Half Term Happiness
Here at Heritage, we are quite a creative lot and love to suggest things to do. Obviously, this half term is quite different as we are living under lockdown rules so we’ve come up with some suggestions to keep your family entertained and avoid that groundhog day feeling and grumbles of ‘we’re bored’. From crafts to activities and online learning and experiments to virtual tours, hopefully, there is something for everyone.
Head out into woods and play
An hour exploring outside is plenty of time given how cold it currently is to have some fun and discover new things.
How about building a den or a rope swing?
Try making some mud paintings – grab a bucket and brush and a tree! Practice making marks – create a trail?
Play Spies – get your children to ‘secretly follow’ you while remaining hidden: they dart from tree to tree, ducking when you turn to survey the scene.
Take walkie talkies with you and split into two teams, one team sets off first and then tries to find the other team with clues over the walkie talkies.
Look after the birds…
How about joining in with the RSPB’s Big Schools’ Birdwatch, which calls for pupils to submit garden survey results by 22 February. There’s plenty of fact sheets and other resources to keep the bird lovers in your family happy.
Make your own bird feeders and hang them out for the birds (and squirrels to enjoy). See the National History’s instructions to make a feeder here
Host a lockdown show
Why not all practice a skill and host a lockdown show at the end of the week. Include some popcorn and a big fun buffet tea. You could even include family members through zoom and make it a big talent night in.
Use a play tent – or drape some sheets over some chairs with cushions on the floor and sleeping bags, keep the lights out and use torches, surprise your children with some luminous stars on the ceiling and make a fake bonfire
Simply arrange some old toilet roll tubes (painted brown) and some red, yellow and orange tissue paper into the shape of a bonfire and pop a few LED candles in the middle. They shine pretty brightly too so you could create a bit of atmosphere by turning off the lights and eating in the light of your fake bonfire!
Eat some fun camping food e.g
- Hot dogs or burgers.
- Finger food or anything that you can eat without a knife and fork. Sausage rolls are a good example!
- One-pot meals like stew, mac n cheese, corned beef hash that you can eat out of a camping tin (and because you’re camping indoors you don’t have to heat them on a camping stove!)
- Marshmallows on sticks (with orange-flavour matchmakers as the sticks)
- Hot chocolate
If you are lucky enough to have a telescope you may already be star gazing but you can see a lot with your naked eye.
Just going out into a garden on winter nights can feel adventurous and wandering local streets or the park at dusk with a torch is a very different experience from a daytime ramble, with different wildlife to spot.
A few obvious constellations and some space science for stargazing can soon be learned from stargazing apps, websites and books such as National Geographic’s childrens’ space hub, and skymaps.com, which has monthly printable maps of the night sky. Older kids can study astronomy and astrophotography through online events at the upcoming Northumberland Dark Skies festival (12-21 February).
Try and do something active each day – learn a few yoga poses, try a different youtube keep fit class a go (or just stick with Joe!) Take up skipping, learn to hula hoop, try roller booting (it’s actually become a new big craze), go on a cycle ride – there are lots of different ways to keep things interesting.
Have a bedroom makeover
Who doesn’t love a bedroom makeover, get your children to look at their rooms and write a wish list and see what can really be achieved, you could paint one feature wall, add some new pictures, move the furniture around to make a dressing up corner, chill out zone etc.
Create a memory box
It’s been such an odd time since lockdown started that it feels like we are constantly stuck in groundhog day and for our children, it seems like some of their childhood has been lost and that it seems like there is no end. So creating a memory box you will be able to look back on it. Find a shoebox and decorate it – wrap with paper or paint. Include mementoes, write notes of memories, add photos etc
Celebrate global festivals and culture
It’s Chinese new year celebrations from the 12th February for 16 days so how about trying out some of our dumpling recipes or make some paper lanterns. Get your children to create some drawings of dragons and read about what happens during the Chinese new year.
How about cooking food from a different country each day, learning about its culture as you go.
Enter our pancake flipping competition on Facebook
Get the family to make pancakes and enter our flipping competition, perhaps for your younger children pre-make some pancakes and let them cook and give them a clean cold frying plan to play with and flip a few safely. Photograph and enter.
Try out some science
The Science Museum Group have some fantastic fun activities for you to try, check them out on their website here
Fun online courses and tours
Why not search online for some great online courses, why not try some of these …
Disney Imagineering in a box
Learn how to be an imagineer, the people responsible for the creation, design, and construction of Disney theme parks. Offered through the Khan Academy, this class comprises 32 videos from Imagineers with interactive activities to give you the opportunity to dream and design a theme park experience.
Learn to Dive!
Tweens and teens might like an online e-learning Padi beginners’ open water diving course for over-10s (£155pp): participants have a year to complete the online section and can finish the in-water training at a Padi Dive Centre at any time.
Half Term pottery painting
Paint your own ceramics at home – £9.99 per session https://clubhubuk.co.uk/clubs/half-term-pottery-painting/
Half Term Coding camp for kids for age 5 – 14
Take a virtual tour with your family of Westminster Abbey
How about a virtual tour of Westminster Abbey on the 17th and 18th February, sessions hosted on zoom. Find out more here.
Stonehenge inside the stones tour
Take a really cool interactive tour of Stonehenge with a 360 degree view from the inside monumnet, select the hotspots to find out more.
Discover the Aliens of the Deep at National Maritime Museum in Cornwall
Available from Friday 12 February
Explore short films, stories and photos about aliens and deep space. Find out interesting facts, watch science demonstrations and unearth the incredible links between space and our oceans.
Join us too on Friday 19 February, 11am the team from Explorer Dome at the National Maritime Museum in Cornwall for a FREE live online show. This fun interactive show will take a closer look at our solar system, discover how stars and planets are formed and what is takes for a planet to be able to support life. There’s plenty of time for a Q&A with Explorer Dome’s resident space elf too.