Entertaining the kids in half-term

Children are relishing the prospect of half-term to get a breather from their first term back at school.  Workingmums.co.uk looks at ways to keep youngsters entertained.

Children are relishing the prospect of half-term to get a breather from their first term back at school.  But how are you going to keep them entertained? Workingmums.co.uk gives some handy tips to make sure children don’t get bored.

Make the most of the season
Autumn is a great time of the year for getting outdoors, so make the most of the last of the sun’s rays this year and explore your local park or area of countryside.   Encourage smaller children to gather fallen leaves and go home and make a collage with them.  The vivid red, yellow and orange colours will brighten up your living room as the nights draw in.  Make your leaf-collecting trip educational – take along a guide to the names of trees so youngsters can identify different types.  Is it a conifer (evergreen all the year round)? Or is it deciduous (leaves fall off in autumn)?
On their collage, get them to label the name of the tree next to the leaf.  To enhance their numeracy skills, get them to measure which leaves are the biggest and make a bar chart.
Collect conkers and attach them to string and get family and friends to have a conker tournament – this will bring out the competitive nature in them.  Don’t forget to point out conkers come from the horse chestnut tree. 
Use the season to hone up their skills in science.  Explain how the differing seasons are caused by the Earth going round the sun.

In your garden
Get trowels to the ready and show youngsters how to plant some bulbs to ensure a lovely array of daffdils, hyacinths and crocuses when the spring months arrive next year.  Give them their own special parts of the garden and this will motivate them to become interested in gardening and learning how plants grow.
Give the children chores.  Tidy the leaves into a nice heap and store garden furniture away in the shed ready for next year’s summer.   After they’ve done their jobs, greet them in the kitchen with warm drinks and a newly-baked tray of parkin.

What’s coming up?
Bonfire Night isn’t too far away.  Encourage children to plan how they want to spend Bonfire Night.  Do they want to go to a council display with their mates, or would they prefer to stay at home and light some sparklers in the back garden with their parents present?  Some might want to get their imaginative and creative talents stretched by creating a guy.  If other youngsters are more in to history,  ask them to write about the Gunpowder Plot and its consequences.  Bonfire Night is a great topic for younger and older children.  Younger ones can get to work with paints to construct a colourful picture of fireworks while older ones can explore the more historic aspects.
Christmas in on the horizon.  Half-term might be a good time for asking how they want to spend the festive season.   Are there any special shows or events coming up which they want to go to?  If so, now’s the time to start booking up.  Make sure you know when all school events are – it would be awful to book a show and then find out it’s the same night as middle daughter’s school play.

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