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Staycation activities for the perfect May half term

16 April 2019 / Families /

Guest blog by Penny from Away with the Kids

School holidays are on the horizon! Is your diary jam-packed with activities to recharge and reconnect? Or are you starting to wonder what to do with a week, a house full of rampaging little ones and zero plans? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.  We’ve pulled together some simple ideas for holiday fun that will (hopefully!) lead to some quality family time together.

Spin the activities wheel

Activities at The Grove, Hertfordshire

Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of a week stretching ahead with nothing much to do? Get the kids to help make a list of some fun at-home activities: make ice cream sundaes, have a movie afternoon, build a rocket to the moon… whatever they can dream up. Now cut out a large circle of cardboard and divide into as many segments as you have activities. Get everyone to help colour and decorate each segment, then cut out and stick each activity on. Use a split pin and another piece of cardboard to make a pointer, and there you have it – the decision making is finally out of your hands! Bonus points if you manage to sneak ‘tidy up’ in there.

If you’re staying at The Grove this May half term, there’s no reason why you can’t create a special activities wheel to avoid any quibbles over your schedule. Include a visit to the Walled Garden, a dip in the kid’s pool, and an adventure in the woodland.

Go birdwatching

Birds of prey activities for Families at The Grove

Ornithology is getting trendy again, so dust off your binoculars and get twitching. If you’re within reach of the countryside or coast, take a trip and see how many different species you can spot. Little tots will love identifying common garden birds from the kitchen window – or get into the garden and make your own hide to peep out from. The RSPB website has lots of great resources, including an easy-to-use bird identifier.

For a truly immersive experience, join one of the Hawking Walks at The Grove, where you’ll not only be able to watch the magnificent creatures soaring through the sky, you’ll also be able to hold them on your glove.

DIY treasure hunt

Activities at The Grove

Fed up of discovering tiny chocolate eggs melting down the back of the sofa in August? Try a paper-based treasure hunt with clues that take your hunters from one place to the next, leading to a grand prize at the end. Riddles can be as simple as ‘rhymes with ‘twitching stink’’, ‘where dad unsuccessfully hid your Christmas presents last year’ or ‘phone grandma and ask’ (note that grandma will need to be prepped for the last one!).

Want to avoid the hassle of planning the hiding spots and inventive clues? At The Grove, you can take part in a GPS treasure hunt – simply download the mobile adventures app and follow the clues to unearth some edible treasure.

Den building showdown

This works brilliantly if you’ve got friends over, so enough to split into teams. Gather enough cardboard, blankets, tablecloths and sofa cushions to go around and see who can make the most inventive den. Ensure your grown-up judging panel is suitably observant and discerning, especially if you’ve got smaller ones who might be tempted to use the dining room curtains…

If the rain stays away, head out into the woods and make use of sticks and branches to build your best hidey-hole.

Bath-time rave

Valentine's Escape at The Grove

This activity is particularly good if you’re working over the May half term and want to pack maximum fun into the time you’ve got with your little ones. Fill the tub, dunk in the kids, dim the lights, bring out the glow sticks and drop in a (child-friendly) bath bomb for the ultimate bath-time party. For extra amusement, try singing your favourite dance anthems with a bath-time twist – changing ‘Ride on Time’ to ‘Wash Your Face’ is our personal favourite.

Following your stay at The Grove, take home your ESPA bubbles and make it a scented rave!

Easy cookies

Chocolate chip cookies ingredients

Simple biscuits cut into seasonal shapes can be quick to make and really fun to decorate. Combine 300g plain flour, 150g sugar, 150g butter and a large egg to form a dough, then chill in the fridge for half an hour before rolling. Little hands will love helping roll out, cutting the shapes and getting creative with coloured icing. Once they’re ready to bake, pop them in the oven for 15 minutes at 180C. That should give you just enough time to lick the bowl.

If you’re planning to visit us at The Grove this holiday, we can’t wait to welcome you. Click here to see our offers.

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