10 steps to Half Term happiness in Lockdown

Childhood Magic
7 min readFeb 11, 2021

Most of us will be glad of a break from Homeschooling next week but what can we do when our usual Half term haunts are closed? Here are some ideas.

  1. Snuggle up for Story Time

Enjoy your own World Book Day. My son often asks to spend the morning snuggled up reading books and magazines together. It’ll feel like a luxury compared to the recent mad rush to get online for morning registration and live lessons.

Greg Bottrill has recently launched a wonderful Adventure Island e-magazine and made it available free of charge! It’s magical to read through together and inspires child-led play which will keep you busy for the rest of half term!

Dressing up as your favourite book character or designing your own characters, costumes and accessories can also add to the magic. The World Book Day website is a great source of information.

2. Venture into the garden, park, or forest

If you wrap up warm and don your wellies lots of wildlife and adventures await in the garden, parks, and woods. I was recently inspired by this beautiful article by Chris Packham and have noticed that the birds’ dawn chorus seems particularly pronounced on a still winter’s day.

We had a fabulous woodland adventure last week. We didn’t actually venture far but the boys invented games and marvelled at different parts of the forest and the park. They found a grassy field that was so bouncy they were able to jump around as though they were at a trampoline park, and a fairy ring they could race around in circles. They also had a Ben 10 Omnitrix watch which “enabled” them to turn into different aliens and move around in the forest as each alien would.

The Big Garden Birdwatch has finished this year but the website still has lots of activity ideas. You can even make your own bird feeder to entice more birds into your garden.

When night falls you and your family can also look up into the night sky and take part in StarCount, a lockdown-friendly stargazing activity.

3. Get crafty and creative

If you go outside you can find natural materials that you can use for arts and crafts. You can also make the most of the Big Freeze by making ice pictures with leaves and petals. You can put leaves, petals and water in a tin or a takeaway container and leave them outside. If the weather warms up, you can always put them in the freezer. Food colouring can also make plain ice more exciting. We made a snow volcano this week which caused great delight!

Valentines Day at the beginning of Half-term may inspire some heart-themed crafts and cards. Chinese New Year this week can also inspire a whole host of animal and dragon-themed crafts along with red lucky money envelopes and lanterns. There are lots of gorgeous craft printables to keep you busy at Mrs. Mactivity’s fabulous site which is full of resources, including a page to inspire kids to concoct their own love potion! My son had great fun making a potion with butter and milk which made him super speedy like The Flash!


Pinterest is a good place to look for inspiration but if you don’t quite nail it there’s no shame in it! The process and experience are more important than a beautiful masterpiece. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, especially a magical child or toddler.

4. Dive into Sensory fun

My smallest son spent hours this week making a rainbow-coloured island out of Playdoh which he pierced with strands of spaghetti. He then had great fun threading wheat crunchies on to the spaghetti. He asked if I’ll “keep it forever because it is so cool?” Kinetic sand is a great hit and mouldable soap and colour powders for the bath keep us busy for hours. Here are some edible sensory play ideas in case they make their way into your kids’ mouths!

5. Flip the pancakes

As Shrove Tuesday falls into half-term it’s the perfect excuse for cracking the eggs, whisking the batter, and flipping the pancakes. The kids can have hours of fun decorating their pancakes with their favourite toppings and feasting on them. Here is a recipe that is so easy that even I managed it!

I love the look and sound of this Build-Your-Own Pancake bar to inspire a great Pancake party!

6. Online Dance classes fit for Royalty

Many dance schools have gone online and for an extra special treat you can dance along with Queen Elsa or the Disney Descendants. You can view and book classes with Miss Emma on the links below. She offers other classes on outschool.com too.

7. Get into the Groovejet

You can also boogie on down to a kitchen disco hosted live by Sophie-Ellis- Bextor available on YouTube. There’s a lively story called Kitchen Disco by Clare Foges and Al Murphy which would fit beautifully with this activity and inspire some dazzling disco moves.

The Dough Disco is also great for honing those fine motor skills as well as having fun! Shonette Bason’s joie de vivre is infectious and after half term, those funky fingers may be more adept at controlling a pencil.

8. Become a culture vulture

As children and adults are free from fronted adverbials for a week, it’s a great opportunity to find new topics that they are passionate about. This article is full of cultural, fun ideas for kids. Shakespeare’s Globe is running some online zoom story sessions and workshops during half term as part of their Telling Tales festival. They are charging per family and allow you to choose the price on their list that suits you.

9. A virtual trip around the world in a week

Take inspiration from the Toy Story gang and have a holiday at home with food, decorations, and costumes from other countries. Banjo Robinson has kindly compiled an activity pack that provides a taste of other countries while we can’t visit them. You can also treat yourself to a spa day at home with a fancy bubble bath and beauty treatments. Unstacking the dishwasher can double up as a sauna as the hot steam rises up at you!

And speaking of toys, you can raid the toy box and search under the bed for long lost toys, puzzles, games, bats, and balls. The next best thing to new toys!

10. Jump to your feet and feel your heartbeat

After weeks of sitting in front of a screen for live lessons and schoolwork, half term brings a great opportunity to be more active. Sport England has lots of fabulous suggestions here.

How will you spend Half Term in lockdown? Please share your ideas and have fun! The links below might provide more inspiration.