May half term - the promise of summer or time for the brollies to get an airing? Who knows what the weather gods will bring this year. For our family, after all the changes over the last year it will be a time for fun and memory making. If you’re looking for some holiday activities for kids here are some great outdoor and indoor activities to try.
So here are my ideas for half term activities, most of which can be indoor or outdoor activities, all of which are designed to spend time together as a family or with friends, having fun and doing something a little different.
1. Try a scavenger hunt
I’m a big fan of a scavenger hunt - collecting a range of items (it’s the hoarder in me) and they are super versatile. You can use them indoors or out on a walk and vary the difficulty depending on the age of your kids. And, if you are wily enough, you can normally drink a whole cup of hot tea in the time! So here are a few updates and ideas to this classic
Take photos - that way you don’t have to return the items.
Use colours, letters, textures and shapes as well as objects e.g. shiny, beginning with g, triangle, orange. If you’re feeling dastardly, pair them together e.g. they have to find something green and soft
Collect items by use e.g. something to see your reflection in, something you could use for storing lego, something you can stir with
Collect 3-5 items that help give clues to a well known film. E.g. For Spiderman you could have a toy spider, a lego man, a newspaper, a camera, some sticky tape (for his web making)
If you don’t feel like making your own, I’ve included a couple of scavenger hunts at the bottom of this blog to get you started.
2. Go geocaching
Geo what? Geo caching is treasure hunting for a new generation. Essentially, you use your phone to guide you to a location where there is a secret cache (normally a plastic box with goodies inside). This is normally hidden underneath some twigs or in the hollow of a tree. Once you find it, you can take a piece of treasure...but you must replace it with an item that you have brought. Good options include rubbers, pencils, badges and little toys. To play, simply download the free app to your phone and allow it to access your phone's GPS. We recommend starting with larger geocaches as the small ones (think matchbox size) can be quite dastardly to find.
3. Have an adventure in virtual reality
For the perfect fun family experience, our virtual reality escape room adventures have it all! As a mum, I want to create some great memories with my kids. However, with a teen and pre-teen in the mix, trying to prise them away from their phones or speak in whole sentences can be almost as hard as keeping on top of the laundry. Imagine then a family activity with no phones, no eye rolling, only fun! Bliss, huh?
So here are two wins for you: You can bring your kids down with some friends and be the coolest parent in town and you can grab a cup of coffee round the corner or relax in our reception. It’s a great socially distanced activity for kids.
You can come and join in the fun too. If you can send a WhatsApp photo, you can play VR. It’s that simple. Our VR experiences are designed to be played TOGETHER so they are a great way to share some quality time with your children in a way that you’ll all love.
(Dressing up your avatar ready for your adventure - real game picture)
4. Build a game
They want to play a game, but you need to clean up the kitchen. Sound familiar? Get them to design the game for the double win. Personalised versions of known games are great so designing their own monopoly board (just save one of your Amazon boxes from your late night random purchase), create their own set of happy families using people they know, even decorating a set of playing cards are all great.
5. Play all day with VR hire
Sometimes we just want to stay home or we need to get a few things done but its the holidays and the kids are at each other's throats (please tell me it's not just my home). VR hire is the perfect rainy day activity. We deliver it to your door, it takes less than the time to make a cup of tea to set up and we include an instruction sheet and video. There’s over 30 games and experiences to choose from so plenty for everyone. Our google chromecast device means you can watch the action on your smart TV so it makes a great spectator sport too! It's suitable from about 7 upwards and so will keep the whole family entertained for the whole day. We've had people telling us they were up half the night still playing (and that was the grown ups)!
6. Play at home escape room
Older kids can need, how can I put this nicely, more...encouragement to spend time with the family and get involved so an play-at-home escape room can be just the thing. There are lots of different types to choose: downloadable ones that you print at home, boxed ones or online ones.
We love our online escape rooms at Sneaky Dog Escapes because we can play them with friends and family online without being in the same house. This is a great chance to get interactive with family and friends that are further afield. We often get 3 generations of families playing together because it works for all ages.
It works be setting up a virtual 'room' where your mission takes place that you can all see on your computer screens. You have problems to solve and some terrible jokes to groan at, which you can all do together. We love this as a rainy day activity for kids
We also have a range of play at home escape games (EXIT games) which we sell in our shop or we can deliver locally.
7. Set a challenge and get creative
Despite a host of craft kits, paints and pens in my garage, I’m often left looking for things to do with my kids. However, set them a challenge, give them a time limit and suddenly it’s game on, especially if I add some chocolate as bribery prizes. Can they set up an assault course in the garden? Can they take photos of all the letters of the alphabet around the house? Can they create a way of dropping an egg out of the window without it smashing? Can they create a dominoes run? My latest genius idea is ‘Can you choose 20 holiday photos to go up in the playroom?’ - a task I have been putting off for the whole of lockdown.
I'd love to know in the comments if you tried any of these ideas or you have any great activities for kids in Southampton or Hampshire for us to try.
Alex and the Sneaky Dog Team x
Scavenger Hunt idea 1: Indoor
Can you collect something:
Beginning with c
A book with the letter c in the title
Scavenger hunt 2: outdoors
Can you collect something:
5 different shades of green
Beginning with t
A ‘Y’ shaped twig
A piece of rubbish
Scavenger hunt 3: Films
Collect 5 items that represent the following films
The greatest showman