Here we go again...another school holiday in Lockdown! Whilst most of us are just feeling grateful right now to have reached the half way mark in what looks to be an entire term of home-schooling, the feeling is bittersweet as we look to the week ahead and wonder what on earth we are going to do to entertain our little cherubs for an entire week without the humdrum of the daily home-school routine.
Normally in our family we spend school holidays seeing friends, family, visiting the zoo, museums, getting the train upto London, maybe a visit the coast. Sometimes we are lucky enough to get away and have a complete change of scenery for a few days, or a week. There are playdates, and park trips. Outings to the cinema, bowling & soft play. The dreaded trampoline parks which cost a fortune, only last an hour and somehow still leave them even more bursting with energy than they were before. Tiresome as those sometimes were, I would give anything to be able to take my babies to experience just one of these excursions now.
I often find our school holidays are so jam packed that they fly by and before I know it I'm packing the book bags and washing the uniform in a "last minute night before" rush.
I have a feeling that this week ahead of us is going to be ever so slightly different. Of course, we've been there before. But that was the Summer, that was then and this is now. It's cold, it's probably going to be wet. The long lazy days spent lounging in the paddling pool and letting the kids run feral round the garden all day are behind us.
So many parents I have spoken to over the last week or so have been longing for half term, but now it's upon us and their thoughts have turned to how they are actually going to entertain and keep their little ones occupied for a week at home it's suddenly looking slightly less appealing.
I'm sure we'll all be tapping into the usual time filler activities over the next week or so: baking, arts & crafts, building dens, nice long walks, and board games are always good go to boredom busters. Kits and puzzles (gifted by the grandparents at Christmas and hidden away in a cupboard) are about to make a reappearance, but with all of us stuck at home for the foreseeable there has to be more to do over half term than this, right?
I've compiled a list below of a few ideas to get you inspired and keep you from the inevitable "Muuuuuum! I'm boooooooreeed!" a little while longer!
Pottery at Home
Lots of you will have visited a paint your own pottery place, but did you know most of them are currently offering takeaway goodie bags to paint yourself at home?
Two of our most local pottery shops are doing just that! Potstop based in Knebworth, Hertfordshire has a range of products you can purchase to paint at home directly from their website, prices start from £12 https://www.potstop.co.uk/takeaways
Manic Ceramics in Hertford, Hertfordshire are also offering "create at home kits" which start from £9.
"Our pottery kit includes the pottery and pots of underglaze to paint with, we assume you have paint brushes at home unless you tell us. You will need kitchen roll to dry the brush on and water to wash the brushes, you can put paint out on a plate if preferred, it will wash off easily.
Feel free to either request a piece you freestyle on or I can send a structured piece with a step by step guide, you choose." https://manicceramicsherts.co.uk/easter-2016-drop-off-workshops
Please message Debs on 07869124568 if you are interested. For every 3 kits sold Manic Ceramics are donating a kit to a key worker, children’s centre, local school, vulnerable person - so you can feel really good about your pottery purchase knowing you've also helped someone else out!
Baking with a Twist
If you want to do some baking with the kids but know they'll lose interest quickly or just fancy doing it without the stress and mess for a change then Ralphie & Poppy's Play Cafe (Stevenage, Hertfordshire) are offering bake at home/decorate your own takeaway boxes for just £5. Each box includes everything you need to get going, this is guaranteed to keep little hands busy for a while (decorating and eating!) And is perfect for a rainy afternoon activity. You can get in touch via the website - http://www.ralphieandpoppysplaycafe.co.uk/ or facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ralphieandpoppys/ to reserve your order - boxes are limited and it's first come first served!
Catch up work or can't afford a change in routine?
For lots of children having a break from schoolwork over half term can actually be detrimental to their learning and their wellbeing. Many children do not cope with a sudden change in routine well, and I'm sure without the geographical difference between home and school to emphasise this divide be
tween term time and holidays this is going to affect more children than ever. Prince William & Kate Middleton unashamedly admitted last year that they continued to homeschool their children throughout the holidays in order to keep up the routine they had worked hard to establish. If this is you or you simply want to take the opportunity for your child to catch up or get ahead with their learning then check out Herts Tutition - they are giving away FREE worksheets for ages 5-11 over the half term. They're also offering a variety of online group sessions for a small fee. If you're worried about how your child will cope without school set work this week then this is perfect.https://hertstuition.com/free-february-worksheets/
Do you have a budding prince or princess? www.littleclub.co.uk are hosting a princess ice party over zoom on Tuesday 16th February! You'll have to be quick to get involved in this one but you can sign up for FREE over on their website. Little ones can wear their best royal outfit, the party will be hosted by the Snow Queen herself, dancing and a scavenger hunt will be amongst the activities offered. This looks like it is going to be so much fun! Well done Little Club, Hertfordshire!
Daisy Bake - At Home Cooking Classes
Daisy Bake is offering a choice of several at home cooking classes over the half term. The price is just £3 and all lessons are done online. There is a timetable and a list of all the ingredients you'll need online here - https://www.daisybake.com/WhatsOn ideal if your little one loves baking, but you're slightly lacking in the culinary skills department!
Hopefully these ideas will help some of you and inspire you to get online and see what else is happening in your local area this week that you can access and enjoy from home. If you do come across anything great that's happening this half term or you're a small business offering something you think would be a great feature for the blog please do comment and let me know. I'll keep adding to this as I find things of interest throughout the next few days, so be sure to pop back if you find yourselves in a rut midweek!