There’s little worse during the holidays than bored kids moping around the house, fighting with each other and causing problems around the house, all the while claiming it’s because ‘there’s nothing to do’.
With the long summer break fast approaching, here are 10 ideas for keeping the little darlings occupied without breaking the bank.
Hit the beach
All you need is a blanket, some boiled eggs and crisps for lunch, and you’re good to go! Avoid the coastal village and town beaches, which are often rammed, by heading to those a little more out of the way, with nothing around them except fields and sparkling sea. Build sand castles, go paddling, collect shells and play beach-rounders, all for free.
There are still plenty of places left in the UK where you can pick your own fruit – a quick Google will show you where near you. And it’s usually cheaper than buying it at the supermarket. Most kids love it, and you can help them make jam or ice cream with the fruit when you get home.
Find a wood near you run by the Woodland Trust using the woodlandtrust.org.uk website, you won’t regret it. Many are set up with activities for kids, such as nature trails, play areas and task-sheets to help little ones become nature ‘detectives’.
Theme parks at a cheaper price
Theme park entrance fees can be as frightening as some of the rides. So look out for half price entrance offers with deals from Kellogg’s’ cereals and with Tesco Clubcard vouchers.
Children aged between 7 and 14 can take part in the national ‘Swim Safe’ scheme which takes place in the summer in 36 open-water locations around the UK.
The sessions are run, as you’d expect, by ASA-qualified teachers and are free. Find out more at Swimsafe.org.uk
Cheap cinema trips
Many of the big national cinema chains, such as VUE, Odeon and Empire, offer very cheap tickets for children accompanied by adults over the school holidays – some for as little as £1 – as do some independent cinemas too. Check out your local cinema’s website for more details.
Get down the library
Many parents might think that libraries won’t have much for their kids to do, being full of ‘old-fashioned’ books. They can be a godsend, however, with many running a ‘Summer Reading Challenge’ for children and organising readings of favourite books. You can also borrow books, of course, as well as often the audio versions and DVDs.
Even if you’ve already had your summer holiday, or simply can’t afford one, have a proper ‘staycation’ by camping in the garden, if you’re lucky enough to have one big enough! Build the event up as if it’s a really big adventure, and, if the kids are old enough, let them sleep out in the tent with their friends alone.
Find a museum
As with libraries, museums are often ignored as they’re seen as ‘too stuffy’. However, they’re free, and these days often have children’s areas where you can even take your own picnic as well as holding daily events and educational activities designed for kids.
Take them ‘Geocaching’
‘Geocaching’ is, essentially, a treasure hunt for modern-day kids as it relies on having a GPS location device – in other words, a smart phone. It’s a brilliant way to learn more about your local area and is free, simply go to the Geocaching website to sign up for your local area.
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Published 26 June 2019