7+ Half Term Activities on a Budget

A young boy playing with a toy truck in a puddle

Looking for free and low cost half term activities?

Another half term is upon us, and it can be an expensive time but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some ideas for fun yet cheap half term activities:

Outdoor adventure

If you’re looking for half term ideas then this one is a true crowd pleaser! Get the children wrapped up, pack a bag with water and snacks, and head out into the world. This could be an adventure to a park you haven’t yet visited, or a trip to the woods. To make it exciting, give the children a matchbox or similar and ask them to collect mini objects from their travels.

Or, you can try a geocaching trip. You can download a geocaching app and find the hidden containers that are all over the country. Make sure you take a pen to write your family’s name on the log inside the container. The app gives you a map to follow and it is a great way to keep children entertained.

Boredom Jar

Get the children to write fun activities on paper, decorate them and fold them up. Put them in a jar, and whenever ‘I’m bored” is uttered they can be directed straight to it. Be imaginative and creative, and put specific games and challenges for the whole family to enjoy.

Make a leaf collage picture

Take the kids to a park, forest or local beauty spot and encourage them to find as many interesting leaves, twigs and materials as possible. Collect them together and when you get home provide them with paper and glue to create a picture using their finds from the park. A number of leaves glued next to each other can create the leaves of a tree in the picture, and twigs can form the trunk. Be sure to let their imaginations run free and put the finished pictures on the fridge for everyone to admire!

Treasure hunt

If you’re stuck for what to do this half term then give a treasure hunt a go. Creating a treasure hunt can be great fun and the more difficult you make it, the longer it takes them! Leave clues hidden indoors and/or outdoors. Each clue should lead them to the next hidden clue. Sometimes pictures work best for younger children and you can create more cryptic written ones for the older kids. This is also great to practice reading in a fun way. The treasure doesn’t need to be anything amazing, maybe just a snack wrapped in silver foil.

Make a den

Make a space in the living room or bedroom and use clothes airers, chairs and blankets to create a fun den. Make it cosy with pillows and blankets and invite the favourite cuddly toys. Kids can have a snack, a story, or even a nap in it!

A mother and daughter engaged in reading at home - a great half term activity on a budget

Movie night

A fun movie experience doesn’t have to happen at the cinema. Agree on a favourite film, set a time, get in cosy clothes, shut the curtains and make it as dark as possible. Make your own popcorn for an added cinema feel, and settle down together.

Shop til’ you drop

Making use of local charity shops is a great way to keep the children entertained and excited. Give them a few pounds each, or whatever your budget is (don’t forget yourself too!) and head out in search of a new toy, gift, or a book. Make sure you emphasise the budget as part of the activity to save on pester power, then come home to play with your new treasures! Kids can also take some of their old unwanted items to give to the charity shop at the same time- this is a great way to declutter.


A trip to library is a great way to spend an afternoon, especially if there is an activity on for children. Have the kids pick some books, taking time to browse and enjoy the quiet atmosphere, and come home for some reading on the sofa.

Play dates

Play dates are a great way to keep the kids entertained and avoid complaints about boredom! Make sure there is a trip outside if it’s a longer stay, otherwise too many children bouncing off the walls will not be fun. Make sure there is a tidy play area to begin with, and then just let them get on with it! Play dates have the added bonus of a little headspace for you while the kids are busy with their friends.

Happy half term everyone!

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