Half term is finally upon us, leaving many of us wondering how on earth we can keep children entertained for a whole week while the schools are shut.
To make things a little easier, here are a few fun activities you can do at home with the kids. Scroll on for some seriously extertaining inspo...
1. Woodland walks
Autumn is the best time to go for a long leafy walk. Discover your nearest park or woods, and go on a scavenger hunt for pretty pinecones, conkers, sticks and leaves which you can use later for fun crafting projects. And, if you find a stream, you could play Pooh sticks - just throw the sticks in and race them!
The kids will love collecting forest treasures and kicking piles of leaves.
2. Decorate pine cones
Once you've foraged for some pine cones, why not turn them into a pretty garland for the mantelpiece? Put down some newspapers outside and let the kids have a go at painting and decorating the pine cones with paint and glitter. You could also use the pine cones and other autumnal objects to create a beautiful autumn wreath for the front door.
3. Make an autumn tree
You're familiar with the Christmas tree and you may have heard of an Easter tree - but why not make an autumn tree as the seasons change?
Arrange some long sticks and twigs in a tall vase (you could let the children help you paint them first by spray painting them silver, white, or gold), and decorate the display by hanging pine cones, colourful leaves (cut leaf shapes from paper and have the kids paint them), and even a few autumnal baubles.
4. Visit a pumpkin patch
Visit a pumpkin patch and let the children pick out their own pumpkins, then take them home and make Jack O' Lanterns!
To avoid any accidents, let them draw the pattern or face they want on the pumpkins in marker pen, then you could do the cutting yourself, or you could encourage them to just decorate them by painting them.
5. Bake a bread wreath
Bread is one of the most fool-proof and fun recipes to try with the children. Make sure you get the measurements right, then let the children help knead the dough - and just wait to see the look on their faces after the dough magically doubles in size after proving!
Once the dough is formed, you could try making a pretty bread wreath by rolling the dough into a sausage shape, bending the sausage into a circle and using scissors to snip a leaf pattern into it.
6. Go apple picking
Find an apple orchard and go apple picking – then use the fruits of our labour to make one of these delicious apple recipes. From crumble to cake and pie, we've got plenty of apple inspiration.
7. Make sloe gin
If you have any blackthorn bushes in your (public) area, take the children out to pick and collect sloe berries. Then, once they've gone to bed, use the washed fruits to make your own sloe gin. You'll thank yourself later!
8. Build a fort
Indulge your inner child and build a fort with the kids – but go all-out this time. Make it as big and as fabulous as you can. You could even put down mattresses inside it, and decorate it with fairy lights. Why not spend the night in the fort as a family?
9. Build a wigwam
Don't want to make quite so much mess? With a few big tall sticks and a big sheet you can help your children build a garden wigwam!
10. Make a 'feather' headdress
To go with the wigwam theme, you could cut feather shapes or leaf shapes out of plain paper and let the children paint and decorate them. Once they're dry, you could either thread them on a string and turn them into a pretty garland to decorate their bedroom or the mantelpiece, or you could staple them vertically to a long strip of paper and make some 'feather' headdresses.
11. Visit a petting zoo
For kids who already love animals, visiting the petting zoo is always a treat. For those who still find some animals frightening, the petting zoo is the perfect environment to introduce them to new animals and get them accustomed to handling furry friends.
12. Go camping
Camp out in the garden one night! Pitch up a tent, light a fire (in a brazier, chiminea or firepit), roast marshmallows and tell stories - all wrapped up in duvets and blankets of course. And don't forget to keep an eye out for a shooting star!
13. Make butter
You can't go wrong with a recipe that only requires one ingredient. Try our butter recipe, and let the kids help strain it, and flavour it. You can then eat it spread over toast for the rest of the week!
14. Watch old Disney classics
How well do they know the original Cinderella, Beauty and The Beast, 101 Dalmatians, Bambi, The Lion King, or Aristocats? There are so many great original Disney movies that they're bound to love – and you'll love re-watching them too!
15. Make pompoms
Pompoms are surprisingly easy to make, all you need is some wool. Make a pile of multi-coloured pompoms together, then use them to decorate their cushion covers, bunting, or even tie them to a string of fairy lights to decorate their bedroom.
16. Host a spooky sleepover
Invite their friends round for a spooky sleepover – the parents of the other children are bound to appreciate it and might even return the favour one day! Prepare some spooktacular Halloween-themed snacks, decorate the house in Halloween style, and let them watch a Halloween film like Casper. Why not make it a fancy dress affair?