Outdoor experts reveal their top 5 activities for half term

With the school holidays upon many of us, manyeople may be wondering how to keep the kids entertained during the extended break.

By Chris Page
Monday, 21st February 2022, 9:03 am
Updated Monday, 21st February 2022, 9:04 am
Building your own den or fort could help you shake the habit of being glued to the TV
Building your own den or fort could help you shake the habit of being glued to the TV

With the school holidays u, many upon us, manyeople may be wondering how to keep the kids entertained during the extended break.

The experts at Millets have compiled their top 5 kid-friendly ideas to keep busy over half term.

1. Fort/ den building and camping

Sign up to our daily Harrogate Advertiser Today newsletter

Building your own den or fort could help you shake the habit of being glued to the TV.

Here’s what’s involved in building your own:

Pick a location - Embrace your space and make the most of your house by pretending each room is a different camp zone.

Pitch up the den - Place a few chairs of differing heights around the living room and make sure that their backs are facing the inside of the den. Put a roof over their heads by draping some old throw blankets, some old bedsheets or a lightweight duvet over the chairs.

Put a few cushions on the floor - Use cushions, bean bags, spare pillows, mattress toppers, anything that’s going to provide a spongy surface to sit on

The lighting - Add some finishing touches to your den by stringing up lights around it or making a personalised sign for it.

In the lead up to spring and summer, the nights are beginning to stay lighter for longer, so why not think about camping out together as a family in the back garden?

There are so many ways that you could put your own twist on this:

You could create shadow puppets on the walls of your tent using your hands

Buy a fire pit and treat your kids to a toasted marshmallow surprise for dessert after dinner

Play some Jenga, Dominoes, Connect 4, or other board games inside the tent

Maybe you could even test out the tent bunting

2. Doggy den building

Building a doggy den isn’t that dissimilar to building your own fort or den.

The only difference is that although your dog may cheekily sneak its way into your fort, you are definitely not allowed inside your four-pawed friend’s den. The whole point of it is to create a safe space for them to relax in and you could even make a sign to show that it’s strictly their space.

Here are some ideas for signs you could create for the doggy den for all you pet lovers out there:

The Doghouse

Buster’s Den

Pooch Palace

No Humans Allowed!

3. Scavenger hunt

Pull together a checklist of items, objects, buildings, or people that you could potentially find or see around your village or town.

Items you could include are:

Post Office

Shopkeeper

Postman or Postwoman

Picnic bench of bench

Town Hall

Dog walker

Park swings

Football

Three other breeds of dog

As a bonus activity, maybe you could look up the history of your local Town Hall? Or at a safe social distance with your masks on as an extra precaution, speak to dog owners about their pet, what breed of dog it is and what its name is?

Your mission awaits and there’s no time to waste! Ready, set, GO!

4. Making bunting

The magical spell to spruce up your tent, den or fort is made up of a pinch of creativity, a sparkle of colour, and a dash of different materials!

Here’s what you need to do:

Gather around five different patterned fabrics and/or brightly coloured pieces of scrapbook paper

Start to draw the shape and size of your first flag out on the paper

Cut out the flag. Use this flag as your template flag and use it to cut out the rest of the triangles.

Attach the flags to a string. If you used paper, you can punch three to four holes at the top of each flag and simply thread a piece of string, ribbon or twine through the holes to hang the flags. If you used fabric, you can either sew the top edge of each flag around a piece of twine or ribbon, or you can use a bead of fabric glue to attach the string, for an easier option

Hang your flag banner by tying the ends of the string to nails in the wall or by draping it over the outside of your den, fort or in the eyes of your little one, their make-believe castle surrounded by a moat or guarded by a scaly fire-breathing dragon!

5. Pottering around the garden

Are your houseplants starting to get thirsty, or maybe your outdoor plants are starting to look tired and frail? Give your garden or houseplant display a new lease of lucious life by potting some brand new plants, shrubs and larger perennials and get the whole family involved.