AWESOME ACTIVITIES FOR HALF TERM

Child in yellow waterproofs jumping in a puddle in the countryside

Ahhhh, February 2021. Here you are, in all your locked down damp and snowy glory. If you’re feeling lacklustre about next week, fear not, it doesn’t have to be a total washout. I’ve handpicked 15 activities for half term and there’s something in here for everyone – outdoors, indoors, on and off-screen.

Outdoors Fun

Two little girls picking pebbles out of a puddle in the countryside.
Image by Pezibear from Pixabay

Tackle a Treasure Trail in Sussex

Man, woman and child looking at a Treasuretrails map.
Socially distanced adventures from Treasure Trails

Treasure trails have put together socially distanced adventures all over the UK. I was astonished to find 14 trails in Sussex, including Brighton, Lindfield, Lewes, Steyning, Shoreham-by-Sea, Worthing, Crawley – Tilgate Park, Horsham, Worthing, East Grinstead, Arundel, Littlehampton & Eastbourne. The Spy Mission in Lindfield looks brilliant. Download a pack for £9.99, or request a pack in the post for £9.99 + postage. This trail’s a 1.3 mile loop and takes about 1.5 hours. There’s the chance to win some real treasure via their monthly draw too!

Find your closest trail on the Treasure Trails website.

Get Geocaching

Another treasure-trail-esque adventure. Geocaching is a global treasure hunt where you use an app to find hide and seek containers (caches) using GPS coordinates. A great activity to get everyone outside for not-another-walk and the chance to explore your local area with fresh eyes.

There’s a free version of the app and a paid for subscription, which is £4.99 per month – for more information head to the official Geocaching website.

Spice Up The Daily Walk with Mid Sussex Council #springintoaction Exercise Trails

Keep your eyes peeled for Mid Sussex District Council’s #springintoaction exercise trails around St John’s Park Burgess Hill, Victoria Park Haywards Heath and Mount Noddy, East Grinstead. Sign up for emails from MSDC Playdays at Home for more info here.

Be a Nature Detective with The Outdoors Project

In the olden days when kids could go to holiday clubs, the Big One absolutely loved the very fun sessions run by the Outdoors Project. Business is still not back to usual this half term but they’ve put together brilliant outdoorsy suggestions on their website, including a Nature Detectives challenge.

Unplug and Go On A Scavenger Hunt from The Woodland Trust

If you’re looking to unplug from all tech and jazz up time in nature, print off or write out a scavenger hunt from The Woodland Trust’s blog. They’ve thought of everything from simple seasonal hunts to more imaginative and competitive adventures. I love the sound of the Tiny Treasure hunt, which we’ll be having a go at next week.

Woodland Trust Scavenger Hunts

Play Sounds of Nature Bingo by National Trust

The Sounds of Nature Bingo game is another simple idea to get children engaged with the natural world around them. You can play this game anywhere as long as you’re outside. Print off the bingo card and look for pebble, shell, or twig counters to play.

Bingo card

A Different Muddy Walk…

I know, I know. Everyone’s fed up of muddy walks. BUT I’ve recently stumbled across All Trails, which boasts a massive catalogue of walks and hikes in the UK. This is a great resource if you’re looking for a new local muddy walk. There’s stacks in Sussex. Best of all, there’s plenty of information including length of walk, reviews and ratings, ease of trail, waypoints, printable pdf maps and activity options.

This Henfield Deer spotting walk looks ideal for kids.

Eye Spy Spring

For the days when you just need to get outside for fresh air – pronto – here’s a handy game from the Countryside Charity to play on your very familiar daily walk. Perfect for getting those happy spring feelings flowing and for taking in the seasonal changes – Eye Spy Spring.

When you’re done with the outdoors don’t forget to Hygge up indoors – here’s How To Have A Very Cosy Sussex Hygge.


Indoors

Safari themed sleepover teepee tents in a front room.
Safari Slumber themed sleepover from Picklesticks

Have a Magical Sleepover

To break up the same same vibe at home, why not send your little ones on a magical sleepover adventure in their very own bedroom? Here are some brilliant local companies offering sleepover packages:

Get Cooking!

If you’re looking for food inspo over half term don’t forget Chinese New Year on Friday 12th, Valentine’s Day on Sunday 14th, and Pancake Day on Tuesday 16th. Theme breakfast, lunch or dinner to shake up your family’s lockdown menu accordingly.

If you’re looking for more of a “kit”, here are some ace local small businesses to support:

And although not a local kit, inject some fun into dinnertime with a Pizza Express Kit, which includes ingredients to make 2 pizzas and a pizza cutter for £14.

Be crafty

My two adore crafts – from playdoh to colouring, painting to sewing. If your craft box is running low or you fancy a new project to get your teeth into why not try a kit from one of these local companies:

  • Readymade craft kits from Poponin online from £10
  • Try your hand at personalising a tote bag with a sewing kit from Hassocks-based Made and Making £14 including P&P
  • Treat your mini crafters to a beautiful craft kit or 2 from Lewes-based indie Wickle

Online Activities

Little girl sitting on a woman's lap looking at a laptop.

Yeah, I know. We’re all soooo over online learning too. But here are some events worth bookmarking for half term. Especially for older ones.

Brighton Science Events

Brighton Science have heaps of stuff on their website to entertain junior profs. They also happen to be running a whole bunch of events, including The Half Term Science Spectacular at 10 – 11am every weekday through half term with Marty Jopson, scientist from The One Show. He’ll take kids through everything from high voltage physics to monstrous microscopy, stunt science and explosions.

Brighton Science

Coding with STEM Venturi

If your kids are between 7 – 16, mad for Minecraft, Scratch or fancying giving programming a whirl, make sure you check out Holly Davies’ STEM Venturi virtual workshops running through half term. Holly’s a Chartered Engineer, wife and mother. Alongside her eight years experience working in the aerospace industry, she’s a passionate STEM ambassador and advocate of creativity.

Playdays at Home – Hosted online by Mid Sussex Council

Mid Sussex District Council have organised a couple of events for February half term in Sussex. The main event is a daily dance class with Lucy from Pop Steps. She’ll be teaching a routine via the Mid Sussex District Council Facebook Page. She’ll take kids through a different section of her routine on Monday – Thursday, and put it all together on Friday during her live stream. In a separate video she’ll show you how to warm up properly. Videos will also be available on the MSDC YouTube channel.

London Symphony Orchestra Children’s Concert – Space but not as we know it

The London Symphony Orchestra’s Space but not as we know it is a free and on demand 1-hour concert. Head to the London Symphony Orchestra’s website for details. You’ll find suggested activities for all the family to do alongside the performance, including a listen and draw along task.

The Globe Playground

Immerse primary-aged children in the world of Shakespeare on the Globe’s website. Your junior Bard can learn all about the Great Works through a range of fun activities for primary school-aged children, including games, puzzles, recipes and colouring in, plus a host of fun facts, backstage videos, and animations.

Sammy and the Beanstalk

Bored of watching the same Netflix series on repeat? Take your children to the Theatre in your living room instead. Sammy and the Beanstalk in an online play-with-songs for the over 7s.

Olivier Award-winning OperaUpClose presents their fun and spooky, contemporary urban fairy tale, which draws inspiration from classic winter tales, both cosy and gothic, as well as opera, theatre and film to create a thrilling story-telling experience, in a wonderfully intimate setting.

Tickets are £5 per family, free to low income families.


And if all else fails… stick a Kidz Bop Dance Along on in the front room and disappear to enjoy the peace and a very large cuppa / G&T for 30 minutes….

Have a wonderful half term break and don’t forget to come and tell me if you enjoyed any of these suggested activities over on Instagram 🙂

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