If you’re stuck indoors on frosty mornings during half term or have been confined to your home by bad winter weather, there’s no need for kids and teens to become bored.
All you need are a few ideas for fun activities and you’ll soon be able to drag them away from their devices and get them playing or creating.
Here are some of my favourite ideas that youngsters can enjoy indoors during the half-term holidays:
It’s always one of my favourite things to do with kids – arrange a baking session. Let’s face it, there’s nothing more fun than getting messy with a wooden spoon! Little ones love to eat the treats that they make (so maybe you could sneak some fruit and veg into the recipe?) and will feel a sense of pride as they dish up their dinner.
So, dig out your kid-friendly utensils or, for the littlest children, you could use their own eco-friendly bio-plastic cookery set from Dantoy. The set not only has a child-hand-sized roller, whisk and mini mixing bowls, but it also contains loads of cookie-cutter shapes that are ideal for all ages to use and will become a regular addition to your baking cupboard.
You can give teens the freedom to take more control in the kitchen during half-term, tasking them with creating meals for all the family (supervised, of course!). Following recipes often involves doing some maths, especially if they’re dividing a recipe to suit the number of people they’re cooking for. So it’s a good way to sneak a bit of a lesson into half-term too.
I think it’s a great idea to include some kind of learning in kids’ activities – even when it’s playtime. So, why not choose a word-based game to get them to improve their vocabulary? A two-player game like Lex Match is suitable for ages 4+ and it packs away into a carry case, making it ideal to take with you for rainy days if you’ve booked a holiday home for the half-term break.
The game lets players create five-letter words to win and it can be adapted to suit younger players using three- and four-letter words instead. Your children and teens will learn new words and improve their spelling during the game without realising that they’re basically having an English lesson at home, bonus!
Likewise, just because they’re not doing art lessons at school it doesn’t mean they can’t get creative during the holidays. In fact, a craft activity is the ideal rainy-day thing to do. All you need is a lot of newspaper on the kitchen table and a few crafty materials to them started.
For older kids, things like painting or junk modelling might not be entertaining enough, but they don’t need to be left out of the arty fun. Kits from Kikkerland, such as paint-your-own cup or using image transfer to design a tote bag, give teens a project to work on whenever they’re stuck indoors due to wintery weather.
Or, if your teenagers aren’t into art and crafts, perhaps they’ll be more interested to get creative if it involves their phone? That’s where a creative pack like the Selfie Bag from the Cotton Bag Co comes in. The kit is like a photography studio-in-a-bag, with a bluetooth tripod selfie stick, pop-up reflector, LED ring light and a selfie tip booklet.
Teens can learn how to get creative with lighting effects, how to bounce light around a room to create ambience in images and can improve their photo composition skills. All of which will feed into their design technology or art coursework back at school after half term.
Sticking with the idea of sneaking lessons into the holidays, why not combine a play session with a bit of science? The Geomag mechanics gravity sets combine engineering with creativity and the science of forces, such as gravity and magnetism. You’re therefore giving kids a bit of a STEM lesson without them realising it – it’s just a fun game for ages 8+ to play!
They can explore more engineering ideas with a make your own car kit from Kikkerland, which turns any item (a piece of wood, an empty bottle etc) into a car. This lets them explore construction methods and helps them to learn about science-based forces such as acceleration.
Younger children don’t have to miss out on the (sneaky!) science lesson, as Magicubes provides the same kind of exploration and creativity in a pre-school friendly way. The sets are 100% recycled plastic and contain bigger blocks that are easy for little hands to grab and assemble into interesting shapes. The magnetic blocks mean their creations won’t fall down and can be built upon session after session.
Finally, you can’t beat a classic game to pass the time on wet and windy days during the half-term holiday. I always loved playing Top Trumps with my brothers when I was young and it’s a game that can be played by both adults and kids together. Junior packs are available for younger players, along with masses of topics available so you’ll be sure to find a pack that’s suitable for your family.
But, just because it’s playtime, it doesn’t mean your children aren’t learning skills – they’re communicating and being sociable, they’re reading, and they’re learning about percentages, probability and chance. You can get STEM packs too, to really link a lesson to their game. Who knew that a portable pack of Top Trumps could provide so much education during playtime?
Let me know if you have any other ideas for keeping children and teenagers entertained (and educated!) during the school break. I’d love to hear about your rainy-day go-to activities so please share your ideas in the comments below.
Pin it for later
Some items in this blog post have been gifted to me and the pink links indicate a gifted product, affiliate link or information source. All thoughts and opinions in this post are based on my own experience and I am not responsible for your experience