Whether half term started last week or this week coming, as a parent you may very well be thinking – “wait a minute, didn’t they just go back to school!?”
It’s true that with Covid re-adjusting our new normal, it feels like we’ve only just begun to get a sense of school routine back to only have another half term suddenly arrive!
However, this is no ordinary half term. With restrictions still in place right across the country, it’s important we still make the most of the time together, in the midst of all this restriction. But how do we do this?
Here’s four things I think parents – and dads especially – can get more involved in this half term (and beyond) with their children, and one thing that I believe parents should do for themselves…
Make the most of outdoors
If half term isn’t a great time to get outdoors, I don’t know when is! If there’s one thing I’ve been doing a lot more in the last few months, it’s been cycling. And getting children involved is a great opportunity for some quality time together. Even if you have a little one, getting a great child bike seat means you can enjoy the fun together.
With the Government on a drive to ensure that we’re all staying healthy as a family, biking outdoors – in a nearby park or nature walk – is going to be a great way to get active this half term holiday.
Arts and crafts is always a favourite, and if you happen to pick up some leaves on your bike ride, why not use them for some crafting? For instance, using the items you picked up on your autumnal hunt makes it all the more fun and all the more creative. Why not paint and print those lovely big leaves, make a picture of a big acorn using all the little acorns you collected, or create a number game from them all.
If you’ve got slightly older children, you could try your hand at making something for the home. But if you need a little help, check out Pinterest for more ideas.
Trick or Treat, indoors
It’ll be Halloween right at the end of half term, and while you probably won’t be able to go trick or treating in the normal sense, why not do a special trick or treat at home? A ‘Halloween treat hunt’ of sorts. If you want to go extra bold, you could even get into character!
Why not also hold your own spooky cinema night in? Get the scary cupcakes in, get the (age appropriate) horror movie on, and have yourself a Halloween night in like never before.
Let’s be honest – there’s nothing quite like soft play to get the kids having fun, while also giving them a great way to use all that boundless energy!
If you’re feeling brave, why not create your very own soft play – sofa cushions, mattresses, duvets, pillows, blankets, cushions, bean bags. Yes, the kids are going to be running and jumping in every direction, so be sure to cushion any hard edges and remove anything breakable. If you’ve got a ball pit, why not add that too!
The older children can probably be left to themselves, but you’re going to have to get stuck in with the younger kids!
If that doesn’t get messy enough, invest in a tuff tray for some truly great messy play – in one controlled space.
Now the children are sorted, here’s one thing I think parents need to do for themselves this half-term.
Ask yourself a tough question
For parents, the last few months have been trying to say the least. But this half-term is also a chance to ask yourself an important question – is your work/life balance what it should be?
Whether it’s dads thinking more about flexible working, or re-shaping certain aspects of their family life, having this time together as a family to plan what that success ahead looks like in your head is the first step to hopefully making your real happiness, happen.
It might be one best discussed with partners and family too.