If you're stuck for ideas for children's activities this winter when your kids are off school, I've come up with a few green, eco-friendly and wildlife activities for children to help you, whether you're looking for wet weather activities (which is probably the case!), things to do at home or if you're lucky enough to have a dry day where your children can get outside and play.
When is the February 2015 half-term week?
This year the UK half-term dates are 16 February – 20 February 2015.
Spring half-term holiday activities
The National Trust have half-term fun events such as family wild walks and arts and crafts. Check the families web pages for more details and if you become a member you'll find that many of these activities are free.
The Wildlife Trusts
The Wildlife Trusts run events all year round for all ages and run special activities in the holidays for children. Find out more in the “What's On” section. “Nature Tots”, “Help a hedgehog” and “Skulls and skeletons activity day” all sound like great fun.
Wildlife Watch is the junior branch of The Wildlife Trusts and the UK’s leading environmental action club for kids. There are 150,000 Wildlife Watch members around the UK (and the Isle of Man and Alderney too) and hundreds of local Watch groups where young people get stuck into environmental activities.
English Heritage have organised events for half term including Gruesome History Week and Roman Soldier Week. English Heritage membership gives free entry for up to six children and free or reduced price entry to their amazing programme of events across the country for members.
The Sustainability Centre
The Sustainability Centre is an independent education and learning centre, a wonderful example of sustainability and an award-winning social enterprise charity. The centre is in East Meon, Petersfield, Hampshire and is easily accessible from Portsmouth, Southampton and London.
They run activities for kids and adults all year round including a Green Explorers Club for children on Saturdays. During half term their special activities for kids include:
- Creatures and Lanterns – Make a jam jar lantern to take on a trail through a magical woodland and hear tales of creatures living in among the trees, and help tell a story to finish your journey.
- Winter Birds – Make some recycled bird feeders to feed the birds at the centre and in your garden in the wintertime. Make some flying birds from recycled and found materials to hang in your bedroom.
RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds)
The RSPB Wildlife Explorers is specifically for children and you can find out more on the RSPB Kids website which also contains lots of online and “make and do” activities ideal for wet weather, such as making a funky gibbon door hanger or a recycled bird feeder. You can also check out what's happening near you. Activities include beginners bird watching and hiding and seeking trails!
Whale & Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS)
If your family are wildlife lovers and you are in Scotland then I recommend the Scottish Dolphin Centre in Spey Bay, Moray, Scotland. Unfortunately, the centre is only open April – October. They have a range of events planned for 2015 with lots for children to do indoors and outdoors. Unless otherwise stated, events are free (donations gratefully received) with a variety of activities to suit all ages.
If you can't get to the centre, the WDCS Kidzone website has lots of fun things to do and gives children the chance to learn about whales and dolphins with animations, interactive activities and more.
See the Family Fun pages on the Butterfly Conservation website have some great wet weather activities if it's raining such as quizzes and activity sheets to print including one to make a butterfly mobile.
Join the discussion
I hope you find the above useful in keeping your little ones occupied. Please let me know of any other green, eco-friendly and wildlife-related activities you've discovered as I would love to expand this post over the coming months. I'm especially interested in hearing about any other organisations around the UK which are similar to The Sustainability Centre. Thanks.
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