It’s half term – Forget home learning – prioritise FUN!


Dr. Amanda Gummer, CEO of The Good Play Guide, has called for families to put the computers away and enjoy some screen free family fun where possible. “Whilst it is important that children continue to learn and develop throughout the pandemic, it is equally paramount that parents take this opportunity to make some lasting family moments that they can look back on in years to come and importantly have a well-earned break.”

With lockdown this year, the idea of a “home holiday” is a fun way of making the half term feel special. Dr. Gummer explains, “normally when we go away we tend to fill our days with lots of activities born out of being in a different environment or culture, but when at home we tend not to replicate this. Whilst the restrictions mean that what we can do is perhaps limited, there are still many great ways that families can fill their days with joy.”

She suggests that families take the week off from the constraints of Zoom lessons and try some new ideas to keep everyone entertained:

Have a “holiday from home”
Whilst we can’t readily travel abroad, that doesn’t mean we can’t explore other countries from home. Start your “trip” by creating your own travel tickets that will take you to your chosen destination. Do some research about your chosen location and explore it through videos online. To continue your exploration into the evening, why not research a recipe from your chosen destination and cook a meal together as a family? At the end of your “trip” you can always make postcards to talk about what you’ve done, perhaps as a home learning exercise after the break, or you could try and make your own funny video of your family “trip.”

Scavenger hunts
Make those lockdown walks a little more exciting by creating your own scavenger hunt! Create your own grid of things to look for and see if your child(ren) can tick them off as you explore. These can also be swapped with friends and family with challenges for who can find the most!Family performances
Have some laughs and some giggles by getting active together by creating your own play or dancing to your favourite songs. Activities like these are a great way of coming together to have some heartfelt family fun. The ‘kitchen disco’ needn’t be reserved for Friday nights and the creation of a ‘lockdown’ playlist might actually be fun!Play classic games
From duck, duck, goose to chess, playing classic games that everyone in the house can get involved in is a great way to bring everyone together. Find out who the best is in your house by making it into a competition, or simply play for fun.

Virtual visits to regional and international zoos, museums and aquariums
Virtual visits are a great way to get to explore places that you would normally visit but are currently closed due to the pandemic. Have a look online to see what attractions are running virtual tours that might be of interest to you. There are loads out there from art galleries to zoos, museums and aquariums.

Create a family fort
Have some fun by creating your own family fort. Dig out the old blankets and see what you can make together. Once it’s been made, set out different things you can do together in your ‘new den’ – i.e. watch a film together, have a picnic, camp in the fort, etc.  And don’t worry about the mess or the room being untidy – you’re not welcoming visitors for a while!

Invent your own game
Played every game in the house? How about creating your own game? It can be as simple as getting some dice and rolling it to see how many hops you can do around the house or you can make it more difficult by making your own physical board game. Have some fun and see what you can come up with.

Dr. Gummer adds, “Playing together as a family should be fun for everyone so give yourself a break from the normal chores and stresses of life and get into the home holiday mode, creating some precious memories in the process. “