Feb half term is never the easiest being cold and wet but then throw in a global pandemic where you can’t escape for some variety to an indoor event and it’s even tougher. Why not add a little excitement to the day with a fun family theme day at home.
Choose a theme and then add in a craft, dress up and some themed food.
Beach Theme Day
If you can’t jet off on holiday to a warm, tropical beach then bring the beach indoors. If you want to go all out, then you could buy some play sand and fill your bathroom floor to create your own mini beach. Add a little bit of blue food colouring to the water (not too much or you’ll have blue kids) and have some fun. This is what super mum Stacey Solomon did for her kids but I don’t think I could quite go that far!
- Make mini sandcastles from kinetic sand.
- Have a picnic lunch.
- Make your own ice cream shack form a large cardboard box and serve up some frozen delights.
- Head into the garden and set up a water and sand tray.
- Make a snappy crab hat
Pirate Theme Day
Ahoy me hearties, it’s time to set sail on the Jolly Roger and find the hidden treasure. There are lots of fun activities that you can theme around pirates.
- Get dressed up as a pirate, you don’t need a special costume. A plain or striped t-shirt and a tea towel bandana will work just as well. You could even try making a pirate sword from a thick piece of cardboard and wrapping it with tinfoil.
- Make a telescope from a long carboard tube.
- Set sail in your own pirate ship made from a big cardboard box, don’t forget to design a flag.
- Make your own treasure map using teabags to age it for an authentic feel.
- Learn some pirate sea shanties
- Make a pirates treasure chest from an egg box, fill it with little prizes or pretend money and hide it at the end of your treasure hunt.
Secret Agents Theme Day
My kids love to creep around the house pretending to be spies. You can develop this further with lots of spy themed activities for kids.
- Design your own secret agent codes.
- Make your own invisible ink and watch your invisible creation re-appear again when heated, as if by magic.
- The best secret agent challenge I set up for my son’s birthday one year was to string red wool in a criss-cross from one wall to another across our hall. We had some little craft bells to which I added on. The challenge is then to navigate through the lasers from one side to another without touching them.
- Cut up thick card the size of a driving license and make your own fake spy IDs to use on missions.
- Create a series of spy missions, if you’re looking for some inspiration, I spotted these free printables and spy mission ideas.
Car Theme Day
Do you have a car fan in your house? Here’s some car themed activities for kids to try.
- Make your own cardboard box race cars and have races with your siblings.
- Race cars down tubes and guess which one will win.
- Little chocolate Mars Bar race cars are a perfect treat and fun to make too.
- Use masking tape to mark out a track and parking for little toy cars to journey around.
- Don’t underestimate how fun it can be to wash your car. Fill buckets up with soapy water, get out plenty of big sponges and have fun at the car wash. Added bonus is you get a nice clean car too (well, as high as they can reach up).
You don’t need to actually go away camping to have fun! If you’ve got space in your garden you can try a back garden camp out. When it’s colder in the winter or for little ones, make your own campsite at home. My boys love a good den building session.
- Build a den at home with anything you have to hand. You can use sheet over a table or use clothes washing stands, chairs, sofas etc. Large sheets work well to drape over and pegs are handy to keep things in place.
- Switch off the lights and get out the torches, so much more atmosphere and kids love them.
- Make cheats indoor smores by microwaving marshmallows and then once they’ve collapsed, spread them onto a biscuit and top with another.
- Collect sticks to make a pretend campfire and then sit around and sing campfire songs and tell stories.
- Make hot dogs for dinner or if you have a little disposable BBQ you could set up a little BBQ outside and cook dinner there.
- Get crafty with these camping theme kids activities at home.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1 …. blast off! Journey into space with these out of this world theme.
- Open the ends of cardboard boxes and tape them together, cut out a window and make your own rocket. If that all sounds a bit too much, Hobbycraft have a cardboard space rocket to buy for around £12 (not sure how long that will last).
- If it’s a clear night, go outside, look up and star gaze.
- Make some erupting aliens with this fun science experiment.
- The National Space Centre has some fabulous space themed crafts and activities for kids with everything from how to make a constellation jar to making your own rocket to launch. You could also try making your own cardboard tube rocket ship.
- Cut pizza into rocket shapes for a tasty space themed dinner.
- If you’re looking to make a space costume, silver foil space blankets are cheap and easy to use.
Dinosaur Theme Day
Roaaaaar, dinosaurs are such a fun theme for a day at home or birthday party.
- Learn there names and find out some interesting facts about them.
- Hide small plastic dinosaurs in sand or flour. Use a paintbrush and gently brush away to discover the dinosaur.
- Make salt dough or play dough and press the feet of toy dinosaurs in to make impressions.
- Create your own dinosaur fossil from salt dough. You could try making lots and hiding in the garden or sandpit for a fun dinosaur theme treasure hunt.
- Dinosaur ice excavation is super fun. Squeeze a toy dinosaur into a balloon, fill with water and free to make dinosaur egg. If you want to keep it really simple then just pop them in an empty ice cream tub, freeze and then have fun chipping away at the ice with a toy wooden hammer (don’t give them a bit metal one obviously!)
- Make an aqueduct in the garden – use plastic pots and tubs ready for recycling with holes cut in to make water run from a high point to a defined lower point.
- Get crafty with mosaic making. You could cut up squares of coloured paper and stick to cardboard.
- Get all wrapped up in a sheet and make your own toga.
- Bake Roman honey cakes, and eat spelt bread and goat’s cheese with grapes and maybe olives.
- Try eating lying down just like the Romans did.
Around the World Country Themed Days
My friend and her kids have been picking different countries to travel to virtually which is where the inspiration came from to put together this guide. You could make your own flight boarding cards, pack your sunglasses, box up some on board meals and jet off to a holiday destination. Don’t forget to design and write a postcode to send back to family and friends too.
- Italy – make your own pizza and ice cream, listen to Italian songs, learn some Italian words and mum gets to drink prosecco! You could even add in some science and make your own exploding volcano Vesuvius.
- China – make your own gyoza and fortune cookies and forget takeaway and make your own sweet and sour chicken. Try writing some Chinese calligraphy.
- Mexico – tortillas, nachos, tacos, fajitas of course and don’t forget the pinata.
- Scotland – haggis (it’s actually really yummy), design your own tartan and check out You Tube to find some Scottish dancing tutorials.
- Spain – tapas and a big siesta!
I bet you have plenty of soft toys or small animal figures that could be used for a safari themed kids adventure.
- Make binoculars from toilet roll tubes.
- Set up your animals on a route to spot
- Make information cards about your animals with a picture and interesting facts.
- Make your own safari animal masks and be the animals or try with face paints.
- Make your own safari car for your trip, you could just adapt our race car idea.
- Place virtual animals anywhere with the magic of augmented reality.
- Live stream safari, check out WildEarth who have sunrise and sunset live safaris.
Vets or Doctors Theme Day
Miss Polly had a Dolly and it was sick sick sick. Why not set up your own dolls hospital or vet surgery with soft toy animals.
- Make up a doctor or vet kit with plasters and bandages.
- Lay the toys out ready to be looked at or created a little waiting room and they can come in one by one.
- You could stick little sticker dots to be spots.
- Chicken soup for lunch.
A great way to get everyone exercising but having lots of fun at the same time.
- Choose a country each and make a flag.
- Parade around with your flag at the opening ceremony.
- Set up a few different sports challenges. They don’t have to be traditional games, you could try other challenges like how many times you can pick up an orange and transfer to a bowl without using your hands.
- Make your own indoor mini golf challenge.
- Make medals (everyone’s a winner)
- Create a podium from boxes or stacks of books, not too high incase anyone falls off.
- Have an awards ceremony, drink sparkling Appletiser and take photos as the medals are presented.