As the February half-term week stretches out before us, there are plenty of parents scratching their heads about what they can do to keep their children occupied with everything closed.
But the situation gives us the opportunity to be creative and come up with some interesting ways of curbing the boredom.
Here we take you through just a few ideas, and please share yours with us by emailing: [email protected]
In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.
1. Celebrate Pancake Day
This year, Shrove Tuesday falls on Tuesday, February 16 and presents a good opportunity to show your youngsters how to make pancakes, and maybe even give the ceremonial pancake toss a go!
Photo: JOHN CLIFTON
2. Take a trip out to your local Mansfield park
Mansfield is blessed with a whole host of beautiful parks and outdoor spaces that can still be visited for exercise. Why not visit your local park with the kids and take in the nature and landscaping on display? Pictured is Carr Bank Park
Photo: Rachel Atkins
3. Take the kids out on a scavenger hunt
During your daily outing for exercise - which is permitted under lockdown guidelines - why not take the kids on a scavenger hunt? Items suggested by the Woodland Trust to look out for, as we move towards spring, include: new green leaves; scented blossom; springy moss; sticky leaf buds; a lichen-covered twig and a piece of eggshell (but stay well away from bird nests, look for fragments of shell that have fallen to the ground). Visit their website here: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/2020/01/nature-scavenger-hunts for more information.
Photo: FRANK REID
4. Make a quarantine time capsule
A fun activity to carry out this half-term is to put together a quarantine time capsule, detailing what life is like right now for you and your family. All you need is a shoe box, a jar or empty container, some paper and the items your children would like to include. You could include family hand prints, newspaper cutouts, recent photographs or a letter to your future self. The charity NAHPS has put together some more suggestions and worksheets to use for your time capsule here: https://www.nahps.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/My-2020-Quarantine-Time-Capsule-UK-Big-Life-Journal.pdf
Photo: Sarah Marshall