We know that January seemed to go on forever, so with the February half term approaching it's a bittersweet feeling to see the back end of darker nights and Blue Monday's but also prepare for a lively week of activities.
While we love spending time at home with the family, it takes a lot of planning and imagination to keep them entertained for the whole week but fear not. We have come up with some half term heroes to help keep your little ones entertained, to hopefully stop your children (and you) from climbing the walls, or drawing on them!
This year, most schools in England will celebrate half term from Monday 14th to Friday 18th February - however dates can vary depending on region so make sure to check with your little one's school before getting things in the diary.
One big event to consider this half term falls on Monday 14th...Valentine's Day. Pre-baby, you may have celebrated this day with a candlelit meal for two but now, unless you have close family or friends to hand, these outings come with a little more planning and the expense of childcare. So, if you plan to make it a party of 3 or more this year, why not make your day family friendly instead?
You know what they say, food is the way to the heart, and we think you'll have lots of fun preparing a meal with your little chefs. We love the babymoov Petit Gourmand Fun Food Prep Kit which features a little heart cutter, perfect for decorating your creation into a V'day treat!
Although it’s not quite beach swimming weather yet that doesn’t mean that you can’t get your swimwear on and enjoy some water fun. Whatever the weather is doing outside, swimming pools offer your little one hours of fun and they’ll be totally worn out afterwards (win win).
While most centres and pools have opened again in recent months, be sure to do some research before leaving the house. For maximum fun, you can even try and visit pools which have slides and fun play areas which are sure to be a hit with older siblings.
Make sure you’ve got everything you need for the whole family to make the trip to the swimming pool as smooth as possible. Splash About offer a huge range of safe, stylish and comfortable swimwear from nappies to wetsuits so babies of all ages will be able to enjoy splash time. Also, if you have a little one who is not yet a very strong swimmer, it’s a good idea to bring some bath and water toys with you to keep them entertained.
We all know the fun can come to a swift end when it’s time to dry off your little swimmers, especially if you have a mini army of wet children and only 2 arms! Help make the drying off process that bit more fun with the adorable Cuddledry CuddleRoar Towel. This rawr-some poncho with hood allows for hands-free drying as well as encouraging creative play!
If you're after a sure smile this half term, there is nothing your little one will find more exciting than the idea of a slumber party with all their best friends! Aside from your mum friends being super relieved that you took one for the team with this one, sleepovers shouldn't be your worst nightmare. With a little bit of planning, you can host a selection of activities designed to wear them out so come bedtime, they'll be ready for lights out.
Make sure you’re prepared to host all your little sleepers, including having enough pillows and bedding for everyone. To make the sleepover extra special, why not invest in some matching pj’s for the whole team? They're sure to make for some adorable pictures on the night!
Something that always goes down a real treat and has proven to be a great success with generations of children or maybe even adults (there's no shame!) is getting the soft furnishings out to build your own den.
One top tip from us - try to construct the den in the same area as sleep time to keep the house takeover to a minimum, but also because they'll tend to be more excited to go to “bed” in the den. Best of all, when everyone is tired and worn out simply dim the lights, pop on a film and they can relax snuggled up in their very own den.
To combat night terrors and make the whole sleeping process that little bit easier we suggest using nightlights. The perfect slumber party companions are brought to you by Liewood's collection of Winston animal night lights. You can give one of these cordless nightlights to each child to help them fall asleep feeling safe and cosy with their new companion.
It is well known that musical instruments are fundamental to your little ones learning and social development so why not make learning fun this half term with the help of our musical toys. Hold X-Factor style auditions that give Simon Cowell a run for his money in the judging stakes. Once you’ve picked only the best talent (obviously your little one went straight through to the live shows), form a band and get those rehearsals under way.
Children love making noise and will feel huge satisfaction from hearing the music they are making. To help them branch out their musical talent, we love the Little Dutch Wooden Guitar as it's perfect for beginners who want to learn the sounds and strings or simply try out their best bass-face. While we aren’t promising musical magic, maybe one day they'll be hitting those high notes. After all, practice makes perfect, right?!
Arts and crafts
We know your fridge door might already be overflowing with (sometimes abstract) art masterpieces that your little one has produced throughout the years, but can you ever have too many?
Arts and crafts are the perfect afternoon distraction to keep the family entertained. Let their imagination run wild and also let them use any leftover newspapers or toilet rolls to help create their creations. If you’ve run out of magnets for the fridge door, you could also display them in frames.
If you have only just finished clearing up the glitter explosion from the last arts and crafts session then Micador Early stART Stacktivities blocks offer the perfect mess-free art activity! Panels on each stacking block let you little one colour (with eco-friendly beeswax crayons) all while learning key areas such as letters, numbers, shapes and colours! No mess, no hassle and endless hours of colouring fun.
Explore the outdoors
If you are brave enough to face the winter weather, then a brisk walk or forest adventure is ideal for your stir crazy children. Come rain or shine, wear little legs out by wrapping them up warm against the chill, ready to go explore the great outdoors! Be prepared for all weather with our collection of winter coats and gloves.
To make sure they're ready for every sort of adventure, give them their own rucksack to store essentials and independently carry all their favourite bits with them. Our personal favourites from Tiba + Marl and JEM + BEA boast adorable designs and feature clever compartments that are great for snack break.
Hopefully these hints and tips will help you make the most of your half term at home, stress and argument-free. Alternatively, if you're fortunate enough to get away this February break, why not check out our great range of travel essentials, perfect to make life easier while on the move.