It’s half term this week, so I’m busy trying to keep my two boys occupied (despite the rather autumnal weather) and keep them out from under their Dad’s feet.
I’ll find them something better to do later in the week (promise) but for now they’re playing some new games they’ve found on the iPad. Their favourite today seems to be “Plants vs Zombies”. A slightly surreal game where you battle the armies of the dead, armed only with a selection of vegetables and a lawnmower. (If you want to give it a go, it’s a free app that you can download from the Apple App Store or Google PlayStore for a phone or tablet.)
Normally, I’d try to get the kids out to a museum or gallery over half term – they’re generally up for that sort of thing as long as there’s either sciency stuff or gruesome, bloody history involved (boys!). But it’s a bit tricky this year.
So I’ve been looking for some vaguely educational but entertaining stuff they can do from home instead. Here are a few of things I’ve found…
The Bradford Science Festival Online: I’d have loved to take the boys to the science festival at the Bradford Museum of Science and Media this year, but it does seem entirely wise! But the lovely people from the museum have taken the festival online here. There are video demonstrations, experiments to try at home and all sorts of craft and building activities to have a go at. I don’t know about the boys, but I reckon I’m going to have some fun with that lot this week! Glasgow Science Festival has a great set of activities too – theirs have been running for a while now (since early September) and will be available online until the 9th November.
The Natural History Museum in London has a great set of resources for you to use at home – everything from how to make an origami T-Rex to flower pressing. They have things up all year, but there are some season bits and pieces too.
We might also while away a few idle half-hours on the CBBC Horrible Histories website. I don’t know if you’ve ever read any Horrible Histories or seen any of the BBC programmes, but the boys love them. Just the right mix of interesting stuff and crass humour – oh, to be 8 again!
And in other news
If you’ve ever had a PayPal account, but don’t use it any more, now’s the time to either start using it again, or dig out your account details and get it closed. PayPal have announced that from the 16th December this year, they’ll start charging £12 a year for accounts that have been left “dormant”.
Now, this is only an issue if you’ve actually got money stored in your account – a “PayPal Balance”. If you do, they’ll automatically take a payment of £12 from your account if you haven’t used it for over a year. If your PayPal balance is zero, then nothing happens.
To be honest, though – if you do have a PayPal balance and you’re not using it, that’s just money sat idle and you’re best off either spending it or closing the account anyway.
You can check your account by going to paypal.com and clicking or tapping the “Login” button at the top of the screen. It’ll then ask you for your email address and password.
Don’t worry if you can’t remember your login details. If you can remember your email address but not your password, type in your email and then on the next screen, click or tap on “Having trouble logging in?”. They take you through resetting your password.
If you can’t remember which email address you used, try typing in a possible one on the first screen, then “Having trouble logging in?” again on the next screen. Then click “Forgotten your email address?” and follow the instructions.
That’s all from me this week (sorry it was a bit later in the day than usual).