Image by Colleen Kelly
Trying to ensure the children stay entertained during school breaks, without splashing the cash, is rarely an easy task, and when the weather doesn't play ball when you'd like it to, it can be even worse.
But finding free or inexpensive things to do together needn't be an impossible challenge. With a little planning, the children can have lots to do without your wallet or purse taking the strain, and explore the local area too.
Here are ten money saving tips to help keep the kids happy, depending on their age, for little or no cost:
- Libraries: Half-term is a bumper time for group activities, so why not join free story time or other fun activities, such as singing.
- Get local: Many areas will have free museums with exciting interactive activities, plus galleries and workshops make use of them! There also may be a market or funfair to keep things jolly.
- Get creative: Many kids love making elaborate cards, pictures, collages and decorations it's a great way to get that creative spark going.
- Helping in the kitchen: Being mum's (or dad's) little helper can be great - baking cakes, stirring, wiping and generally being a busybody!
- Board games: 'Oh no', they may groan, but often digging out a game that hasn't been played for ages can be a pleasant surprise.
- Online fun: The Internet shouldn't be a prop, but can be a great source of games, apps and activities to help children learn at their own pace and pleasure, from ABC and matching games to learning flags or numbers.
- Cheap cinema clubs: Many local movie theatres will have special discounted times of day dedicated to films that will appeal specifically to children, especially in the school holidays.
- Home cinema: Alternatively, why not get a few of their friends to come round, turn the lights down, get some simple refreshments ready and show a DVD or two in proper 'matinee' style?
- Get walking: There's often nothing like a bracing walk, and whatever the local area there's bound to be something to pique children's capacity for exploring. With you, they could follow old, disused railway lines, mountain paths, make a snowman on a hill, find winter animals in the local wood.. Talk to other parents: There are bound to be others at the same school, or in the local streets, in exactly the same boat why not pool your ideas and do things together?
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