Keeping your little ones occupied during Halloween Half Term
You thought you were in the clear having survived the summer holidays, but somehow Halloween half term rolls around before you know it and you’re faced with how to entertain the children once more. And, this time with even less likelihood of good weather!
While there may be plenty of holiday schemes available in your area, you might want to plan your own schedule and bank a few ideas to keep the little ones entertained at home or close by.
Halloween Half Term Ideas!
The National Trust offers endless options and activities for all the family over weekends and holidays so take some time to check out the locations near to you, to find out what is happening during half term. You’ll be amazed with the wealth of choice. From pumpkin trails to den building, bug hunting to craft workshops, they provide the perfect excuse to get outdoors in some beautiful surroundings and kick up the autumn leaves. Plan your day around the activity of your choice, be sure to bring waterproofs and wellies and you’ll find the day passes very quickly. Our personal favourites are the family ghost tours and the pumpkin carving activities. What could get you into the Halloween spirit more?
For more information: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/
It’s true the weather is unreliable in autumn but if you’re willing to brave it, throw on the waterproofs and boots and there are lots of ways to tire the children out during their days away from school.
An eternal favourite for most young ones, track down some good conker trees in a local park or forest, bring some bags to collect in and release the children! Once they’ve tracked down as many shiny conkers as possible, you can challenge them to organise them into size order, make a picture with them, string them up and do good old conker fights or just collect for the joy of it.
Autumn scavenger hunt
The perfect outside activity. Take a little time to write down which items the children should hunt for and you can tailor your list to each child. Short and simple for the little ones, long and tricky for the older ones! From 5 acorns to 7 red leaves, 3 pine cones to 8 ‘helicopters’, it’s a lovely way to give all the children independence, get them exploring nature, and throw in a little bit of education at the same time.
Blackberry hunt and bake
Grab some Tupperware and track down some wild blackberries around your area. There are bound to be some hedgerow or overgrown briar around parks and wooded areas so they shouldn’t be too hard to find (and you don’t have to wait until Halloween -this is good to go right now!).
When you have a haul, choose your favourite recipe and get baking with the children. Whether blackberry and apple crumble or blackberry scones, they will love making something with their own picked fruit (if it survives the trip home – those juicy berries are quite irresistible!).
A lovely activity especially with younger children. Get everyone out in the garden, sweep up piles of autumn leaves and let the kids make pictures out of them on the lawn or driveway. Maybe they’ll be super simple or more creative, either way it’s a sweet activity to do together and helpfully cleans up your garden at the same time. Win: win!
When the sky clouds over or if energy is low, planning a few craft projects inside can be a good back up plan.
Autumn Crown Making
If you managed the autumn scavenger hunt, you can make use of all the lovely leaves and nature collection here. Take some strips of cardboard to make a head band and simply glue and stick your autumn memorabilia to make a beautiful crown. An easy one for younger children and very cost effective.
The most obvious of all crafts at this time of year but instead of carving which can be tricky (and messy!), why not gather up some craft supplies and let the children go to town decorating their own pumpkins. With pipe cleaners and glue, pen and glitter, it’s easy for all ages to make their own creation. Plus the pumpkins last longer when un-carved so they can be proud of their artwork for the whole holiday!
Crumlin Road Gaol Tours
If all of this seems a little tame or you have some older teenagers who may be looking for something a bit edgier for Halloween, we highly recommend scaring the pants off them at the Crumlin Road Gaol’s spooky tours. Genuinely terrifying and not for the faint-hearted; there are two options, one a more “spooky” and the other more a “house of horrors” so do check the age ranges are appropriate for your family!