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Keeping kids entertained in half term - inspiration needed!(31 Posts)
I am looking after my friend's two boys (5 and 7) along with my DDs (6 and 2) one day this week beacuse of an INSET day.
I have done this before and it's exhausting. The boys need constant entertaining or the trash the place or keep asking what to do next.
My plan was to timetable the day including meals and snacks and movie time in the afternoon
when I am knackered.
What other activities can we do? I can't really take them out, so will be housebound.
We have done treasure hunts and built dens in the past but I have run out of inspiration! Any suggestions gratefully received
Can you walk to the park? An outdoors treasure hunt? Get them to make their own tea (pizza, including the dough!)
Is there anything on locally, even stuff you wouldn't normally consider?
Scavenger hunt in teams? Board games? Make cakes?
Park too far and the weather is a bit hit and miss at the minute to say the least!
Scavenger hunt not a bad idea, though the having two year old doesn't help when trying to do team games...
Any good games we can play? - like musical statues, that is a favourite with them, but I fear novelty value has worn off!
Geocaching, waterproofs and wellies, no such thing as bad weather with the right clothing
What about getting the guests to bring their favourite board game?
Icing and decorating biscuits
Welly walk to spot things / jump in puddles.
Baking - cupcakes are easy & then the boys can take some home for mum & dad.
Sleeping lions (I'm only half joking!)
Freeze plastic toys in bowls of ice and get them to hack away at the ice to get toys out.
Give them buckets of warm soapy water and sponges and get them to wash the car. Ask them to bring a change of clothes!
Chalk drawing on pavements and paving slabs.
Pin the tail on the donkey
Hide and seek usually goes down well. A football in the garden, bubbles (Poundland), What’s the Time, Mr Wolf.
For lunch get them to make their own pizza. Put everything in bowls for them to assemble and make pancakes and get them to chop up bananas and strawberries to put into bowls. Also get flakes and maltesers for them to crush to sprinkle on top for pudding.
What time do they arrive and leave?
I would do...
* Board games
* Scavenger hunt
* Lunch (make the day before)
* Lego etc if time
* Cleaning (humour me - "right everyone it's time to tidy up" said with masses of enthusiasm. You grab hoover and throw dusters/polish etc at them. 10 mins to tidy/hoover/dust. They dust and you hoover. When they've dusted which takes minutes you throw sofa cushions on floor for them to jump on and you hoover underneath. Throw cushions on and done. Takes 10 mins and everyone enjoys themselves. I appreciate this sounds mental but I do it every time we have kids to play and they love it and are screeching with enthusiasm. I think because I'm cheering along and making it fun. Reward at the end of your choosing. When it's just my kids I say they can help cook dinner, with others it's a small chocolate bar or some such. You could have a bag of popcorn ready for a movie.
* Movie (now house is tidy) and you can relax with a cuppa and use the opportunity to make dinner if they are staying for dinner.
had a kids party and corners went well. different coloured paper in each corner and you shout a colour and everyone has to run to it. with dancing in the middle.
could you do your own pizzas for lunch? Even 2yo can chuck sweet corn on a base.
Vege faces - use a plate and place Vegas on to make a face eg lettuce hair, chopped carrot eyes etc. only deal is they need to eat whatever they choose
If you do want to give some kind if treat choose something that takes a long time to eat eg lollipop or ice Lolly
Do plan some outside activities - it always seems more bearable outside. You could even just walk but do a scavenger hunt while you walk eg find a dog, house with green door etc. get them to work together to cross off a list
I did this a while ago - I have one child and think I had 4 or 5 extra one day. I orchestrated the whole thing. In Poundland there are activities - so we played together for the first half an hour, then went and walked the dog for 40 mins - then craft! Painting plastic shapes/decorations with glass paints, decorating cardboard shapes with foam/ribbon/stickers and whatever else was in the little kits, and there was another activity too. All based around the kitchen table so I could control it. Then lunch. Then a film. Something like that - I felt awesome afterwards, they all had a really good time and I kept my sanity!! Good luck.xx
I’d definitely try to get outside for some of the day. It helps them to concentrate on more sedate activities if they can have a run around in the fresh air for a while.
I run a holiday club so I’ll be having a dozen kids for half term. Some of our activities might be a bit too messy for a home environment, or require resources a home wouldn’t necessarily have, but we will be doing theses things, amongst others: play doh building (small pebbles and play doh to cement together), printing hearts (for valentines) using red paint and toilet roll tube, decorating biscuits, hamma beads, loom bands. We’ll also set up a play kitchen, play shop and play hairdressers. We’ll be outside for part of the day whatever the weather - trip to play park, walk to the stream and possibly paddle in it if it’s wellie weather and play with our own outside toys - scooters, chalk, football, tennis balls, frisbees.
Poundland is pretty good for crafty resources. They sell these blank white silhouette type things of boys and girls which the kids can colour and/or decorate. The kids at my club love these, especially if I get packs of the coloured sticky gems to help decorate them! We call them bookmarks.
Have a look at play hooray on fb or Instagram for some amazing ‘set up and leave’ activities for various ages. You shouldn’t have to entertain 4 children when they have each other to socialise with. You’ve just got to find the right activities that absorb them for a chunk of time.
Geez l feel sorry for you. Entertaining my 3 yr old niece is exhausting let alone 4 under 10s. Good luck. In terms of activities plenty of arts and crafts vids on youtube some not to expensive to do. Will keep them busy for a good couple of hours.. And they'll have something to take home at the end of it.
Here are some more ideas:
Walks in the park
Trips to the library etc
Arts and crafts day
Free games of tennis
Singing and dancing
Trips to the cinema
are they creative.would they like to make a picture or make a story.
any craft.family tree.card for someone special.valetines for mum!paper planes.
plant some little seeds.
putting on a play.or act out their favourite book
walk to local shops and choose what topping for tea or what lunch.
movie afternoon sounds good
Have you got or could you borrow/buy a Nintendo wii? They are pretty cheap second hand and great for being active indoors, you can get the kids to play various sports or have a dance contest.
Do you live near any museums or zoos? They often run activities for children during school holidays it’s worth finding out. Look at the website for information.
Also see if there are any good movies on over half term. What about organising a playdate or two? You could always meet at a local leisure centre for some exercise or something. Sleepovers are another good option.
If you live near a bowling alley you might want to take advantage of that too. Also consider starting a club in writing etc. Not sure if anyone else has suggested this already but what about spending a hour or two in a escape room. Escape rooms are more popular now and a great rainy day activity to do too.
1 Go to the park, whatever the weather - wear them out
2 Make hot chocolate to warm you all up (get marshmallows from Home Bargains/Pound shop)
3 Make pizza for lunch (using bases, ciabatta or baguettes)
4 Watch a Disney film
5 Make Rocky Road (using the rest of the marshmallows)
6 Play a board game/ Lego/ hide and seek - stipulate where they have access/ craft activity.
7 Tidy up to a catchy song - have a prize for the best tidier
8 Eat the Rocky Road. Collapse.
I would have to go out! I am always happy to help friends out with childcare and often have a couple of extra kids BUT I can't cope if we stay home all day!
I'd get them to bring scooters and go to a local green space, park or similar. If you honestly don't have anything in walking distance I'd do a penny hike type activity, or take every second left turn til you're home for eg. Mine love checking on Google maps and seeing where we are. You could take a checklist of things to see while you're out - red car, chimney pots, birds on a wire, pink flower, a double door number (11,33,77) etc etc
If you can get somewhere go to a library, museum, nature reserve etc for free or cheap entertainment.
Go on a bus safari, just buy a day rover type ticket and journey around, find a double decker if possible
Home based activities -
Make your own food, so bake bread hedgehogs, make soup, make jelly, bake a cake, make pizzas. You can lay out 'stations' and pre prep a lot of it. You could so those cupcake kits so the decorations are premade.
Let them dress up - using dressing up box, your clothes, their clothes, get them to dress up for a 'disco' then play music and games.
Play 'libraries' - get them to peruse shelves in your house and pick 2 books each, then sit and read them together and act bits out etc
Have a picnic on the floor - get them to ring soft toys, lay out blankets, choose the snacks and then sit and eat them.
Get out and about, beach, park, both are free, kids love it and are being active.
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