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Monday, 29 May 2017 12:16

Entertaining the kids on a budget this half term

Can you believe it’s summer half term 2017 already?! We certainly can’t, but if you are a parent chances are you’ve known for some time. You see, for parents the Summer holidays signal togetherness where you get to spend time with your kids and have loads of fun – but at the same time, it can also fill many a heart with dread – because the financial cost of keeping kids entertained and happy can spiral out of control.

It doesn’t have to be this way though, and parents are urged to think outside of the box when it comes to entertaining kids whilst the schools are closed.

As a general rule, parents put too much pressure on themselves to keep the kids happy. Days are mapped out and trips to the local play area and swimming baths are pencilled in. This is great for the kids, but all these things cost money and ultimately have a hit on mum and dad’s pockets.

So, let’s take a look at how costs can be reduced whilst at the same time giving the kids the half term break that they deserve.

Firstly, think of the great outdoors. Kids love it and fresh air and the countryside costs nothing. The local park is home to a great range of opportunities. There are chances to go on the swings, the slide, climbing frame, kick a football, play catch, pick flowers and just generally explore the surroundings. It will tire the kids out and, you guessed it, it costs nothing!

Feeding the ducks is also a great pastime and allows you to bond without worrying about rising costs.

If the sun is shining why not have picnics at a local beauty hotspot with friends? And if the sun isn’t playing and it is chucking it down with rain, set up some activities in the home for your kids and invite their friends to come and join in. Painting, crafting and baking are all good fun, and again, you guessed it, all cost zilch!

We’re not saying you should spend absolutely nothing on your kids this half term, we know that a couple of days of doing the above will start to see boredom setting in, but it would be a good idea to mix and match the holidays with non-paying days with paying days.

Once you’ve had a couple of days keeping a tight grip on your pennies, you could treat the kids by taking them to the swimming baths, or to the cinema. It’s all about diluting the spending and breaking the holidays up.

Make sure you utilise any special offers that these centres may have. Quite often, just in time for the holidays, you may find 2 for 1 vouchers on offer and these will undoubtedly help to bring any costs down. Always check out discount codes and vouchers online before you go anywhere and always look to see if there are any free children’s craft days at local children’s centres or community groups.

The school holidays should be a chance for a family to reconnect – money, however, even though it shouldn’t, does play a part when it comes to entertaining the kids and giving them treats, so at least make sure you are doing it in the most economical way possible. 

Happy holidays!

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