So, here in Wiltshire we are in the middle of our Easter holidays. It. Is. Freeeeezing…..
I figured there will be the obligatory Easter Egg Hunt’s to attend, but once the chocolate rush is over, there is often a need to find
ways to stop them from killing each other enjoyable, educational things to do with the Small people, more often that not, just to save your own sanity (or is that just me…?)
As I’m sure you all know by now, my Smalls are 4 and very nearly 2, so things will probably end up being slightly biased towards pre-schoolers, but I will try and include a few things for bigger Smalls as well.
Outdoors-if it ever warms up…(and even if doesn’t, get them outside-it’s about time they toughened up…)
- Visit the park-most towns and even most villages, have great free parks. Not only are there the usual swings, slides, climbing frames, there are usually large green spaces for Small people to run around, kick a ball, and generally burn off some energy.
- Do a nature trail-each child has an age appropriate list of things to find-for example-3 different coloured leaves, 4 different flowers etc-this can be good if you’re working on your numbers! If your Small is very Small then just collecting anything they find and oohing and aahing at it is probably enough. If your Small is bigger, you can get them to take pictures, and then come home and explore different ways of trying to identify the things they have found (e.g., internet vs books) and then make a little book or poster with all your finds. You can also look for signs of Spring coming (under the snow…)
- Hit the beach!
Even if the weather isn’t great, beaches can still be awesome places for a day out-if your location allows, try and find one with lots of rock pools as well as some sandy bits. We have a some great beaches not too far from us on the North Somerset coast, which are HUGE and the kids can just run and run and run! Don’t forget to take your kite!
- Which brings me neatly onto the next idea-fly a kite! We bought a really cheap (about £2) plastic kite on the beach on holiday a couple of years ago, and BigSmall loves it! It is just the right size for him, and only has one string so is not too hard to control. It is so light, that once it’s up, it tends to stay up, and it keeps him occupied for a good hour or so. We suddenly remembered it last weekend, and took to our nearest hill. It was great-we all got some fresh air and blew some cobwebs away, BigSmall walked far further than he would ever normally, and he was so pleased with himself when he managed to keep the kite airborne. We are definitely making our own this year..!
- Enrol your kids on the National Trust’s ’50 Things To Do Before you’re 11 3/4′ campaign here
The National Trust came up with this new initiative after a report commissioned by the Trust found children today spend fewer than ten percent of their playtime in wild places. Instead the younger generation spend an average of two-and-a-half hours a day watching the television. That’s a depressing stat isn’t it? So grab your kids, head outdoors and start climbing trees, making dens, rolling down hills, and crossing stuff off the list!
Indoors-if it fails to warm up, and you can’t face bundling them all up in in 79 layers, find hats and gloves (where do these go? Are there elves with special jobs to hide hats and gloves? Or is that just me again…?) and don’t want to have to resort to the TV
- Visit your local library. As well as just getting out of the house, but still staying warm, libraries are awesome places for Small people. Here in Wiltshire, we have the Gruffalo doing the rounds of the county’s libraries over the Easter holidays, and also a special afternoon of Builder’s fun during the holidays. Check yours out to see what they have on offer.
- Make your own ice-cream without a fridge..! (I know, in this weather. But it does look pretty cool)Follow these instructions here from Instructables. Again, I haven’t tried this yet, but a friend has, and a word of warning-make sure you double bag your milk mix to keep the salt out… If you can’t face ice cream, then go for hot chocolate with all the trimmings, but it won’t keep them occupied for as long..
- Make a kite to fly when the weather improves! There is a nice easy tutorial here from Better in Bulk especially for pre-schoolers, or this one here from Homemade Simple is a little more ambitious.
- Make homemade slime!!
We did this last year and it was a HIT! We used this recipe here from Our Best Bites. Little word of warning though, you do need to use proper Borax (not the substitute) and Elmer’s glue to get the best results. You can read about our very scientific trials and tribulations here
- Re-use your rubbish! Take inspiration from this post on Babyccino kids and empty your recycling bin to see what the Smalls come up with!
So that little lot should keep them entertained for about 20 minutes at least….
Enjoy the holidays-the school run will be back before you know it!