Now that the Easter holidays have started, I am keen to make the most of the time during the next couple of weeks with my two boys. However, I do not want to end up spending too much money, so I am on a mission to do as many free or very low cost activities with them when they are off school.
It is very tempting to take your kids to soft plays, leisure centres , the cinema etc, to entertain them, but these all add up, and, while I like to treat the boys at least once during the holidays, for the rest of the time I like to save my money and keep them busy in other ways. Free or very low cost ways.
I have compiled a list of ideas below that I enjoy doing with my boys, the majority of which cost nothing or at least not very much money. Most of these are not at all ground breaking, and I am sure you do many of these these yourself, but nevertheless here are my ideas for keeping the kids entertained during the school holidays:
1. The Beach
Sand, sea and, hopefully, sunshine makes the beach an amazing place to entertain your children for very little money. Kids can run around, have a splash (or maybe a swim if the water is safe and they are confident in the water) in the sea, or even try their hand at body boarding.
Building sandcastles is another fun activity and to be honest just digging holes will keep children occupied for ages on a beach! My two love visiting the beach in all weathers and climbing up, and then sliding down, sand dunes is something they both love to do.
Of course if you find a beach full of more rocks and pools then sand, then why not try your hand at rock pooling which is a great way to discover the natual sea treasures of our British coastline. I always keep buckets and spades in the back of my car for whenever we happen to pop to a neaby beach.
2. The Forest
The woods provide a great resource for some fun if you just use your imagination! Activities such as going on a Gruffalo Hunt and A Bear Hunt are great when you take inspiration from a much loved book.
Forests also offer lots of free fun and unlimited access to many natural tools to use in so many different natural play activity ideas such as making a bow and arrow, creating wild art and making woodland crowns are just a few ideas for you to try.
And even of it rains never fear because as long as you have your wellies and a waterproof coat then you can always embark on a wet woodland walk
3. The Park
Your local park is a great place to let off steam and spend some time for free with the kids. Most parks have a playground which offers various play equipment for all ages aswell as little extras like sandpits, paddling pools and zip wires. If you pack a picnic you can easily spend most of the day, and if you also take a football, maybe fly a kite and take their bikes or scooters, then you have all you need to keep them busy in one place.
And if it rains then just put on your wellies and some waterpoofs and go puddle splashing.
4. Go on a Bug Hunt
This is such a fun activity to do and can be done at home in your garden, at the park, in the forest or down a country lane bug hunting is just fun and gives kids the chane to become mini explorers. You can also go pond dipping which is a way of tracking down the little beasts which live under the water.
5. Playing In Your Garden
Having a staycation from time to time is good when you don’t want to get in the car and travel anywhere. Activities such as making mud pies, making a den, doing chalk drawings, tree rubbings, and of course if you have a trampoline, a tent, a paddling pool or a sand pit, these are all ways of getting your kids outside for some fresh air and exercise. You could even organise a treasure hunt using hidden toys, numbers or of course at this time of year, paper or plastic eggs.
6. Exploring Where You Live
Taking a walk around where you live us not only good exercise for all the family, but it allows you to take in the things which you may otherwise not notice normally when you are rushing to school or maybe something you do not do often as you use the car a lot. It could be as simple as just going for a walk or you could incorporate a bit of history into your expedition and learn more about the town, city or village in which you live. Finding something like a telephone box which kids nowadays do not tend to use like we did as children, can be a real eye opener!
7. Going on a Bike Ride
Going out for a bike ride is another fun activity which gets the whole family out and about – whether it be a short or a long journey as long as you have a drink and a snack for energy, or maybe pack a picnic, the cycle path is your oyster!
8. Easter Baking
Something we enjoy doing during the holidays is a spot of baking. Easter is a great time to bake because there are so many child friendly recipes to try that do not always require baking, if you are worried about the dangers of hot ovens or hobs. Making some Mini Egg & Marshmallow Crispy Cakes will keep your children occupied and they will be rewarded with a delicious treat afterwards.
9. Easter Crafts
This time of year allows for some great craft activities to do with your children. From making and decorating easter bonnets to making homemade easter cards, decorating eggs etc, there are many things you can create from empty packaging, card and paper. Or you could even have a go at making some Frozen Dinosaur Eggs.
These are just a few ideas of how to keep your children busy over the Easter holidays (or indeed any school holiday, there are so many more and I am sure you have plenty of your own – please feel free to add then in the comments below.
Saving money is very important to me and I love trying to find things to do with my boys that are free or very cheap. I think it is just a case of going back to basics and remembering activities you did as a child, and having some good old fashioned fun. Another way of saving money is to switch energy suppliers , because staying with your supplier through loyalty does not necessarily cut you any financial slack, and more often than not will not pay less. By being savvy and comparing suppliers using this easy utility saving comparison tool, you could save a significant amount of money simply by switching suppliers for your utility electric and gas. The money you save here, could even pay for a few treats for your children during the school holidays.