I can hardly believe it, but half term is here. It feels like only days ago that I waved the kids off at the start of term, and here we are about to embrace a week of family fun. Where did those six weeks go?
I always look forward to the school holidays; I love being able to spend more time with the kids, and it’s great to take a break from the hectic schedule of school runs, homework and after-school clubs. That said, with two active kids at home for a whole week I’m going to need some tricks up my sleeve to keep them entertained!
I’ve got a few things planned for our week, and I know a lot of them will involve making good use of the DisneyLife smart app. We’ve had DisneyLife for a few months now, and it’s a real favourite with the kids. It has a huge variety of Disney movies, box sets, music, books and more, all in one place. Because you can add up to 10 compatible devices, the whole family can access their favourite content easily. DisneyLife is available on iOS and Android. You can try it for free for a month and it costs £9.99 per month after that. It’s perfect for keeping the kids entertained on-the-go, and there are plenty of features to keep them active and stimulated, too.
Here’s what we’ll be getting up to with DisneyLife this half term.
A leisurely unwind
Term time is manic, and the older my kids get, the busier we all seem to be. By the time we reach half term we’re all a bit strung-out from keeping up with the schedule, so my first priority this week is to simply take it easy. I think it’s important for the kids to have days without a timetable of activities, when they can have some unstructured play time. In fact, it’s often those kind of days that spark the most creative play for us.
I suspect we’ll be getting the craft box out, playing some family games, and watching some of our favourite Disney movies – quite possibly in our pyjamas!
If the kids become a bit too glued to the sofa, I find music a brilliant way to get them up and moving. The DisneyLife app is great for coaxing them onto their feet; there are thousands of Disney soundtracks to choose from, so they can have a good old dance-off to all their favourites. I usually can’t resist adding Love is an Open Door to the playlist and embarrassing them with some mum dancing too…
Family road trip
We’re off to visit family for a couple of days, which involves a lengthy car journey. Don’t we all just love the combination of children and travel?! I’ve picked up a few tricks over the years that help to keep the stress levels down, such as planning the route in advance, packing lots of snacks and drinks, and having a few old-school family car games like I-Spy and Twenty Questions to keep them busy.
I’ll also be loading up the DisneyLife app before we set off. It’s great for car trips; before we leave, the kids choose which movies and shows they’d like to watch, then we download them onto their devices. Once we’re on the way they can easily access age-appropriate content themselves, saving me at least a couple of stops, not to mention a sore neck from reaching into the back seat.
DisneyLife has content for all ages of kids, so we’ll also download a few shows that the kids’ younger cousins can enjoy watching with them during our stay. I suspect the Lilo & Stitch box set may be on the list, it’s always a big hit when they get together.
Getting out, getting active
We love getting active during the school holidays, and our week will definitely involve some outdoor exploring. I like to keep things quite un-structured here too, because just being outside and experiencing nature is usually enough to stimulate some really creative play. Of course, we’ll work out where we’re going, swap the pj’s for appropriate clothing, and pack up some lunch before we leave, but beyond that I think we’ll let the trip take it’s own natural course.
With a houseful of cousins, we’ll definitely be heading out to the park while we’re staying with the family so that all the kids can burn off some energy. As well as the usual running around, jumping in piles of leaves and generally letting off steam, the kids love to re-enact their favourite Disney films, so we’ll probably be acting out our favourite bits from Frozen (“you sacrificed yourself…for me?”).
Preparing for a return to routine
It always surprises me just how quickly we all get used to the lack of routine that term-time demands. Even after just a week off, the return to a regular pattern on weekdays can be a bit of a shock to the system for the kids. I’ll be trying to ease them back in gently over the last couple of days, before school starts again, with activities such as catching up on their reading. Sometimes they’re reluctant to do this, and DisneyLife can really help out here too. The app has a wide range of Disney novels, movie stories and learning-to-read books, and being able to choose a story featuring a favourite Disney character is a great way to tempt them back into a reading routine. Our current go-to stories are from Ratatouille and Jungle Book.
I’m really looking forward to our week. I think we’ve got a great mix of fun family activities planned, but with enough downtime and flexibility to make it really feel like a break, rather than just another type of timetable. Having DisneyLife to-hand is brilliant too; there’s so much fun content on there, it makes keeping everyone entertained and stimulated a breeze.
Will you be using DisneyLife to inspire your half term?
Disclosure: I am a DisneyLife Brand Ambassador and this post was created in partnership with DisneyLife who have provided me with a free 12 month DisneyLife membership.