Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Entertaining the children during school holidays on a budget

I don't need to tell you I'm sure that the school holidays are due to start for many of us at the end of this week.  6/7 weeks of lie ins, no having to make packed lunches or having to drive - yeah right!

In our house lie ins don't happen (Little Man sees to that) that the only time the older children want to lay in is on a school day!  So in order to see through the school holidays without breaking the bank I have put together a (sort of) plan of action of entertainment that helps keeps costs down.

Local library:
Many local libraries have craft or play sessions on during the holidays that are free or very good value for money.  I found a list of events for our library on our local Council website.

Money Saving Expert
For those of you not familiar with the Money Saving Expert website it is holds a wealth of information about saving money from vouchers to cheap days out.  There are some really good deals on cinema tickets over the holidays where some showings (check the website link above for details) are as cheap as £1.50 per ticket.  There are also details on Theme Park ticket deals.

Free Swimming sessions
British Gas are offering free swimming sessions for all.  The offer ends on the 30th August 2012 but well worth taking a look at the website for details of whats available at over 700 pools across the Country.

Nature trail
This one is weather dependent but with good weather promised this may come in handy.  I make a 'nature shopping list' of items to find or spot on a walk, a branch in a shape of a 'y', a feather etc.  Give each child a copy of the list and a pen to tick each item off as they find it.  Cheap and cheerful idea and the list keeps tiring legs motivated.

Arts and Crafts
I may not be an expert in this field but in a recent post about entertaining on a toddler on rainy days we tried potato printing, finger painting etc.  I great source of inspiration is Red Ted Arts blog for arty ideas and a section on free printables to use.  Invest in some crayons, coloured pencils, chalks and get stuck in with the children to create a masterpiece.

The local park
Most of us are lucky enough to have a local park somewhere near us.  Either the sort with swings or just a football pitch and some goals but either way a great FREE way to allow the children to burn off some energy.

So Wimbledon may be over but tennis is still a great way of having fun.  Tennis for Free is a website that has a searchable list for free tennis courts in the UK as well as a coaching finder for courses.

So there's a few to get started with and as I find more I will add them to the lists.  School holidays on a budget is possible and will be my goal til September for sure.