If you have children in school then it’s come around very fast again! And if you have toddlers/babies also then you rather have your hands full this holiday season Let me tell you something you don’t already know – or maybe you do, but need a bit of inspiration.
The best kind of fun is the FREE sort!
There is so much you can do at home and in the garden, so no need to break the budget and no need to join the holiday traffic in a motorway carpark, trying to amuse the kids doing something they never seem to appreciate.
Most families (if one or both parents are working) don’t usually get to spend quality time with their kids, so let yours and their creativity rise to the surface this holiday and I’ll guarantee you won’t regret the experience.
1. Find out what your local NCT branch (here’s mine) is doing this Easter – we’ve just had our Easter Fun Day and it was action packed for ‘a very small fee’. Most branches have ‘Stay & Play’, Coffee Mornings or Activity Days going on each week, but may have something special going on at Easter. Log onto the NCT website and enter your postcode to see what’s going on and coming up.
2. Get down to your local park with the kids: there’s usually a play area, sometimes animal petting, often a pond with ducks and you are guaranteed massive amounts of space to run, play, kick a ball, the possibilities are endless. Here’s one of our park experiences right here on the HonieMummy blog.
3. Go find an interesting place full of nostalgia or history near to where you live. Google your town and history to see what comes up. You and your kids will learn something about where you live and have some fun exploring – it could be a hall, museum or landmark. When I Googled ‘Places of Interest in Lancashire‘ I got some great results.
4.Go Geochaching – Geo- what? Lol Google ‘Geochaching’ and discover a new world of treasure hunting with a difference. All walks are easy and be warned, it’s addictive! Great fun for the kids and again, you’ll discover more about where you live and unexplored territory. You can buy Geocaching GPS devices for land co-ordinates or you can download an app’ for that on iPhone
5. Paddle painting – better on a sunny day, but as long as it’s warm and dry, they’ll have fun! Set up a paddling pool with water (mind you stay with toddlers and babies). Set out large sheets of paper and trays of coloured paint, then let them walk into the paint and onto the paper. They can then clean their feet off in the pool. You’ll get some great designs to treasure and they’ll have fun messy, splashy time! I liked this You Tube link to Artzooka foot painting!
6. Bake some cookies. I have a very easy recipe here. The preparation is easy and great fun for kids, you can do the oven bit and they love to see the results of their labour. Time it for lunch and they’ll have something to much afterwards.
7. Go on a picnic! Instead of staying indoors or relying on expensive cafe’s at parks and places of interest – take your own and lay it all down on a blanket. There is something very nostalgic and romantic about picnics and children love to help you prepare and enjoy the experience. Take a ball , bats & balls or skittles for a bit of fun. You could make it a teddy bear or toy picnic also! Here’s some ideas of what to take in your picnic hamper.
8. Have a craft day. Set up an area where you don’t mind a bit (or a lot) of mess being made and put out simple things like paper, card, paints, crayons, fabrics, feathers, glue, safety scissors, buttons, cardboard tubes, glitter, lolly sticks – leave them to it and see what masterpieces they come up with. It’s their creative moment and you’ll be amazed that their imagination comes up with. Here’s an Easter Craft Booklet PDF to start you off.
9. Have a photo shoot day! Don’t underestimate what your children can do with a camera. With guidance you can show your kids how they work and then let them have a go. Tell them all about using the neck strap and no fingers on the lens, keeping still and waiting for a few seconds when they have pressed the button. Take it a step further if they are a bit older and talk about setting the scene, composition and focus. You should see their faces when you show them what ‘they’ took. To introduce this activity you could simply show them pictures ‘you’ have taken, straight after you have taken it. This post shows photos taken by an 11 yr old.
10. Have a home library day – take a trip to the library (here’s the lancashire libraries link) and borrow as many books as your card allows you to. Then bring them home and spend the time reading with your children. Let them talk about the books they are reading/have read and encourage them to draw pictures. This is a great way to increase their understanding, communication skills and raise their interest in books.
11. Download the FREE Easter Pack from Woodland Trust - with a scavenger hunt, spotter sheet, Easter bunny trail, rabbit mask, Easter card kit and much more, to keep your kids happy making, exploring and adventuring this holiday time.
12. Have a games day/evening with the kids. There are lots of board games available to buy or you can pull them down from the top of the wardrobe or out of the closet. In the HonieHouse we seldom make time for board games and so cam up with the idea of having a ‘games day’ once a month. It’s great if you can stick to this, but for the holidays, you can make an exception. Here’s one game I would recommend from the HonieLikes posts. There are so much more family games and they are a great way for ‘all’ of the family to have fun and build on their skills: communication & language; counting & numeracy; knowledge of the world; personal skills (sharing/socialising).
13. Gardening Fun. While the weather is as good as it is, spend some time right there in your own backyard. Make it a nice place to sit and enjoy the sun by having a bit of a tidy up and getting your hands dirty with some planting. You can either plant seeds and let the kids watch them grow from scratch or you can buy ‘ready to plant out’ flowers and vegetables from the garden centre. If you were sensible enough to plant the seeds earlier on then you have some ready made to go! Planting and gardening is a great way to develop new skills and to understand where our food comes from and how things grow. Getting their fingers messy is also very much allowed in this activity.
14. Introduce them to the world of computers. If you are like me then you wil spend a ‘fair’ amount of time at the laptop/PC/Mac and they always want to know what’s going on over your shoulder. Well here’s two ways of getting your kids up to scratch on basic keyboard skills and letting them negotiate basic instructions while having a great time. There’s the CBeebies website or The Land of Me that I wholeheartedly recommend. CBeebies is FREE to play and download activities & The Land of Me has a FREE download to their first Chapter in the adventures with Buddy Boo, Willow and Eric. Highly praised by education authorities, I love The Land of Me so much I wrote this review in HonieLikes.
15. Have a toy swap/share. Here in the HonieHouse the kids have so many toys they can’t possibly play with them all in a day. But, somehow, they get bored of them from time to time. But they all have friends with plenty more toys and games to discover. Take a box of toys with you to a friends house or ask them to bring a box over. Now normally, sharing can be a bit of a tricky subject with some children, but with a whole load more to play with on hand and an open invitation to play with them – you are recycling what you already have and teaching them great social skills.
Make a day of it – share toys, bake cookies, have a picnic on the lawn, get the dressing up box out and maybe even foot painting with paddling to follow. There is so much for you to do at very little cost or for FREE. Invite your friends kids and share in the costs (if there are any).
Most importantly – HAVE A GREAT EASTER HOLIDAY & ENJOY THE REST OF SPRING HOLIDAY SEASON
Disclaimer: I am not an employee of Orchard Toys, Made in Me or any other Company mentioned herein other than HonieMummy or HonieLikes nor have I any connection to them. I have not benefited financially from the reviews mentioned, but have received (where applicable) the product to review. I was not approached by Orchard Toys, or Made in Me to write any reviews or posts, but instead offered to write the reviews as a result of how much we like them here at the HonieHouse. I only ever write reviews that are applicable to the HonieHouse or that we feel passionate about.
I am happy to provide an impartial view of our experience of the places and products mentioned.
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