You’ve made it through the first weeks of the academic year and now October half-term is here!
Here at Parentkind we've gathered 10 of our favourite play based activities to share with you for half-term because when children play they make their own choices in order to learn about the world around them, find out who they are and understand other people.
1. Make play a lucky dip
Get your child to choose some things that they would like to do, write them down and put them in a jar. Your child can take turns to choose an activity from the jar so that they take ownership of their holiday time.
2. Get crafty
Autumn is the perfect time to get creative at home. See what you can find in the garden to make pictures out of, leaves can be painted or arranged into an animal and drawn around. Conkers are beginning to appear, so why not collect some of those up and paint faces on them. Or even make some autumn scenes inside an old shoebox. See our Pinterest boards
3. Marble runs
Shoeboxes, cardboard, plastic tubes are all you need to have endless fun with marbles. Get them thinking like engineers and working as a team to see how long they can make a marble run around the house. Older children can film it and share with their friends.
4. Spooky stuff
With Halloween on the horizon it’s time to get spooky, making up bowls of sweets and putting on scary costumes. Carving pumpkins is a great way to get everyone doing something together and show off some skills. You could even make a family of pumpkins to sit at the front door! Fairy cakes decorated in orange and black always go down a treat too. Take a look at our Halloween Pinterest board
for some fiendishly fun ideas!
5. Board game bonanza
Swap games you’ve had sat at home for a while with friends and family for new ones, so you all get a completely new game for free, then run a board game day. Alternatively, get your children to create a brand new board game of their own.
6. Cook up a storm
Making your own pizzas is great fun. Kids love to design their own with silly faces, and it’s so easy. If you make your pizza bases from scratch, get your children to measure out the ingredients. Then all you need is sauce and your favourite toppings. They’ll almost look too good to eat!
7. Get outside
Take in the fantastic autumn colours and go for a walk on the beach or in the woods – which also gives potential for a little den building. Pour water over the roof of the dens to see who has made the best one – don’t forget the waterproof coats and wellies!
8. Scavenger hunt
Head down to the local forest or park with a list of things to look for and collect or take pictures of, tick them off the list as you go. Great fun and keeps the kids occupied for hours. They’ll learn a lot about the outdoors along the way.
9. Rock painting
Have you noticed any colourful painted rocks hidden in parks and woodlands or along riverbanks and paths near you? Rock painting has become a bit of a phenomenon, with adults and children painting stones - sometimes adding a positive message - and leaving them in to be found by others around their town or village, or at popular tourist spots. Finders either keep the rock and replace it with one they have created, or move it somewhere else for others to find. It’s a great way for children and adults to get creative and active together. All you need is a few rocks, paints or permanent markers and a bit of imagination.
10. Pick your own
Why not go along to your local farm and pick your own pumpkins and apples at this time of year. Look up your closest PYO farm for details. You can then round the day off by making lovely apple crumble or pumpkin soup for tea.
As well as being enjoyable for parents and children, all these activities will help get children thinking about creativity, numbers, nutrition, science, communication, teamwork, exercise, and so much more!