After a year of lockdown, the prospect of another school break to entertain your little ones through can feel a little daunting. Fear not! Here are seven great ideas for keeping the kids entertained.
Even though it seems as though it’s been five minutes since our little darlings have returned to school, suddenly we’re being forced to contemplate another break from school, where we have a time with them raiding the snack cupboard non-stop again.
Thankfully for the Easter break, you are not going to have to put your teacher hat on again. This time you can make it purely about family fun and actually enjoying being together, although you may still be struggling to think of what you could get up to.
Read more: Tasty twists on Easter lunch
The roadmap to normality is looking promising for theme parks and restaurants opening on the 12th April, but with so many of us still awaiting the vaccine, there may still be wariness about visiting crowded places.
Fear not, the following ideas should ease any angst about how you’re going to handle yet more time trying to entertain and occupy your little ones whilst we’re still not as free and easy as we hopefully will be soon.
1. National Trust properties
Fortunately for all of us, we live in a country populated by the most stunning National Trust and English Heritage properties, from Norham Castle (above) in Northumberland to St Mawes Castle in Cornwall. All of which are welcoming guests, but with a strict rule of you having to prebook your tickets in advance.
You may still find limitations on areas of each location, especially inside the properties, that you are able to access due to the pandemic but you can still grab your wellies and a picnic and blow the cobwebs away, inhaling fresh air in the most stunning locations and make some magical memories. This option also ensures that your little ones will be so wiped at the end of the day that they’re ready for a good night’s sleep when you get home, giving you the chance to sip contently on your large glass of well-earned wine in peace and quiet.
2. DIY fun
Traditional entertainment never fails to keep all family members, young and old, in high spirits and ensures that all are involved.
You can get creative with treasure hunts or Easter egg hunts—not just outdoors, but around your house too—and after the hunting is over, all get involved with some egg blowing and painting, and finish off with an Easter-themed pass the parcel game, keeping large Easter eggs as prizes for the most beautifully decorated egg and the winner of the pass the parcel.
3. Get green-fingered
Something many people have embraced since lockdown is growing our own fruit and veg. The Easter break is the perfect time to get your budding little green-fingered children involved in preparing and planting in a vegetable patch, which is not only fun but also educational.
You will be giving your little ones the advantage in life of understanding where their food comes from and what it looks like before it’s put in packaging and placed on the supermarket shelf.
4. Find a farm
If you live close to a farm, it’s a wonderful day out to visit a local farm, many of which will reopen to the public in the coming weeks. This will help your children to gain an understanding of where the delicious roast lamb that you’ll be presenting for everyone to feast on come Easter Day actually comes from.
Failing that, there are a number of rare breed and eco farms that have popped up all over the country, which offer you a day of feeding animals and seeing more unusual breeds that usually sparks enthusiastic conversation and an interest in nature.
Read more: Britain's best farms
5. The great outdoors
Fresh air is always good for little ones and there are many ways to enjoy the great outdoors together this Easter, including building a fire pit, which can then be rewarded by having a cosy family barbecue, ending with making smores or roasting marshmallows, which every child, young or old, seems to find a truly magical experience.
There are always chores that can help you out as well as keep them occupied, for the older children, like painting the shed or mowing the lawn. Den building is always great fun and encourages imagination and gives them something to play in for the duration of their time at home.
6. Art attack
For any budding little artists, you can buy inexpensive colour-by-number painting kits, which not only helps build their fine motor skills but keep them occupied for hours and gives them a real sense of achievement once it’s completed and they can display it on their bedroom wall. Glitter art has also become hugely popular and can again be found very easily and inexpensively online.
Family make-up and pamper days are always a huge hit and when your children are allowed to put makeup on their parents, especially their fathers, it’s worth looking utterly ridiculous to see the joy on their faces and is obviously a very useful bargaining tool if you have agreed to let them loose on you, that they get to bed early, giving you a bit of adult time.
7. Get cosy
As it may still be a little too chilly for a family camp out in the garden, why not set up a family sleepover indoors? You could start the evening with a meal for the whole family and then create a home cinema, with homemade tickets and popcorn and then put blow-up mattresses, or even lots of cushions on the floor and all snuggle up together to watch a movie and then have a sleepover together.
It will be another night that your children won’t forget, and if it goes horribly wrong, it’s only a short way to get them back into their own beds so you to crawl into your own.
Read more: Expert advice on COVID vaccines
Read more: 9 Ways to get sleepy
Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter