October Half-Term can be a tricky one, and not just because of Halloween. Wintry weather makes it all too easy to want to plonk the children on the sofa in front of the television, and there are only so many games of Hungry Hippo you can play on a rainy day. So here are a few ideas to help keep the dreaded groan of ‘But I’m boooooored’ at bay:
Pumpkin carving, costume making, sweet collecting, trick-or-treating fun for your little monsters. There are always lots of local Halloween-themed events going on, from Thorpe Park’s Fright Nights (complete with horror mazes, rides in the dark and a scary movie studio) to family ghost tours at Hampton Court to ‘spooktacular fun’ at Greenwich market, where you can get involved in pumpkin competitions, freaky fashion shows and a giant Halloween feast.
Check out Outdoor Play Listings which feature details of parks, gardens, stately homes and other places of interest where you live, so that you can encourage your children to enjoy the great outdoors before the winter winds set in. Try apple-picking, collect conkers, go cycling, take the dog for a walk, look for nature trails, draw with leaves and bark with the little ones, or play games such as Sardines (which are given a whole new dimension when you can hide in piles of leaves.)
Winter is coming, and so are trips to the cinema. Some local cinemas offer discounted ‘early bird’ showings, such as the ‘Kids AM’ programme at Vue Cinemas, where childrens’ tickets cost from only £1.75 during the holidays (so that you can give them more pocket money for popcorn). However, the theatre doesn’t have to just be reserved for the annual Christmas panto – there are several dedicated children’s theatres in the UK, such as Polka Theatre in Wimbledon or The Egg in Bath.
There are lots of ways to get your kids involved in the run up to the fifth of November – make seasonal treats such as toffee apples and hot chocolate; roast marshmallows on a bonfire; buy sparklers and maybe even host your own fireworks display and get them to help you with party planning. If you’ve got younger ones, then Netmums also have a range of art and crafts ideas, from pipe cleaner fireworks to a zooming rocket.
If all else fails, then threaten your children with the dreaded ‘F’ word… Freddie Mercury. Get them to dress up, help with household chores, and listen to your famous Queen tracks – not only will they want to ‘break free’ themselves, but they’ll be begging to go back to school.
Written by Kristina Murkett
A MyTutor A-Level Tutor
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