This autumn half-term is an opportunity to enjoy some autumn sunshine and create some outdoor memories before the shorter days and the colder weather sets in.
There are many concerns for young people about their schooling, but this week is an opportunity to share some special times together. If you have work to do and they have been set homework, or projects to complete, plan the week to take account of the needs of all of you to work, relax and play!
Every family is different, but think about what you all enjoy doing together and try and space the activities over the week/weekend.
We are still having to live with the implications of Covid-19 but many venues are trying to provide a safe environment, you can also make sure you add your own precautions to keep your family safe by choosing to visit venues at less popular times, always having masks and sanitiser available, being outside as much as possible.
Here are our suggestions of some enjoyable activities for half-term.
One of our favourite books is The Little Grower’s Cookbook: Projects For Every Season by Ghillie James, Julia Parker, Olivia Colman (Foreword)
This is an absolutely wonderful book to inspire young and old to explore the joy of growing and being outside. Full of helpful tips and page after page of gardening, cooking and outdoor activities inspiration, including what to grow this autumn. Beautifully produced, this is a book that every home needs, full of useful information and inspiring projects, the perfect answer to “What shall we do today?”. (You can read our full review here)
There are some delicious recipes in The Little Grower’s Cookbook, mentioned above, which can be a very useful starting point, but a fun activity can be to start creating your own Family Recipe book. You may already have inherited a recipe book from your parents or grandparents, but creating your own can be something creative for all the family, As well as going shopping to buy the ingredients, baking and then sharing the food, the Family Recipe Book can include recipes, drawings, photographs, and even a journal if you take the results outside, or on a journey, This is something that can be added to over time and becomes part of your heritage.
There are so many opportunities to create something and this is an activity that all the family can enjoy. Lockdown saw a massive increase of interest in traditional crafts and there is something quite joyous as the younger generation learn to knit, crochet, sew. or experiment with other crafts, many of which require little investment. This can also be an opportunity for you to learn and experiment together, you may also want to start making special presents that can be completed in time for Christmas.
We recommend a wide range of creative books on our sister websites:
Making, listening, dancing, there is such variety in music, if your life is normally frenetic, slowing everything down and playing relaxing background music can be beneficial for everyone. You can create a family meal celebrating different cultures and playing background music to match the menu. You can create more of an atmosphere by designing special menus and inviting everyone to dress-up. Equally younger children will often collapse in giggles if they see adults dancing, invite them to join in and have fun with you. Sharing learning to play an instrument can also be fun, although you may want to limit practise times!
With today’s range of technological gadgets, it is so easy for everyone to disappear into their own techno bubble. Taking time to play games together is a way of reconnecting as a family. You may have a family favourite. but traditional games can be as simple as charades or a game of cards, Jigsaws can also be a relaxing activity for all the family, particularly if you have space on a small table to leave the jigsaws out for everyone to take time to complete a small section. Try and find a blend of games for everyone to enjoy that appeal to all age groups, rather than let it become too competitive.
Traditionally the autumn half-term holiday was an opportunity for families to get away for one last break before the winter, but because of the pandemic, many people are reluctant to travel abroad, or take holidays during this break. However, there is still the opportunity for day-trips or a holiday to places closer to home. Wrapping up warmly for a brisk walk on the beach followed by hot chocolate can be just as enjoyable as an ice-cream!
Often individual family members watch films, or box-sets on their own, but it can be fun to create a ‘home cinema’ evening when you all agree on something you would all like to watch and you create a cosy viewing room, with snacks. You can also extend this by everyone putting the title of their favourite film in a jar or box and you take it in turns to select the film.
Many venues have special half-term events, including Halloween, where you can visit the grounds, take part in activities or simply enjoy being out in the fresh air! If you are planing to celebrate Halloween at home think about some of the more sustainable activities like apple bobbing, biscuit making, pumpkin pie, pumpkin carving and for little hands tiny pumpkins which can be drawn on.
Preparing for the winter term
Often there is a reluctance from everyone to return after the holiday, but spend time together, planning other opportunities for fun activities that can take place during the week, at weekends, or during the Christmas break.
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