3 Simple Ways To Have An Awesome Half Term With The Kids

child stood by painted wall

Are you spending half term at home with your children?  Do you have that sense of optimism that you are all going to have a great time together enjoying each other’s company?  I love the thought of spending time at home with my family but by the end of the holiday I can literally be counting down the hours before we are back into the school routine.  When that feeling has taken over me, I know that my half term planning hasn’t gone so well and the dreaded Mum guilt can starts to take hold of me.

It’s a feeling I hate to be honest, and I have tried to avoid the half term emotional rollercoaster ride for many years now.   It’s nice to be able to look forward to your family time, and when it’s over to feel sad it’s coming to an end, but how do we reach this parenting utopia.  It’s taken me a while to figure it out, but I’ve come to realise that these 3 simple tips I’ve learnt from our travels make a massive difference to how well the half term holiday at home goes too, and I’m confident they will make a big difference to your family time as well.

child stood by painted wall

Make A Plan

Children like routine and can miss the structure of school.  Sit down together as a family and make a rough plan of how you are going to spend the week together.  Daily plans can be helpful too as it gives you the flexibility to change things if something crops up or the weather isn’t on your side.  Having something to look forward to each day will help keep everyone in the half term holiday mood as well as giving a sense of structure at the same time.  It doesn’t need planning down to the nth degree but a simple outline of things that will happen like going swimming, a picnic in the park or going to the cinema will keep you all in the holiday mood.

Be Present

You may be taking some time off work to be home with the children for half term or perhaps you are a stay at home parent.  Which ever it is, keep your focus on spending time with the children as much as possible and worry less about the household jobs or the to do list that never seems to be finished.  There are always going to be jobs that need to happen, but perhaps you could arrange for the kids to have a play date, and use this time to work through them instead of trying to juggle keeping the kids happy with the hoovering.

3 Simple Ways To Have An Awesome Half Term With The Kids

Allow For Some Personal Space

Families are great aren’t they, but sometimes spending time together can become a bit much.  The quickest way for tempers to become frayed in our house is when we’ve been in each other’s pockets for to long.  I find there are a few things that can help to stop everyone getting on each other’s nerves.  Encouraging children to do activities alone is helpful like arts and crafts or activities.  In our house, finding ways to spend time with just one child can help, so Daddy will play with little pudding at home and I’ll take princess out to the park.  It’s not always an easy thing to achieve, but if you can work it into the week it can stop tempers from fraying.

A holiday is a holiday whether you are at home or are going away.  These ideas are based on taking the holiday mindset and using it to spend quality time with your children whenever you are together.  I hope they help you all enjoy your half term as quality time at home is what really makes for a happy family.

Zena Goldman

Zena Goldman is a UK based travel, family & lifestyle blogger who left her 9-5 job behind in the not-for-profit sector to follow her creative dreams and enjoy a more flexible family life. She began writing Zena’s Suitcase in 2011 and shares the holidays and adventures she goes on with (and without) her 2 young daughters. She wishes her son would join them more often but he’s carving out his own dreams now and enjoying university life. Since beginning Zena’s Suitcase she has worked with a number of brands and also has a regular monthly feature in the ASDA Good Living Magazine feature, ‘Ask The Expert’ where she shares helpful parenting tips. In 2018 she was also a finalist in the prestigious BIBs Awards for Social Media.

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30 Discussion to this post

  1. MARGARET gallagher says:

    Great advice
    So easy to get bogged down and forget ABOUT having fun

  2. Rachel Butler says:

    Great tips! I totally agree with the personal space! It can be super hard sometimes being all together…..my son is a total gamer though, so he likes to spend time playing his games so it gives me time to enjoy a coffee or two. xoxo

  3. Richard says:

    I don’t have kids but I have a young brother. I’m kinda often busy at work but when I can arrange my stuff, I always spend most of the time to play with him. I just think having fun with family and let everyone feel cares from each other are the greatest things ever!

  4. Leila Benhamida says:

    Great ideas. I always plan for the holiday and get to do something different but with a day of rest in between.

  5. Lorna Ledger says:

    Have fun! Work within your budget! And hope for nice weather 😉 x

  6. Jenny says:

    I have been looking forward to half term for ages. I’ve already blown the budget 🙂

  7. I agree that being more present makes for an awesome half term. After all they deserve your attention x
    Ana De- Jesus recently posted…What You Should Wear On A Second DateMy Profile

  8. Sarah Cooper says:

    Some great tips here to make the most of the half-term holidays.

  9. Cathy Glynn says:

    Great advice Zena, although we cannot do much this holiday due to the surgery I had on my spine, we have made a list of one activity we can do together so that Grace has something to look forward to x
    Cathy Glynn recently posted…My Sunday Photo 28th May 2017My Profile

  10. Anosa says:

    Allowing to spend some time for some space is really a nice tip. As much as we would want to be together, this idea is needed by everyone.

  11. Rachel says:

    Some really good advice and I had forgotten it was half term until I got the bus to work this morning x

  12. Talya says:

    Fab tips – I admit to planning much of our half term and being present because they can really sense it otherwise.
    Talya recently posted…How to have a better and healthier barbecue with BBQ GourmetMy Profile

  13. Fab tips. We tend to plan activities and places to go on a regular basis as we home school.
    Picnics are always a good one 🙂

  14. Viki Marden says:

    These are perfect, I have made a couple of plans and tried to make as much time for my daughter as she starts full time school in September so I want to soak her in.

  15. Joanna says:

    Some great tips I’m a stay at home mum and struggle to stay present due to house work etc and its something i need to work on more as my son won’t be little forever.

  16. Charlotte says:

    I think being present is the most important thing, it flies by anyway and for me I feel like it is important to spend that time with them. That being said, this half term we are decorating the house so we are all going to be inside painting for a lot of the time.
    Charlotte recently posted…How To Teach Your Kids to Be Environmentally ConsciousMy Profile

  17. Kizzy says:

    Really great tips here. Planning is so important. I feel a bit sad that I am working most of it and the kids aren’t doing much but sometimes it is nice for them to just chill after a busy term.

  18. Kara says:

    We have planned days out almost every day as my kids love being outside and go stir crazy if kept inside. We do have some rabbits to look after too which they are loving
    Kara recently posted…Gangsta Granny Live at Lighthouse PooleMy Profile

  19. Good to have a plan. Plan this week is to finish up our potty training and rest up.
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  20. Clair says:

    I agree with the feeling of being in each others pockets! I am an only child so quite enjoy my own time every now and again!

  21. Sam says:

    I shared this post with some ladies at work who have children and they loved it!

  22. Sandeep says:

    Fantastic article for anyone with kids. Spending quality time with them can make you both real happy. They’re gonna remember this forever. Planning is really important before the vacation. You don’t want to sit around planning and wasting the time after the kids come in. Being in the present moment is also incredibly important. You got to enjoy every moment with your kids.

  23. We had planned to go to a donkey derby on Monday for Matt’s birthday but it was cancelled and I only found out at the last minute. Luckily he wasn’t too disappointed. We have 2 inset days next week so are planning on doing something then when attractions are less busy
    Musings of a tired mummy…zzz… recently posted…Lego 71018 Series 17 MinifiguresMy Profile

  24. These are some great tips! I can imagine it can be a handful dealing with many children under one roof once the half term hits the spin hah x

  25. Good idea to have a plan. That way everyone is happy. Well …

  26. Anna says:

    My friend and I we were talking about the mum guilt today, as nothing goes to plan, need to show her this post, you are advice are very good. x

  27. Tamsin says:

    I love my son but half term and bank holidays scare me bcos he’s just like an enigizer bunny that doesn’t stop. By 2pm I’m shattered. Being present is SO important.

  28. I find if we don’t have structure the house descends to chaos, it’s hard to keep all four happy at the same time due to age difference. We try through and I agree a holiday is holiday wether home or away and I try to make it fun and do stuff we wouldn’t do on a normal weekend
    Lisa Lambert (mumdadplus4) recently posted…The Manchester Bee – What the past week has been like for usMy Profile

  29. karen hill says:

    Had tons of fun with our little one, lots f crafts and luckily the weather was nice so we got out quite a bit, looks like you guys had fun x

  30. Kayleigh Watkins says:

    I don’t find half term so bad if the weather is nice and we can go places, we have a car but daddy uses it for work all week, I have my driving test next month so hopefully I will pass so I can drop him to work and take them out for the summer holiday although its the 21st so we will only have two weeks to cram everything in xxx

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