LBC (Life Before Covid)… ahh remember that. When quality time with the kids was something we looked forward to? Well, this half term feels a bit different doesn’t it?
As we enter our sixth week of this third national lockdown it’s probably safe to say we’re all struggling with new and exciting ways to keep the kids focused and entertained at home. Over the coming days we will enjoy a break from the repetitive cycle of homeschooling to be done, but the thought of having to fill a whole day with activities is slightly overwhelming isn’t it? Especially if, like us, you’re still expected to pull a full shift in your “home office”.
Recently, here at Rocket Jack HQ, in a desperate bid to buy us some much-needed kid-free time, we caved and bought a trampoline. Much to the delight of our three and six year old sons, who have been happily bouncing ever since.
But even they need the odd break, so we’ve put together a selection of unique ways to keep them occupied this half term. Maybe you’ll find these ideas useful too.
1. Avoid boredom moans
To avoid complaining, parenting expert, Fi Star-Stone recommends getting your kids to create their own boredom busting jar.
It’s really simple to make, all you need is the ideas to put in it, for which you can scout her Instagram post for activity and outdoor ideas. Then when you hear the dreaded ‘I’m bored – what can I do?’ you can remind them to just fish out an activity.
2. Download the Rocket Jack FREE printable
Inspired by our latest kids collection of prints, we've put together THIS activity pack for you to download, which includes colouring sheets, a word search, scavenger hunt and more. You never know you might just get 5 minutes of peace.
As a little bonus, we thought a competition might be fun. When your kids are done colouring, why not share their handy work on social media to be in with a chance of winning an A3 print. Full details of how to enter are on the download.
Happy colouring folks and please do share this with other parents.
3. Get kids involved in the kitchen
Let’s be real, having prepared every meal for the past eleven months in our kitchen, we’re suffering from a bit of cooking fatigue.
If you are working from home, you may find it difficult to allocate time to teaching your child a new recipe. But, if you’ve got to cook dinner anyway, why not just get them involved and try a new recipe out together? We love Lucinda Miller’s healthy kids recipes which are great for the whole family, from her book The Good Stuff.
For budding chefs who need minimal supervision; why not set them up with simple no-bake recipes. These banana and peanut butter bliss balls from Eating with the Kids are a hit in our house, or if you’re not so worried about the sugar content, what about these delicious Mini Egg Rice Krispie Squares to get them excited for Easter.
4. Nature hunt in the garden
Five Minute Mum is full of ideas for easy, fun games for busy people to do with little kids. One we spotted on Instagram was a nature hunt in the garden, which requires minimal prep. As always, Pinterest is bursting with ideas for what to put on the list (for ease we've included one in our activity pack too!).
If you’ve got a little more time and want to get out of the house you could extend this activity to a scavenger hunt hike. We’re blessed where we live to have lots of green space nearby, like Devil’s Dyke, but this could also work around your neighbourhood, park or local area.
Making a walk fun with a scavenger hunt might even encourage your child to walk that little bit further, as they spot items to tick off their list. Add challenges, prizes and more to spice it up!
5. Plan a Valentine’s Day-inspired family date night
This year, half term kicks off with Valentine’s Day on Sunday 14th February, giving you the perfect opportunity to celebrate those nearest and dearest to you.
Family date nights are a great way to make everyone feel special and can be a good way to break up some of the more monotonous parts of daily life with kids; like mealtimes!
Why not hold a talent show evening, with tickets, popcorn, and everyone joining in to share their hidden talent, whether that's hula-hooping, a circus act, world record breaking attempt or even performing the latest TikTok dance trend.
Since lockdown is the perfect time to practise a new skill and what better way to show off these skills than to perform them in a talent show?
Taking turns to be both performers and judges, talent shows are suitable for all ages and can be a fun bonding activity for the whole family. It requires as much or as little effort as you like, but it might be a good idea to plan ahead to allow time for practice, setting up a ‘stage’ and selling tickets!
The more acts the better, so you might decide to get friends and family to get involved through Zoom, Skype or Facetime, even if that's to get three distant relatives to be the judges.
Whatever you get up to this half term, we hope you have a good time and make some special memories together.