Being a grandparent is the best job in the world. You can pick and choose the fun parts of family life, leave out the boring bits, and be your grandchild’s friend and teacher.
Spending time with Grandma or Granddad can be the highlight of the school holidays for grandchildren. So, if you’re looking for maximum fun and want to create happy memories together, we’ve come up with 15 of our favourite ideas to help you plan your half term week:
Making the most of the great outdoors
- Head out for a walk. If you have a dog, you can take him or her along with you, or you can make a simple walk more interesting by turning it into a scavenger hunt. Write out a specific list of objects to find along the way that the children can tick off as you go or set out on your walk with a loose theme such as colours to spot or sounds to listen out for. You can download some free, printable scavenger hunt sheets here.
- Make the most of mother nature’s playground. Teach your grandchildren some old favourites such as ‘pooh sticks’ where you each pick a twig and drop it into a stream on one side of a bridge, then watch them come through on the other side. Make daisy chains, press flowers or teach your grandchildren the names of garden birds.
- Embrace the Great British weather. In February we never know what to expect, so why not make the most of whatever we have. As Billy Connelly once said, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes”. So, if you have the right clothes, why not take them out to play in the snow, jump in puddles in the rain or go for a windy walk to blow the cobwebs away.
- If you’re staying in a holiday park, create a treasure hunt for them around the park. Write out 10 clues, each leading them to find the next one. You could add in some little treats to find as they go and one special prize at the end.
- Try a sport together. You can keep it simple and go for something they might already enjoy such as football, swing ball or taking shots at a basketball hoop together, or you can introduce them to something new like badminton, croquet, boules or create your own version of crazy golf using tin cans as the targets.
Fun in the kitchen
Whether they’re toddlers or teenagers, most love baking, cooking, making a mess and eating food, so spending time in the kitchen together is fun for everybody. Here are a few ideas to try this half term:
- Cereal cookie bars
- Fruit kebabs
- Peanut butter cups
- Milk shakes
- Fruit smoothies
- Chocolate chip cookies
- Gingerbread men
- Make homemade pizzas together – decorating the bases with whatever toppings they choose
- Teach older grandchildren to cook a family favourite
- Make ice-cream together – let your grandchildren create sundaes with different flavours and toppings such as fruit, chocolate chips, sauce and squirty cream
- Frozen yoghurt treats
- Try a new recipe book for grandparents and children
- We love Nadiya’s Bake Me a Celebration Story. As well as yummy recipes for Spring Rolls, Rainbow Fudge, Jewelled Rice and Monkey Bread, there are craft activities and stories that celebrate Chinese New Year, Eid, Holi, Easter, Thanksgiving and many more.
Rainy day indoor play
It’s always a good idea to have a few rainy day plans up your sleeve to make sure your grandchildren don’t explode with boredom.
- Take them out to the cinema for a movie day. If you fancy an Arthurian legend with a PG twist, The Kid Who Would Be King launched at the end of January and could be your perfect choice. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part was released on 8th Feb and is sure to be a hit with all ages, or from 22nd Feb, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World will be in cinemas throughout the UK.
- There are plenty of brilliant new children’s books that have just launched, so you can hold your own family book club over half term. We like Where’s Mr Penguin? by Ingela P Arrhenius for toddlers, or for three to five-year olds, try The Rescue of Bunny Wunny by Emma Chichester Clark or When I Grow Up by Julie Chen. There are plenty of choices for children from five to eight years too, including 2019 Nature Month-By-Month by Anna Wilson, Dragon Post by Emma Yarlett and The Ice Monster by David Walliams.
- Painting, creating, colouring in and printing are all brilliant fun and perfect for rainy days. Create your own art attack by painting or drawing each other, make potato prints or hand prints or create your own collection of painted rocks and pebbles.
- If your grandchildren enjoy putting on a show, have your own karaoke session, challenge them to create their own music video or ask them to put on a play or talent show for you.
- Last but not least, have a dressing up day. Make your own costumes or cover each other in toilet paper and pretend to be mummies.