Good value half term tips for tired kids

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The first half term after the summer holidays is the one where your children can tend to be most tired, as they get into a new routine after the summer holidays (or, if they are starting school for the first time, getting used to a completely new schedule). Therefore, it may be an idea to plan activities near home, giving your children the opportunity to take things a little easier.

Now is a good time to start planning for your half term. Not only will planning ahead make sure that you get the most out of your half term holiday, but it may also save you money.

Be flexible

Do you have to go to a particular attraction? There may be a more convenient, lower cost alternative available if you are able to be flexible. For example, instead of driving to the water park, have you checked with your local pool? Often, there are special activities in the school holidays, including family-only swim times and large inflatables.

Be savvy

If your heart is set on a particular place, there may still be ways to save money. For example, is it possible to get a group discount if you go along with other families? Are there off-peak times that you can take advantage of?
Also, check for money-off vouchers and discount codes: search online, ring the attraction, and, if you have a supermarket loyalty card, see if you are able to cash them in for money off the entrance fee.

Be local

We tend to think of holidays as something we need to spend away from home, but this half term is the perfect opportunity for you to explore what’s on your doorstep – and if the afternoon suddenly grows cold, you won’t be too far away from home. Check the internet or in your local library to find out what activities are on in your area over half term – you may be pleasantly surprised to see what is available for free or at very low cost. It doesn’t have to be something you’ve never done before – perhaps you can do something your kids liked to do before they went to school, such as feeding the ducks or going to the local park. Failing that, running through piles of leaves is always fun, regardless of age!

Be crafty

Crafts are always a great way to entertain, and you might want to start collecting suitable items now: egg boxes, empty tins, kitchen/toilet rolls and old magazines and newspaper are perfect for creative minds to get to work on. Depending on the age of your children, you may want to arrange a walk to collect ‘treasure’, such as fallen leaves or nuts (such as acorns and conkers) or small twigs that can also be used in a variety of projects. There are hundreds of ideas online about suitable craft activities, but you must remember paint or coloured pens, glue, paper and to dress your children in clothes that you don’t mind becoming mini works of art.

Be green

There’s plenty that can be done in the garden in October, for children of all ages. If you don’t have a garden yourself, perhaps you can spend the day helping out a relative or friend. Whether it’s collecting fallen leaves, giving the lawn its last mow, digging out the last of the vegetables or a general tidy up – it’s a great opportunity to spend a few hours outdoors before it gets too cold to do so. It is also a good time to get planting. You can plant out bulbs now that will flower next spring, including primulas and forget-me-nots. If you don’t have a garden, you can still prepare some pots to flower in the winter and cheer up those dark days. Daffodils and hyacinth are good choices as they are so colourful and fragrant.

All in all, there’s plenty to keep them occupied this half term holiday, without spending a fortune.

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