The school holidays are upon us and it’s exciting to spend some quality time with the family. However, when you have to keep the kid’s entertained for a few weeks and you’re on a budget, you may start to run out of money fast. Parents tend to feel guilty when they have to say no to their children and you’ll want to make as many memories with them while they’re young. But, with a bit of planning it is possible for your money to see you through the weeks they’re off school. Here are some low-cost ideas that will keep smiles on everyone’s faces.
There’s nothing like going back to basics with your kids. Packing a picnic basket and a blanket and heading off to a nearby scenic spot is the perfect way to spend a Summer’s afternoon. Take a few outdoor games with you, like a frisbee or a baseball and bat and you’ve got yourself some free entertainment. Not only are the kids fed and watered, they’ll also be outdoors in the fresh air and reasonably exercised by the time you get home.
Keep an eye out for kids offers during the Summer – they do happen. In fact, you may find restaurants or café’s that offer ‘kids go free’ lunches or breakfasts and you’re certain to find coupons and discounts for activities. If you’re having difficulty, check out DontPayFull.com. It’s worth looking in places like cereal boxes, where you may find cut-out coupons for theme parks or adventure facilities. Make the most of wherever you can save money, even if it’s only a small amount.
What do you do on a hot day, when it’s too hot to do much? Turn your garden into a water park. You can use an inflatable pool, water guns and even water balloons. In fact, all you usually need to entertain kids in hot weather is a hose pipe. Get them to try and dodge the water while you squirt it at them. You may even be lucky enough to live near to water activities. Your local town or city may have an outdoor pool or perhaps you can get involved with some water activities at a nearby beach. You could even go on a hunt for a waterfall or babbling brook. The options are endless.
Make Use of Your Library
We often don’t think about our libraries as an activity for children, but you may be interested in finding out about local library events. Your local library is likely to have funding that allows them to offer free activities for children. You may find that they hold story time activities for younger children or your older children may be able to borrow books for free. You may also find that authors come to do readings of children’s books during the Summer holidays.
Is your child a football enthusiast? Have you got a little dancer or cheerleader on your hands? During the school holidays, many clubs offer free lessons for children, especially if they’re run by your local council. Funded programmes are often looking for children to take part, but they aren’t often well advertised and places can fill up quickly, so keep your eyes peeled as early as possible.
If you haven’t got the budget to go on holiday abroad, that doesn’t mean you and your kids have to miss out. A camping holiday can be just as fun as any other holiday. In fact, it often gives families more of an opportunity to bond. It’s a great excuse to teach your children some outdoor and life skills and there’s nothing better than being out in nature and taking in the fresh air. If you don’t fancy sleeping in a tent, you could always get a last-minute deal in a caravan instead.
If your children enjoy learning about history, different cultures and different people, a museum is an ideal choice. It doesn’t cost much and you can spend hours looking around and learning new things. It’s certainly one for inquisitive minds. The great thing about it is it doesn’t cost any more to get a guided tour around the museum so your little ones can get all the information they need and ask questions if they wish.
Family Fun Days
You’ll probably hear about at least one family fun day during your time off. It could be something to get the community together or perhaps a charity will be trying to raise money. There are usually lots of free things to do and your children may bump into their friends while there.