February Half-Term is right around the corner. While it’s a popular time for travel, it comes at a cost: Families pay up to eight times more than normal for flights during half-term holidays — and it doesn’t stop there.1 High demand drives up the price of hotel rooms, car rentals and more.
Quality time with your children doesn’t have to come at a high cost. Spend this half term enjoying these budget-friendly activities. They’re fun for the whole family!
- Set a reading list: Let your child pick out a new book to read throughout the week. If your child is younger and still reads storybooks, go to the library and get a new book for each day. Use it as a time to bond together and keep their mind working, even though they’re on holiday from classes.
- Draw self-portraits: Get creative with some arts and crafts. Have your children draw a self-portrait with crayons or construct one out of crafting supplies like pipe cleaners, feathers and more.
- Visit a museum: February may not be a great time to be outdoors, but don’t let that hinder your fun. Go visit a museum! Some museums even offer free admission, so check their website before you go.
- Plan a vacation: Since you skipped the high-ticket fares for half-term, treat yourself and your kids to a trip during a less busy time. Take the time to daydream and research potential destinations and come up with a budget you can save towards in the meantime. Print out photos of your destination and post them on your refrigerator to help keep you motivated!
- Teach your child a new skill: Does your child know how to do their own laundry? Can you introduce them to a new language or musical instrument? There are so many possibilities, so choose one that you can feasibly teach over the half-term.
- Go to an exercise class: Get out and get fit! Sign up for a class with your children to help burn off some energy and bond. Try a fun dance class like Zumba or check out a local indoor pool.
- Volunteer: Use your free time for the greater good. There are many organisations that could use your help — find the one that best suits you here.
- Host a film marathon: Pick a few of your favourite films or select a film series. Grab all the blankets and prepare movie-themed snacks to help keep you going.
- Attend free events at the museum or library: Many government-run programs (like the one at the British Museum) host special events during half-term, many of which are free or very affordable. Check your local paper for events near you.
- Plan your garden: Spring is right around the corner — is your green thumb tingling? Ask your children what kind of vegetables or flowers they want to plant. Then, take the time to research the ones they choose so they can learn about the best growing conditions for that plant and how they can help you keep it healthy and thriving.
- Bring the beach to you: Miss the summer sunshine? Recreate a warm day in the beach at home. Get in your swimsuits, play some ocean sounds and don’t forget the indoor sand! Your kids will love using their imagination to whisk them away to summer fun.
- Break out the board games: You and your kids spend plenty of time in front of screens. Ditch the gaming consoles, tablets and phones, and spend some time with some board games. Take the time to disconnect to reconnect with others.
- Build a pillow fort: It may be cool outside, but you can make it extra cosy inside. Gather all your pillows, blankets and clothes pins and help your child construct their very own fort. Crawl inside with a good book and put the “fort” in comfort.
- Learn a new recipe: Let your children pick out a recipe they want to try and take them step-by-step through the process (picking out produce and meat, the prep work, the actual cooking process, etc.). You could also teach them one of your favourite family recipes and continue the tradition for the next generation.
- Redecorate a room: Take the week to reinvent your child’s room. You can give the space a complete makeover, or just change a few elements (wall colour, throw pillows, rug, etc.) to make it look fresh.
- Set goals for the year: Sit down and talk with your kids about their goals and what they want to accomplish in the next year. Pick goals for different areas of life like school, hobbies, self-improvement, etc.
- Make Valentine’s Day cards: Valentine’s day overlaps with half-term, so spend a little time putting together some care packages with your kids. Help them make a card for their grandparents or tasty treats for their cousins.
- Go on a self-made food tour: Take an afternoon to explore all the restaurants that carry your kid’s favourite dessert and make a plan to try them all. Not sure where to start? Try a doughnut or ice cream crawl!
- Go skating… indoors: It’s fun to be silly sometimes, and this activity is sure to make you giggle. Grab some paper plates and use them to slide across carpeting like you’re skating!
- Set up a scavenger hunt around the house: Even if the kids are on break from school, there is no reason to avoid a good brain buster! Set up a scavenger hunt around the house to get their creative juices flowing.
1Poulter, S. (2 February 2016). The great school holiday rip-off: Families pay up to eight times more than normal for flights during half-term holiday. Retrieved 19 January 2017, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3426196/The-great-school-holiday-rip-Families-pay-EIGHT-TIMES-normal-flights-half-term-holiday.html