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Half term - Monday 25 May 2020 - Friday 29 May 2020

 Next week is half-term - Yah!!!   We all need time to relax and be kind to ourselves.   I have listed a variety of fun activities you can all take part in.   Have fun and keep smiling!

1 Rainbows

You can't walk anywhere at the moment without seeing a rainbow in someone's window.

That's because families have been busy painting and drawing them as a display of togetherness and to give children something to spot while out on their walks.

But you don't have to stop at paint or crayons. How about scrunched up coloured paper, ribbons etc

2 Den

Most parents can remember building a den as a child, usually with nothing more than a table, some cushions and a sheet. Let your child's imagination run wild as they pretend to go camping or try to keep warm inside their very own igloo.

You could always be the scary animal on the outside of the tent. And if you've got a torch don't forget to make some animal shadows too.

3 Obstacle course

Create an obstacle course, with chairs, cushions, toys, empty boxes etc. Leave just small gaps for the children to climb through. See if they can make it through the course.

4 Hama Beads

Children can make all sorts of designs with Hama Beads. Whether it's a Minion, an animal, or Harry Potter, there are all kinds of patterns they can copy off the internet.

Once they've created it on a plastic peg board, it's your job to iron it and make it stick together. You can easily make them into keyrings or magnets too.

5 Illustrators  (Mrs Allen's favourite)

If your children like drawing there's lots of inspiration around at the moment, with illustrators offering free online tutorials to help them improve.

A popular one is #DrawWithRob, a website from author and illustrator Rob Biddulph, who's written books including Grrrrr! about a bear called Fred who loses his growl.

His videos, showing children how to create everything from a sausage dog to their very own Fred Bear, are easily accessible on his website here. Children have been sharing their finished drawings with him online using the hashtag #DrawWithRob.

6 Pebbles  (Mrs Staniforth's favourite)

Pebble art has been quite a thing over recent years, with people decorating rocks and leaving them in parks and other places for people to find.

Given the current climate, take a photo of the pebbles you find and have lots of fun decorating them.

Something as simple as felt tips does the trick on lighter rocks, with children decorating them however they want - some making funny faces out of them.

If you want them to last longer outside then you'd be better using acrylic paint coated with varnish to give an extra layer of protection.   

Below are a selection Mrs Staniforth has taken photos of each day she walks her dog.

7 Play Doh

Play Doh is another old favourite and can keep them entertained for hours. Whether they want to make their own dinosaur, elephant, car or castle, the possibilities are endless.

If you can manage not to stress about the colours being mixed together it can be a whole lot of fun. And if you haven't got any Play Doh it's pretty simple to make your own. All you need is:

2 cups of plain flour

1 cup of salt

1 tablespoon of oil

half to 1 cup of cold water

2 drops of liquid food colouring

Mix the flour and salt then add the water, oil and food colouring. Knead the mixture well, adding a little more flour if the consistency is too wet.

8 Wallpaper people

If you've got an old roll of wallpaper, or any other paper for that matter, lie your little one down on it and draw around them. Amazing how long they will spend colouring themselves in afterwards. They might also want to make a wallpaper mum, dad or sibling too. And why not?

9 Penpals and postcards

The art of letter writing seems to be making a comeback as people are forming penpal groups to write to other children.

If you want to keep it local - and make sure they're coming from a trusted group - then lots of Facebook groups have been sharing ones in their areas. Failing that you could suggest it to the parents at school to get the children writing to one another while they're off.

LOL Surprise is doing its bit to get kids writing and has launched its own BFF Pen Pal campaign. To help combat feelings of separation during social distancing, the toy brand has released a number of free postcard templates to download from its website.

The brand is also sharing regular free activity content on its social media channels including quizzes, games, colouring-in sheets, dance challenges and more. Parents can follow #BBsBoredomBusters to find new activities each day.

10 Grow your own veg (Mrs Patterson's favourite)

Gardening is a fun, easy activity to do with your children and one you don't even have to own a garden for! Fruit and vegetables can be grown in containers or pots on a balcony or windowsill! Gardening is a fabulous way to get kids to eat a variety of their five a day. You'll be surprised what children will eat when they've grown it with their own fair hands!Why don't you have a go at growing something from a seed. You could try planting an apple seed, tomato seed, sunflower seed, strawberry or runner bean seed. Remember to give it plenty of water, be patient and see how tall it grows!

11 Potato printing

If it's good enough for Daddy Pig then it's good enough for us. Most of us have got an old potato lying at the bottom of the cupboard.

Hopefully it will still be in a fit enough state to carve a shape from to use as a paint stamp. Make some patterns and you could end up with a piece of art to treasure.

12 Sun catchers

Another thing to help brighten our homes at this time is a sun catcher and they're relatively cheap to pick-up.

Hobbycraft has a wide range available from £1.30 each, including children's initials, unicorns, rockets, fish and more. These come with the mini paint pots too.

13 Bird box

Who doesn't like watching the birds feed in the garden, especially when there's little else happening at the moment.

Families have been busy making their own bird feeders too, using just a large four-pint milk bottle. Felt tips is all you need to colour the plastic, but people have been sticking paper, feathers and other things on to make them bright and colourful.

14 Drive-in movie

You don't need a drive-in movie when you can make your own.

It's quite easy to turn a big cardboard box into their very own car and they can help paint it too. Stick a cushion inside, give them some movie snacks, stick a film on and there you have it.

Or, of course, just enjoy a family movie from the comfort of the sofa - snacks are a must.

15 Make a clock

We've all got a bit more time on our hands so why not use it to get the kids learning how to tell the time properly - by making their own clock.

You could do it with just paper and a pin to attach the hands, or cardboard or a paper plate would do the trick.

You can make it as detailed or as simple as you like, but writing quarter past, half past, quarter to and midnight/o'clock in the relevant places will help them get the gist.

16 Treasure / nature hunt

There's all sorts of fun to be had indoors or outdoors with a treasure hunt.

Give each child a bag with a list on showing what they have to find - a leaf, a flower, a stick, a stone - you get the picture.

You could use the collected items to make a nature picture afterwards, or a leaf print.

And if you want to stay indoors then why not hide some letters or words around the house. They can find them and then use them to make words and sentences. They won't even realise they're learning.

There are loads of ideas for nature scavenger hunts from the Woodland Trust here.

17 Fimo

Not all children are happy for their precious playdoh creations to be squashed - step forward our trusty Fimo.

They can use this modelling clay in the much the same way - to make all manner of creations - but it gets baked in the oven, so they get to keep their masterpiece forever (or until they decide to chuck it).

You can buy big packs of the stuff, containing various colours, or single packs from around £2.75.

Like with Hama Beads, these can also easily be turned into magnets and keyrings so maybe they could make some to give to friends and family when they get to see them again.

18 Gingerbread house

You might be lucky enough to have a kit left over from Christmas - the one you never got round to making. If not you can order one from eBay.

These are pretty simple so children can do most of it themselves. Simply make the icing and they can use it to stick the sweets around their creation. If they don't eat them first that is.

19. Bug hunt

If you've got a bug lover then they'll love getting out in the garden to find some snails, slugs and any other creatures hanging around.

Collect them, maybe get a microscope to have a good look at them and set them free until your next hunt.

If you're thinking on a bigger scale, then the RSPB has a guide to making your own bug hotel here.

Yours could shelter anything from hedgehogs, toads and solitary bees, to ladybirds and woodlice.

20 Sock puppets

You may already have a puppet show or some puppets you could use inside a cardboard box. If not, then get an old sock and make your own. Whether you have some stick-on googly eyes or just some scraps of paper, you can make your own character that your child will love.

Celebrations and Half Term Fun!
Fabulous Friday 22 May 2020