Keep half term holiday boredom at bay on a budget
With February half term right around the corner, we have put together 10 tips on how to keep the kids entertained during the weeklong holiday, without breaking the bank!
We found some research carried out by Equifax* which says that parents pay on average £144 for childcare during half term and £179 on keeping their children entertained - equating to over £60 per day!
Yet, being on a budget doesn’t mean staying put and getting cabin fever. With some creative planning, it is possible to spend pennies rather than pounds and enjoy some quality time together.
Her are our 10 money-saving activities and adventures to keep kids of all ages amused:
- Play make-believe games - Sailing seas, conquering kingdoms, rescuing princesses and making treasure maps on tea-stained paper. There’s nothing more magical than creating an imaginary world or den out of sheets, pegs, chairs, cushion stacks or a big cardboard box.
- Enter the puddle jumping championships - Grab your wellies and head to your nearest wetlands centre this February half term for a splashing good time.
- Rekindle your childhood games - On a rainy day, roll out your favourite games, from hopscotch to marbles, pick-up sticks to snakes and ladders. It will trigger some happy memories and kids love watching you get nostalgic!
- Set up some simple science experiments - Satisfy your children's curiosity by doing homemade science experiments. Will an egg sink or float? Make a tornado in a plastic bottle using just water, glitter and washing up liquid. Create a fizzy drink geyser. YouTube has tonnes of ideas, without having to purchase a kit.
- Play the tray game - Place a selection of small objects on a tray, adjusting the number of items depending on age, cover with a tea towel and see how many they can recall. Add to the excitement by offering one of the objects as a prize for the winner.
- Join your local library - From craft activities, story-time sessions, rhyme time, even music, libraries are chock full of wonder for little ones. Plus there are plenty of books to nurture their interest in reading. Look out for reading trails targeting older children too.
- Plant a garden - Kids love watching veggies sprout up, so make a window garden box. It’s a great way to introduce them to nature. For quick results, plant seeds like sunflower, cress and salad. The results are almost instant. Check how does your garden grow.
- Plan a night walk - Before the evenings get too light, break from the usual routine and go on a short night hike. Take torches and hot drinks. Make sure the route isn’t too perilous. Search the Internet too for organised bat or nocturnal animal spotting walks.
- Make sidewalk art - Grab your chalk and go wild. If the weather is grotty, roll out some lining paper and draw around your child, then colour and paint it in. Hours of fun!
- Check out local ‘what’s on’ activities - Many local communities offer events, puppet shows, concerts etc all free to residents. National retailers also run free workshops, like animal petting experiences.
If you are planning to treat the family to a day out, try sites such as Group On, Wowcher and Voucher Cloud to secure great savings and sign up to weekly alerts to get the latest deals. Also, save cereal box coupons or ask about National Rail offers for discounted entry to some of the bigger attractions. These deals can save you a small fortune and if you take your own drink and food, you’ll spend even less.
You could also encourage your kids to keep a scrap book of their holiday adventures. They can stick in photos, tickets, stickers and write up their own experience of their exciting day. It will be something they can add to each school holiday and you will treasure it for years to come.
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