Autumn Half Term Survival Hacks

Autumn half term is always a tricky one to manage. The weather is at its most unpredictable. The kids are exhausted after six weeks of new year group adjustment. And this year, with the cost of living and energy crises, everyone is working to a tighter budget. So what can you do to minimise the bickering, maintain your sanity, and come out happily on the other side?

Six Hacks for Autumn Half Term Survival


Children’s activities can be costly. Especially if you have more than one child. Working out a budget in advance is a really sensible way to make sure that you don’t overspend. So, if you’re planning outings, check the entrance fees and café prices before you go. Check if you’re allowed to bring your own food. Look online for pre-booking discounts. And be clear with everyone over the issue of spending money. Because those gift shop purchases really add up.

Plan simple rewards

Reward charts work wonders in younger age groups. Because children always respond so much better to praise than to negativity. Creating a reward chart, either plotting daily good behaviour or a weekly task list, can be a great way to encourage your children to cooperate. Stickers are often enough of an incentive for littlies. But if your kids are getting that bit more savvy, a Swizzels Curious Chew bag is an affordable way to give a daily reward. In fact, you could even stretch to a morning and afternoon sweet while still only spending pennies.

Look into local free activities

Whether it’s story-telling sessions at your local library, free entry to a museum, or skateboarding lessons at your local park, lots of organisations host free half term events. Unfortunately, they’re not always that well advertised, so take to the internet. Google your local area. Check out Facebook and the other social media platforms. There is bound to be something that appeals to your brood somewhere in half term.

Work out some easy activities to do at home

Boredom is the root of all school holiday misery. If you can keep your kids entertained, you’ll cut back on the naughties. So, have a few things up your sleeve to whip out when the whinging starts.

  •       Crafting can be great and really cost-effective.
  •       Going for a walk costs nothing. And you could make it more interesting by turning it into a natural treasure hunt – find a conker, look for a spider’s web, can you see an oak tree, a particular flower or bird. Then reward them with a treat at the end.
  •       Baking is always a winner. And if you’re worried about energy prices, select a no-bake option, like the gloriously indulgent Rainbow Drops crunch bar.
  •       Or just get the kids to help out with daily cooking – it’s educational, helpful, and most children love it.

Share the burden

Don’t forget that it’s half term for your other parenting friends too. So, why not help each other out? Play dates are great. But it can be even better if you can arrange to take it in turns. If their children come to play with yours on Monday and yours go to theirs on Friday, you both get free time to work, relax, or catch up on housework. And your kids get the best kind of entertainment.

Plan for Halloween

October half term is ideal for Halloween planning. Whether it’s making decorations, designing outfits, selecting sweets to give out to trick or treaters, or devising their own trick or treat route. Halloween can be an amazing half-term distraction.

Autumn half term is probably one of the most difficult school holidays to manage. But if you plan ahead and budget well, it should be a happy time for all.

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