Things to do with the kids in February half term
I don't know about you, but I find February half term is usually cold, damp and boring! So I thought I'd share my top tips to help keep the kids entertained, and therefore help you keep your sanity.
Get your kids input
Without fail, right before the holidays, I'll ask my children what they'd like to do with their time off. Of course, they'll ask to do things that aren't realistic, but nine times out of ten, they have great ideas and often they have simple wishes that are easy to fulfil. It's a 'fun Mummy' win, win situation!
Games or movie night
Plan ahead and schedule a games night; it can be as simple as a pack of cards or as long winded as Monopoly! It doesn't matter what you play, but the kids will love your undivided attention, plus the chance to stay up a bit later than their normal bedtime always feels like a holiday treat. Or if you don't fancy it, simply swap it for a movie night - both are equally as popular in our household! Throw in a few snacks like popcorn, crisps and fruit skewers you're good to go. Talking of fruit skewers, is it just my kids that will choose those first over the junk? Honestly, they're suckers for strawberries!
Yep, even in cold, damp February! There's nothing better than wrapping up and going out into the blustery air. And let's face it, the kids will need to blow off some steam outside, especially if they'd been cooped up due to bad weather. Chuck on their wellies, coats, hats, scarves, gloves and before you know it, if you're anything like us, an hour later you'll be outside!
Recently we've been enjoying visiting National Trust places after we bought ourselves a family membership for Christmas. Lots of big, wide open space to run around in, plus a nice cafe with great coffee, what's not to love!?
Don't worry if you can't travel far, you can go anywhere you choose - even the local park will do. Just get out, enjoy the season, and look for the signs of spring! It's on the way.
Get creative in the kitchen
So you've done the outdoors thing, now it's time to get toasty in the kitchen. Plan ahead to make sure your baking cupboard is well stocked and then you can bake any time without having to run to the shops first.
We're planning on baking some biscuits and a few other treats. Let's face it, kids ask for snacks non-stop during the holidays! That's not to say I'll give into their demands and let eat them every five minutes, but it's good to know that the treat box is full and we can make healthy versions of shop bought ones.
Check out Mrs Bun the Baker for some super easy to follow children's recipes. My daughter had baking lessons with her and she's absolutely fantastic; I'd high recommend her classes and book.
Plan their next birthday
My son's birthday is in May and whilst we have some extra time on our hands in half term, I find it's a good idea to plan ahead and book anything you need to before all the available dates go.
With us, there's always a theme - whether we choose to do a party or not - I just love pulling something altogether for a birthday. It starts with an idea, then an outfit and then the party or experience that we've chosen to do; it all runs along the same lines.
When I created my I am (age) birthday t-shirts, I did so with themed parties in mind. At the age of 2, my son was absolutely obsessed with trains and would have adored this t-shirt! Needless to say, he had a train themed birthday party, where I made every child a train out of a cardboard box that they could climb into and wear! It was the best party ever and I seem to remember we spent the half term raiding a local garden centre for big boxes and painting them. Talking of cardboard boxes...
Get yourself a cardboard box
Yes, I'm serious. My children at the ages of 3yrs and 8yrs have spent the last month playing with a cardboard box daily! It's been a seriously good investment, entertainment wise. Said box has been all manner of things, a car, a boat, somewhere to hide, the base of a den but most frequently, it's been a goal or target. We have this little snowman that's like a sponge ping pong ball for a head and it's body is made of mesh. When you push it down and let it go, it jumps high in the air. The kids have literally spent hours bouncing the snowman into the box! My husband and I have also been made to play the game, and then even found ourselves sneaking in some practise when the kids weren't around, to up our game tactics, ha!
But fear not, you don't need a funny little snowman, any sort of ball or something you can throw, coupled with a cardboard box would make a great game! Let me know what else you come up with, I'd be intrigued to know.
Check out your local Mum bloggers
They will have spent hours trawling through all the local sites and guides to find the best events, what's happening when and they'll have found something to suit everyone's budget. Follow them and support them; they're such a great resource when it comes to saving yourself some time and finding out things quickly.
I follow Claire at Red Kite Days and Katie at Mum of 2 point 5 - both ladies do a fantastic job of collating all the information I could possibly want to know.
It goes without saying really, but don't forget to have fun yourself too. Enjoy your little cherubs. They may drive you crazy, but life flies by so quickly and before you know it, we'll be longing for these days back again when they've grown up and flown the nest.