Don't let the whole holiday slip away as if it's one long Saturday morning. You probably have lots of things to keep you busy around the house, but just a couple of afternoons spent doing things with your kids not only creates special memories, it also gives them the confidence and inspiration to play independently on other occasions.
Play dress up
Let them raid mummy's and daddy's wardrobe and have a go at improvising outfits for you from their dressing-up box. You might not fit into that princess costume but you could add some pink plastic bling to your own outfit!
WHY NOT... pick a theme, like favourite TV characters or nationalities from around the world?
Tape or pin up strips of paper (scraps of leftover wallpaper are perfect) on a wall, making sure pens or crayons can't leave permanent marks, then get the everyone to draw a mural. Creating a big picture as a team is a lovely, easy way to spend time together.
WHY NOT... make a half-term art gallery? Every time someone feels the urge to paint, draw or glue during the week, their masterpiece gets added to the gallery of pictures on the kitchen wall. At the end of the week serve juice in dainty glasses and invite friends to come to your art exhibition!
Build a blanket fort
Use sheets, pillows and cardboard boxes to help build the perfect den. For fancy palaces choose bright-coloured bedding and cushions, and for castles and forts pick browns, greens and darker coloured blankets if you have them.
WHY NOT... leave the fort' up all holiday week if you have room? Make it a special place that's part of each day, crawling inside for picnics and bedtime stories.
Let the kids rule the kitchen
When children get involved with cooking it's not just fun, it encourages them to be more adventurous eaters, too!
WHY NOT... make the evening meal together? Get the kids to come up with their perfect menu. You can take on the trickier aspects requiring hot pans and sharp knives, but that still leaves the kids with the chance to stir up a storm, and little ones can draw table placemats for everyone.
Do the math
You don't need to be a professor to keep their brain juices flowing in the holidays. With younger children, play simple counting games, like organising toy cars into colours and then lining them up in order of most cars of one colour to the fewest of another colour. Older kids love silly science experiments like seeing how far do differently designed paper aeroplanes fly down the hallway.
WHY NOT... have a teatime quiz? Come up questions suited to their levels, and get them to devise questions for you, too!
Find lots more ideas in our article Free things to do when school's out.