The winter February school holidays can be full of adventure and wonder, even if you’re on a budget, with our guide for inspiration.
The February half term. Everyone’s hard up. Odds are, someone will have a nasty cold and the buzz from the Christmas holidays will have well and truly worn off. If you’re a working parent without a secret ski-holiday fund, or the mega-bucks required for emergency flights to the Maldives, then don’t panic. There is plenty of free fun to be had right here in the UK. And if the kids need a little incentive to see the sunny side of a staycation, there’s an app for that…
Take a hike
In 2021, a Cambridge University study found that time in nature reduced incidences of ‘acting out’ for kids aged between three and seven. “We know that access to and engagement with nature is associated with wide-ranging benefits in children and adults, including lowering levels of anxiety and depression, and reducing stress,” according to lead researcher Samantha Friedman.
This doesn’t necessarily mean an eight hour scramble across fells and up munros. “It doesn’t have to be camping in the woods and foraging for food – it really can be as simple as going for a walk near your house or sitting outside for 10 minutes a day,” says Friedman. So pull on your wellies and head outside, even if your local environment is more high street than highlands. Challenge your kids to keep a tally of the bugs they spot on a stomp round the block.
An app for that…. Seek by iNaturalist allows children to take snaps of the plants and animals they find. Image recognition tech then identifies their finds, and they can earn badges by seeking out different species. The developers of this free app state that it does not collect or share any personal data.