How hard is it to entertain kids without spending a single penny!?
I have four kids so I know that if we plan on going anywhere as a family it’s no doubt going to cost us a small fortune. Most places have discounts for families but that’s usually code for 2 adults & 2 Children.
I don’t mind treating the kids to experiences, I’m the biggest kid out of us all (yes it does embarrass them but hey.) It’s just that we have to be mindful and budget them in.
That does mean though that you have to get creative. No kids want to stay in and do nothing come holidays and weekends and they’re awesome at spending money before you’ve even got a shoe on. Can we go, can I have, it’s their way of being helpful even if you’re screaming at them argh!! in your head.
These are just some of the less expensive ways I get the kids out without making the bank balance cry too much.
They tend to be seasonal and mainly on weekends but check your local paper or Facebook page for carboots. I tend to let mine spend their pocket money on whatever (knick knack) treasure they find and they feel like they’ve found a bargain.
Having a good rummage in a charity shop is one of my all-time favourite things to do. My mum would go in her lunch hour and show me what she’d found and then take me at weekends with a couple of coins in my pocket. We still go now when she comes to visit, even my dad likes a good nosy.
GO FOR A WALK
Despite their moaning, kids like to go for walks. They may not think they do at the time you suggest it but they do. Go to the park, walk around your local area, pick up a leaflet about local walking routes that are usually in the post office. Even if you take a car or bus ride out to somewhere that you’ve passed often, thought it would be great to visit but never got round to it. We’re extremely lucky to be surrounded by countryside and live 20 minutes from various beaches albeit lovely in the summer, freeezing in the winter!
An Undiscovered Park
This is something we did occasionally when we lived in the city, me and my other half would keep an eye out when we were out and about for parks. When the kids got fed up at home we’d jump in the car and go back to find them.
Some people have never heard of it and I hadn’t until I’d listened to a Podcast but in short and borrowed from the site ‘Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.’
It’s free and you are pretty much guaranteed to have treasure around you in most areas and have never even known. If you want to just get the kids involved then you can just stay on a free account, there is an upgrade option for hardcore treasure hunters haha. Check out the site.
If you’re not sure where any are around you ask the oracle that is Google. We love museums, we’ve been to see Dinosaurs, learnt about Daniel Lambert, the Romans, Ancient Egypt and how Science works. Visited animals from the Arctic to the Antartic, under the sea, African planes, the desert and the rainforest. Most museums are free but just check before setting off.
Alternatively, stay in.
Create and Craft
Get the craft box out and make a mess. Who has a birthday, anniversary or special occasion coming up that the kids can make a gift and a card for?
Let go of the reins and let the kids make a picnic, yes, breathe through the anxiety. Let them spread the butter and cut the sandwiches, supervised obviously. Get them a bowl to pour the crisps into and a plate to put some cake on. You could combine it with create and craft above and let the younger ones make some invitations for their bears and dolls.
I can easily spend £60-£70 taking the kids to the cinema, I’m a sucker for popcorn and pick ‘n’ mix, have you read my social media bios? Plenty of shops sell Dvd’s pretty cheaply, find something on Netflix if you have it and if you don’t you could get a month trial free, just remember to cancel it before the trials up. Pop to the shop for a big bag of popcorn, mixed sweets and Doritos and you’ve created yourself a movie night for less than £5.
Is it not mandatory to have board games and playing cards for Christmas, you know the ones, they live in the airing cupboard, on a shelf or under the bed with the sock monster. Dig them bad boys out! Operation, Monopoly, Cluedo or get the pennies and playing card out and teach the kids to play Patients, Clock Patients and Rummy.
Entertaining kids doesn’t have to break the bank, think about what you used to do as a kid. Take them to climb some trees, walk through the woods, make a rope swing or jump a brook, pond dipping, conkering.
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