mid afternoon, the arguments can start.
Now at this point I could (and sometimes do) turn the T.V. on. I don't like the thing, but it has it's purpose. But I usually find that this just leads to as many arguments about WHAT we watch as we were encountering in the first place, so it's hardly a perfect solution. Plus I kind of resent paying to download films more than once now and again.
But what can we do instead?
Fight half term boredom and blues with a bored box!
A lovely friend of mine, whom I have the utmost respect for 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 (you could even shape them like stars or smiley faces) 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 - 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 (I rather like that idea....I think we might upgrade our slightly dull glass jar as a first activity this holiday...!):
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 - simply hand them the clue cards depicting the objects they must find or the places they must collect an object from, and hey presto you've got a scavenger hunt)
- 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)
It doesn't really matter what you do - the ideas need to be specific to what your kids enjoy - but as you can see the opportunities are endless, and you can think these ideas up in the moments when you're NOT all overtired and lacking inspiration / yelling at each other!
So give it a try, it really does work. And it can rescue an afternoon from squabbles and crossness to another happy memory maker!