Summer break is just around the corner, which means you get the chance to spend precious time with your kids while also pulling your hair out trying to entertain them.
It all adds up financially – with a learn revealed parents could face about a week of additional costs during the long summer break.
Thankfully, there are some simple, easy – and most importantly super cheap – ways to keep the kids entertained too…
Get creative with coins
Admittedly this one involves money – but just a fallback change.
Crazy about money Founder Maddy Alexander-Grout said: “My kids love to draw, and the coin toss is a great idea.
“Everybody has crayons and two odd coins lying around, so this activity won’t cost you – unless you lose money!”
Not all activities require the purchase of many materials.
Maddy says, “The potato print is another classic.
“Carve shapes onto potatoes and dip them in paint – hours of fun printing.
“You can also make the kids peel it, so it’s a lesson in cooking skills!”
“Find a forest and go get food, and make a list of what you want to find when you get there,” says Maddy.
“My kids love making fake campfires, and we did this in a random field the day before.
“Kids love little challenges, so let them find a leaf with an insect on it, or a purple flower for example – and they really leave you alone while you do it!”
visit the library
Another option is to visit your local library and make the most of the events they host, as well as borrow books to keep the kids entertained.
“They usually host free events for kids in the summer, which are usually well attended,” says Maddy.
“And they have a lot of work to do.
“Or just visit your local library to support them and grab up to 20 books at once once you sign up.”
Investigate what’s on offer locally
Join local community Facebook groups to keep yourself updated on what’s happening in your local area during the school holidays.
“Check out your local parenting groups for cheap activities for kids, there’s always someone promoting something, and often they’re run by the community, which means they’re not,” says Maddy. want to help keep costs low.
“Most cities have family centers or activities run by the council.
“Some even offer free childcare to families with free school meals. It’s worth a google search in your local area.”
Create a ‘fake go’
Food costs significantly affect parents during the school holidays, with children not eating meals and snacks all day.
Parenting coach Isobel Mary Champion, who has partnered with assured Life Insurance, said: “Instead of paying to buy their favorite food, why not create your own ‘fake food’ at home?
“Instead of a takeout pizza, can you make pizzas together and add toppings?
“It’s also a way to keep meals healthy; you can add their favorite veggies to pizza and serve with a salad.”
Participating in selling car trunks
Some activities are not only cheap – they can actually make you a little dosh.
“Why not have fun with your kids by clearing out the clothes, games and toys they no longer use and selling them at a trunk sale to help your child have extra spending money,” says Isobel. junk?
“This is also a great way to educate your kids about money!”
Make friends for outing days
Isobel also suggests contacting other parents and asking for a play date at your home.
“This eliminates the cost of going out and spending a lot of money on activities and food,” she said.
“It’s also an opportunity to spend time with other parents.”
Explore the great outdoors
Consider camping outdoors overnight, even if it’s just in your back garden.
Isobel says: “Light a campfire or fire pit to have a cozy evening and enjoy the fun.
“Cook and eat outdoors, swim or paddle in natural water, dig the ground and find bugs, or sow seeds.
“You can also visit a local fruit farm, pick your own fruits, vegetables or herbs, then bake them in the kitchen.”
Take advantage of coupons and loyalty cards
Finally, you can use loyalty cards at many supermarkets to get discounts and points.
Isobel adds: “As food bills go up during the school holidays, it’s important to make the most of those loyalty cards that can now be downloaded to your phone and used for free!
“Many retailers also offer coupons, keep an eye out for magazines sold in supermarkets for a discount on your weekly store.”