Every parent looks forward to the much anticipated (and well deserved!) rest from the mundane mandatory task of the school run! The guilt eats at us during term time as we feel we hardly see our littles and don’t always have to means to spoil them at the weekends. Yet somehow feel equally guilty turning the holidays/half-terms when we, like many British families with the current economy, just don’t have the means to splurge on extortionate day trips to Alton Towers, Butlins or a weekend caravan holiday in Wales. We’d love to, but we just can’t. With my eldest little in Reception, I worried her friends might poke fun that they got to go to x, y z over the time off from school and she didn’t.
Mummy guilt is real my friends! Though the flip side to not having the means to spoil my girls often is that they’re happier with the little things. To them, the things I’m about to list are just as exciting, fun and memorable as any day trip. These are things that worked for a happy childhood for many generations, traditional activities. For that, I’m thankful that I’ve got the time to give them these sorts of childhood memories as a stay-at-home Mum with a disability.
1. Had family over + visiting them
As soon as the last Friday before the Easter holidays, family were arranging to see the girls and bring Easter goodies. Not only were we overjoyed to catch up with everyone, but it helped break up the first week. The girls very much looked forward to seeing their Uncle + Auntie, Nana + Grandad and for an added bonus it was extra incentive to get them to tidy up their toys before they arrived! 😉 It was even more exciting for them going over to their houses (access permitting of course!), a change of scene and new surroundings to explore.
2. Dance party’s + competitions
On the days we didn’t venture out, we got Alexa to play Disney playlists from our Spotify account for some living room dance parties! This was a big hit with the girls and I also marveled in the fact it got them up and moving away from the iPad/TV screens. I threw in an extra incentive of whoever could dance the whole duration of the song won a medal. That was it, the girls were sold!
Tip: I found a pack of 5 plastic gold play medals in Poundland for just £1
3. Arts + crafts
Abbigail is particularly into crafts, so we popped into The Entertainer for some age-appropriate (yet somewhat challenging) craft projects. We found a lovely kit where the kids painted pebbles and turned them into animals + critters by gluing foam fins, arms, and legs. We also nabbed a first sewing kit that tested the girls’ fine motor skills and hand, eye coordination!
4. Lunch where kids eat FREE + window shopping
There are some café’s and restaurants that let kids eat FREE after a certain time. Particularly Morrisons, The Carvery + Mezzo’ s have free kids meals after 3pm. Morrisons offer make-your-own sandwich boxes where you can add healthy add-ons such as yogurts and fruit bags. The Carvery has a lovely “homey” kids menu, rich with healthy options, hidden veg and lots to mix and match to suit picky eaters.
5. Plays dates
Getting to know other parents in the playground during the school run definitely pays off when it comes to keeping the littles occupied in the holidays. We did play dates in the park and soft play. Giving the girls plenty of exercise and the opportunity to see friends outside of school.
6. Dog sitting
Mid-may through we were dog sitting the girls’ grandparents Jack Russel cross Max while they were away for that weekend. The girls dote on him and he’s very patient with them in return. Ava especially occupied herself by self-appointing being Max’s shadow! That’s one way to keep track of a mischievous toddler lol.
7. Trips to the park
Between playdates and dog sitting we spent many days at our local park which we’re blessed is within walking distance. The girls also acquired many a bump and bruise as a result. Thank goodness for unicorn plasters that magically make the tears go away!
We’ve recently taken on a new morning PA who’s been helping me do things with the girls I’d otherwise struggle to experience with them, one of which is baking! My littles LOVE baking or getting involved in cooking anything. This time it was a big chocolate cake with chocolate frosting! Yum yum!
9. Mummy + Daughter Days
Since Abbie started primary school last September I feel like we hardly see her. It’s been quite an adjustment going from being around two littles under 5 for the past 2 years to only having my youngest most days. So it’s been extra important that we got to spend a day out each half-term just Abbie + I. This particular holiday Abbie wanted to experience getting her nails done (like Mummy’s do!) at a big girl nail shop. So I spent £5 for the priceless smile on her face. She chose my favourite colour too, the girl’s got good taste!
Just before Easter Abbie had her eye on a ‘grow your own sunflower kit’ from Asda for £25. It was one of those things we had to say ‘we’ll see’ about because that was awfully pricey. We ended up picking up some sunflower seeds, a plant pot, and compost from our local Wilkos for just £1.50 in the clearance section. Doing this gave us the ample opportunity to teach the girls about the life cycle of the plant and what they need to grow. The sunflowers are starting to sprout now which they’re very excited about. Now to just stop them fighting over who’s turn it is to water them!
11. Eating chocolate, watching films, Easter activity book PJ days!
Basically just chilling out at home. All in fresh jammies, scoffing all the Easter chocies and enjoying the 30 Day FREE Trial on the Disney Life app (£4.99pm thereafter to unlimited access to the Walt Disney’s entire collection!) Filing through the Easter colouring, sticker + activity books from the Easter bunny.
And that’s it! I actually feel like we packed a lot in this half-term despite we didn’t really go anywhere significant. But the girls never complained one bit. In fact, Abbie isn’t really keen on going back to school in the morning because she’s been enjoying going to the park and family time so much. I hope you all had a lovely Easter holiday whether your littles were off 1 week or 2 if you did lots or a little. All that matters really is that you spent time together…