Why October Half-Term Is Brilliant, And How Everyone Can Enjoy It | Kidadl


Why October Half-Term Is Brilliant, And How Everyone Can Enjoy It

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For most families, 2020 has seen the longest absence from school in living memory. With half-term coming up, you’d be forgiven for thinking “Oh no, not again”. But half-terms, and October half-terms in particular, can be magical weeks. Concentrate on the positives, and you’ll grin like a Jack-o’-lantern all week long.

A Chance For Everyone To Be Together

First and foremost, the break from school gives families a chance to spend more time with each other. These opportunities are so precious. 30 years from now, you’ll give anything to go back in time and spend a week with the kids again. It’s easy to forget this, among all the noise and demands that children bring (especially if you still need to get some work done!). But try to take a step back and appreciate the moment. You’re here with them, right now, and they’re still so young. These days will be gone before you know it.

The Craftiest Of Holidays

You may be kept inside by the changing weather, but October half-term is easy to fill with craft projects that everyone can enjoy. Just for starters, you might try:
* Carving pumpkins.
* Making Halloween costumes.
* Putting up Halloween decorations.
* Make a ‘Guy’ ahead of bonfire night (5 November).
* Diwali is also coming up (14 November), and is one of the most craft-friendly festivals
* Collect fallen leaves, acorns, conkers etc, for these activities.
* Browse hundreds of other crafting ideas in the Kidadl collection.

Outdoor Adventures

longest absence from school in living memory

Autumn is the best season for exploring the natural world. Our parks, gardens and woods look so beautiful as the leaves turn yellow and orange. And with meeting friends indoors either limited or impossible, the great outdoors has never felt more inviting.

* Go for a country walk with the family.
* Explore the best woods in London.
* Try these outdoor autumnal games.
* Don’t forget to brush up on these 11 conker facts, to impress the kids.

Spooky Inspiration

With Halloween at the end of the holidays, finding fun family activities is an open goal/ghoul. 
* Try setting up a trick-or-treat evening with toys.
* Make yourself invisible like a ghost, using this clever trick with smartphones/tablets.
* Settle down to a spooky movie. All the streaming services are flagging up their best Halloween content, so finding a good film is a piece of (pumpkin) cake.

You Can Start Talking About Christmas And Hanukkah

Even the grinches among us must concede that we could use some festive cheer this year. October half-term feels like a good time to start talking about your family plans. Meeting up with close relations might not be possible this year, so you’ll want to try and make Christmas or Hanukkah special in other ways. Here are some ides:

* Use half-term to talk to the kids about what they’d most love to do in December.
* Start drawing up gift lists. It’ll pay to get your seasonal shopping planned early this year, to avoid busy high streets and a crunch on delivery services in mid-December.
* Start making cards. You can buy card-making kits from hobby shops and stationers, but it’s also fun to make your own from whatever’s in your craft box.

* Start a ‘one xmas/Hanukkah thing a week’ drive, where you pick up one item per week to store away until the festivities begin. Perhaps start with a box of fancy biscuits, or a new bauble for the Christmas tree, or a pack of candles… kids will feel that first tingle of magic. 

A Break From Work?

Many working parents will have spare holiday time left over, having abandoned plans to travel earlier in the year. Others may still be on furlough for a final week. This could be a rare opportunity to put work behind you for a week and spend time giving the kids your full attention. Make the most of it. (Naturally, this won’t be possible for everyone, especially those who had to use holiday time to cover childcare during the cancelled summer term.)

Check out our half-term planner, and listings article for more half-term inspiration.

Matt Brown
Written By
Matt Brown

<p>With a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry and a Master's in Residency specializing in Biomolecular Sciences and roots in the Midlands, Matt has developed a passion for writing about London. As a former editor and prolific contributor to Londonist.com, he has authored several books exploring the city's hidden gems. In addition to his work, Matt enjoys spending time with his two preschool-aged children.</p>

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