February Half Term School Holidays – Thank You London for Keeping Us Engaged
A child going to a school in London has weeks of holidays. There is no dearth of school holidays in India as well, but most of those holidays are sporadic, one here and one there. Here, the holidays come in bundle.
A school academic year consists of three terms and each of the term lasts for approximately three and a half months. Primary kids get a week-long holiday in the middle of each term (these are called half-term holidays) and then a two-week long holiday at the end of each term (these are called term holidays). So roughly around every two months, there is going to be a week or a two week holiday in school.
Last week was the time for LittleB’s February half term holidays. And the holidays for all schools across London have been synchronized. So that meant it was not just LittleB’s holidays but holidays for all kids across London and Greater London.
Keeping kids engaged and busy for 7 continuous days (count the weekend and make that 10 days) is a daunting task. I knew I had no option but to plan it well. We researched online for inspiration regarding things to do in February half term with kids. I wanted to plan the holidays such that they would be extremely enjoyable. I also wanted to put in the holidays the right amount of mental challenges that LittleB seeks, without making her “study.”
As I found out, London had already planned the holidays for me. Out of the five cities I have lived in my life, I have found London to be the best for kids. If I had lived here before I had LittleB, maybe I wouldn’t have enjoyed the city the way I am enjoying it now.
The thing is, that because every kid in London and Greater London is having holidays at the same time, almost all the museums, galleries, libraries and malls plan special activities for kids during this time. Most of these activities are free and do not require registration. All we had to do was to be there and enjoy the event.
After taking LittleB’s opinion into account, we decided to enjoy the holidays by heading out to central London for a day, then going to our local library for a day, then going to park for a day and then repeating this cycle till the holidays get over.
Shout out to weather gods who were so very kind last week. The day temperature stayed around 10 degrees C making all outdoor activities fun.
Things to do in Half Term With Kids – Visiting Museums and Galleries
We checked with the websites of couple of museums and galleries as to what activities they are having for the half term. Based on that, we finalized National Gallery and the V&A Museum.
National Gallery had an activity organized all throughout the holidays. The activity was called “Make Me Fly” and as you can guess it was related to wings. Kids were given a packet with a map to hunt for some specific paintings in the gallery related to wings. Kids had to observe the paintings and try drawing different kind of wings depicted in them. The activity concluded with a craft activity where kids and their parents have to make a pair of wings based on the instruction provided. The entire activity took us around 3 hours. The activity involved going from one room to another, drawing pictures and later cutting and gluing to make wings.
V&A Museum is not essentially a kids’ museum. May be therefore, it was not as crowded in the holidays as Natural History Museum or Science Museum. However, the museum was all ready to brace kids on holidays. The number of activities and events planned in the museum for kids was insane.
We attended a Little Inventors workshop. Here kids were taught to think like an inventor. They were given prompts and examples and later a huge pile of material to come up with their invention.
V&A also had a pop-up performance The Strawberry Adventures which was based on an iPad game Strawberry Thief. The performance was incredible and it seemed like a video game has come alive right in front of our eyes. All the quests and adventures that we go on in a typical video game were acted out on the stage. It was an interactive performance and so kids were called over and were made part of the play. LittleB kept on laughing hysterically through it and so I knew that she had really really loved it. Thanks to the game designer Sophia George and actor Oliver Cudbill for giving us an amazing show.
Apart for the above, V&A also had an Imagination Station with cardboard block of different shapes and sizes strewn all over the grand Raphael hall. Kids were encouraged to use their imagination and make anything they want out of them.
Another event was Digital Kids. Kids were given a variety of props to wear (e.g. hats, gloves and glasses). The props had LEDs in them. As Little B and I moved around with so many lights, our movement was captured. And so we learnt another way to make paintings – with lights and movements.
All the activities and events attended in the museum, gallery and library were free of cost, except for the Little Inventors workshop at the V&A Museum. Donations are always appreciated.
Things to do in Half Term With Kids – Visiting Central London
Roaming around Central London is in itself a great way to enjoy half term. Be it at Trafalgar Square or Leicester Square or Hyde Park. There are plenty of people performing dance, magic tricks or bubble tricks on the streets. You will find street artists as well drawing things here and there. If nothing, you can pop inside the Lego Store or M&M store.
Things to do in Half Term With Kids – Visiting Local Library
Bless the local libraries which had activities planned for kids during half term. Our local library had something or the other planned almost every day. We attended a puppet-making workshop, a storytelling poetry workshop and a K’NEX workshop. Special thanks to the library staff of Gayton Library who are always so patient with the kids.
Things to do in Half Term With Kids – Fun in the Park
As the weather was as fine as it could be and the sun was shining as well, regular park visits also kept LittleB engaged. Apart from the regular swings and slides, LittleB had fun skating, making bubbles and drawing with chalks on the pavements.
Double the Fun – Add in Another Mum
I teamed up with another mum for most of our outdoor visits. Company did wonders and made the day even better. I had another mom to discuss the world of moms with and LittleB had other kids to goof around with.
Is there something else that can be done to enjoy term breaks to the fullest? How does your child likes spending his or her term break? Let me know in the comments down below.
Looking for some indoor activities to keep kids engaged during their school holidays. We have a list! Click here – Top 10 Activities to do with Kids.