Our top half-term activities that won’t break the bank

I must admit half-term can’t come soon enough. Today was one damp school run too many, and I am already counting down the days til the end of the week…

As usual though, what with our summer holiday having taken its usual toll on our finances and Christmas looming (not to mention the fact the car has packed in, but that’s another story), we’ll be looking to get out and about on a tight budget as much as possible.

Thankfully there are heaps are great activities for kids which cost nothing or very little to do.

Here are some of our tried and tested favourites, which are guaranteed to get them off their iPads and into the fresh air…

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Go on a welly walk. There is nothing kids like more than sploshing around in mud. So instead of them steering away from those muddy puddles, kit them out in old clothes and a pair of waterproof boots, and leave the rest to them!

This picture was taken at the National Trust’s Packwood House near Lapworth, Warwickshire, which actually has its own Welly Walk! https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/packwood-house

Fly a kite. A perfect activity for a windy autumn day! We bought a kite years ago and very rarely remember to get it out. But when we do, the girls always have a great time.

Make the most of the season and go autumn leaf collecting. How many different colours can you find? How many can you identify?

We filled a bag in the local park at the weekend and pressed our favourites in the decades old flower press I had as a child, although sandwiching them for a week or two between sheets of newspaper or blotting paper and weighting them down with heavy books works just as well. There is some brilliant artwork you can do with leaves once they have been dried out and pressed, which I’ll be talking about in a separate post.

Set a scavenger hunt. This is always a winner with my two and can be done in the back garden, as a quick 20 minute activity, or out and about with friends for a bigger challenge.

Compile a list of things for them to find – such as ‘a yellow leaf’ and ‘a feather’ or ‘something soft’ and ‘something rough’ and so on – give them a pencil to mark things off on the sheet and a box or bag to collect them in, and off they go!

Invest in an I-Spy book or two. Kids love tick lists, and these are just as good as I remember from my childhood.

Covering everything from creepy crawlies and things you would find in the countryside to things you might spot in the city or on a car journey, each book will only set you back a couple of pounds and ours have lasted for years as there is so much to tick off!

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Make a den for a favourite toy! My girls loved making fairy dens for imaginary little people when they were younger, but it’s also fun to make a den for a chosen toy (little plastic figures work better than soft toys as they are likely to get a bit grubby!)

We’ve made dens out of everything from sticks and stones to leaves and dead flower heads…

Go geocaching. We’d never tried this until a couple of years ago but it is great fun, especially for older children. It basically involves using GPS to find a container holding a number of secret items hidden in a particular location.

We were surprised to find there were numerous geocaches hidden with a few miles of our home, so we didn’t have to travel far. And the girls were thrilled when they finally discovered one and got to peek inside the container (they are not always as easy to spot as you think, even when you’ve found the location). To find out more, visit https://www.geocaching.com

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Create some natural art! Challenge the kids to use anything natural they can find to create their own masterpiece.

We’ve had great fun doing this on the beach using pebbles, shells, seawood and so on, but it’s just as much fun in the countryside, or even your own back garden.

Have a great half-term break!

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