Depending on where you live in Britain your children will have either already broken up for the summer holidays or you will be on countdown until the end of term. Whether you get to spend a few days a week with your children during the holidays or everyday you will find it is an expensive time. As my son is still at infants school he gets a free snack and lunch everyday; from next week I will be subject to demands of food throughout the day! With the changeable British weather we like to get out and out when the sun shines but have to make sure we have plenty of indoor activities planned for those far too frequent rainy days. With all this in mind I?ve been on the hunt of things to do which aren?t going to break the bank and keep the cries of, ?I?m bored!? at a minimum.
To start things off Kalpana has listed 15 ways to save money entertaining the kids this summer. Some of her top tips include looking out for some of the free workshops run by retailers such as free bike workshops for kids at Halfords and the Tesco?s cooking classes.
If you want to stay local Lynn has some ideas to do both close to home and without going out at all in her collection of money saving ideas for children. She suggests saving a week?s worth of recycling like plastic bottles and cardboard boxes and letting the kids get creative with them. If cabin fever has set in look up what is happening at your local children?s or Sure Start centre.
The summer holidays should be about having fun and Francesca has been looking at budget kids activities ? free or cheap. Many everyday activities can be turned into fun without much effort. Car looking dirty? Get the bucket and sponges out and get the kids to give it a wash. Sandwiches, crisps and a piece of fruit may not seem that exciting when eaten at home but pack them into a bag and with a trip to a local park you?ve got an instant picnic.
Have you gone through every suggestion and the kids are still saying ?I?m bored!?? Well Sara has a few more ideas up her sleeve. Do you know someone who has dog at home all day? Offer to take it for a walk. If you do like getting out think about a scavenger hunt. The younger ones can find things to pick up while the older ones can look out for items to photograph.
The constant demands for food during the holidays can get very expensive. Rather than have the kids sitting around munching on whatever they can find in the cupboards get them to cook their own food first. Kelly likes to get her sons making Arina and loans chesitzo bread. With cheese and chorizo in it it?s sure to taste good and at just £1.30 to make it won?t cost much for a couple of hours of tasty fun.
If your kids are more into crafting then Deborah has plenty of easy projects to keep everyone occupied. If you haven?t got any Playdough in the house you can make your version ? the kids can even get involved in making it. Another easy craft project is a rag wreath. If you?ve got the right fabrics you can plan ahead and make some for later in year such as for Halloween and Christmas.
If you like the element of surprise in your everyday activities then check out Emma?s creative summer project. Between 23rd July and 5th September she will be posting a daily crafty idea to keep the kids entertained ? 44 in all! All of these will be budget friendly using items you already have around the house and general recycling.
One thing I will certainly be trying during the long summer holidays is no spend days as suggested by Cass. Her ways of making days no spend and therefore saving money include using memberships such as English Heritage and making meals out of what already have or indeed haven?t got in the kitchen cupboards.
When the sun does come out a very cheap and easy thing to do is simply open the door to the garden. I don?t know about you but I often find this quickly descends into fighting with sticks! It?s time for some organized outdoors fun and Emma has come up with 8 things to do in the garden. From painting with flowers to having your own sports day there?s something for everyone to enjoy.
If you haven?t booked a holiday away yet have a look at Jon?s suggestions on saving money on your holiday. Some of his ideas for a cheaper holiday are look up prices online and haggle with high street travel agents and to check if your bank account includes travel insurance.
How do keep your children busy in the summer holidays without spending a fortune? Do you prefer to go out or stay indoors?
Next month I?ll be looking at how to make those back to school costs cheaper. If you would like to be included in the round-up contact me through my Facebook page or through Twitter.
About Ness Charles
Ness is a former qualified independent financial adviser with many years of experience in pensions. Since having her two children she has gone back to her first love of writing. Ness now writes the blog JibberJabberuk focusing not only on personal finance but also her love of cake baking, gardening and taking photographs on her travels around the UK.