(For Part One of Frugal Queen’s Easter Holiday Activity Countdown, see here.)
Following on from the first seven days of activity suggestions, here are ideas for the second half of the Easter holiday countdown.
You’ve already taken the time to celebrate Easter in any way you choose – taking up yet another day of the holiday. That might have meant ‘messy church’ where children can make ‘Palm Sundaes’ or joining a family fun service. Alternatively, Easter might have meant a family day for you – where you can invite grandparents round and play board games.
And on the eighth day…everyone mucked in with the chores. Let’s face it, even if you were on holiday you’d have a visit to the launderette by now. Have a couple of family days where you put two big boxes in the hallway with one saying donate and the other saying throwaway. Get the children working together on a declutter and clear out session. If you have local charity shops, such as Oxfam or Salvation Army, take time to research online so the children can feel part of the process and take a trip to the local charity shop to donate. With a bit more space set some cleaning challenges such as bed changing, vacuuming or giving them a cleaning cloth wrung out in warm water with something harmless such as bubble bath and water to clean down surfaces in their room. Challenges need reward and a ‘new’ toy or book from the charity shop could also be part of them learning about the work of a local or national charity.
Ten days later and the legs need stretching. It amazing how many children have bikes and never get out on them. Start the day with bike cleaning, chain oiling, seat and handlebar adjusting because they’ve grown and then a local refresher ride as the bike has been in the garage all winter. Two bike rides will fill the day with a return home for lunch in between. You can of course use local bike trails and take a picnic, a drink and warm clothing. Again, take photos as children love to share their holidays.
It’s now day 11 and everyone has been kept busy so why not review the week and check out the photos so far of the cooking, fun with cousins, living room den building, muddy walks, museum visit, research about the charity the children donated too and of course the photos of the bike ride. Sit with your children and help them create a digital scrap book with the additions of text boxes where they can add diary entries of everything they’ve done so far. If you leave this until the end of the week, it’s likely they will have forgotten a lot of it.
That’s 11 days where you really haven’t had to spend a penny other than a bus ticket or a couple of pounds for some new books or games from the charity shop. Why change a well formed habit? Every holiday should have a library day where the children can stock up on games, books, DVDs and music for the next two weeks. We made a habit of going to the library every other Saturday, where we took part in story time, a mini art or craft project and invariably it was free or a tiny donation.
The 13th day – baker’s dozen. How about a bread baking day? It can be dough you can eat, dough you can model and play with all day and salt dough that can be modelled, baked and painted. Look out for paint and PVA glue in Poundland or other discount stores and have some homemade bread and jam for a snack in the afternoon.
Finally, one day should really be a treat that has been saved for. We always set aside a day where we go to the local sports centre and swim until we’re thrown out. Luckily, they extend sessions in the school holidays and we really get our money’s worth. We look out for sport sessions in advance of the holidays and always sign up for a sport day. That could be a swimming club, football or tennis. There really isn’t anything as lovely as the sound of tired children who’ve worn themselves out being sporty all day.
When they get back to school and the question is asked, ‘What did you do in your holiday?’ – then the answer will be: we cooked our own food, made blanket dens and had a movie day, went on a huge walk and found spring flowers or learned bird names, played all day with our cousins or grandparents, learned something new at the museum, donated our old toys and clothes to a charity, went on a bike ride, collected and read library books, went to messy church to celebrate Easter, made a digital scrapbook, made salt dough Easter decorations and had a sports day.
They’ll be glad to go back to school for a rest.