This post ’10 cheap or free things to do with kids – that don’t involve T.V’ is a little different to my usual posts but still important I think.
The summer holidays can wreak havoc with your mental health if you’re not careful. Not only having the usual routine completely out of the window but the anxiety and stress of having the kids around ALL THE TIME! I love spending extra time with H but I need to get organised to ensure I don’t get overwhelmed or try and take on too much.
Another factor to consider about summer holidays is the financial implications of having kids home for 6/7 weeks. It’s has been proven that money worries have seriously negative effects on people who suffer with their mental health, and I can completely relate to this. That is why I thought this post was an important one. Showing you how you can arrange and enjoy time in the holidays without going into debt or constantly worrying about money.
I was always one of those people who would declare;
“My child will never be sitting in front of the T.V”
“No more than one programme a day!”
“It’s just lazy.”
Then I had a child!
Needless to say I got real and realised that Yes my son is going to watch television and yes it’s going to be more than one programme a day!Don’t get me wrong he doesn’t sit there for hours and hours, but watching back to back Paw Patrol or Scooby Doo isn’t uncommon!
Although he has his favourite programmes he is not really a child that likes to sit and watch T.V for long anyway he gets bored very easily. We do the usual games, puzzles, and read books but sometimes you need and bit of a change.
I have listed 10 things that I try to do regularly with H that keep him entertained but cost nothing or very little!
- Arts and crafts; Now this is our number 1 thing to do in our house. I am very crafty anyway so this is something we love to do together. It really doesn’t need to be expensive either! Of course there are the bits and pieces you can stock up on but you can get these anywhere, pipe cleaners, buttons, stickers, pompoms, googly eyes are a few of the things I make sure we have in our craft cupboard but they are little more than a pound each. My ultimate tip is don’t throw anything away! Egg cartons, bottles, cearel boxes, yogurt pots, toliet roll tubes. The list is endless! Pack them into a bag, box or cupboard so that you can get them all out and let your child imagination go wild. You can then glue or sellotape them together and decorate with pens or paint.
- ‘Old school’ games; I love a bit of nostalgia. I love the old traditional hide and seek, musical statues, Snap, Pairs, Happy families, board games. Google will give you hundreds of ideas and you kids will soon have their favourites.
- Bake a cake; This does’t have to be expensive either and I can guarantee you will have most of the ingredients you need in your cupboards already. H loves to sift the flour and scoop the batter into the cases. He likes to feel like he has an important job. If your little ones are too young to help bake the cakes or you just don’t fancy it then you can buy ready made plain cupcakes with no icing that you can decorate at home. we have also done this a few times and the pack of 12 are as little as £2. Plus any decorations or ingredients you buy will last a good few baking sessions.
- Fort building; Another old favourite that my son absolutely adores! We would do this every day of he had his way! We bring dinning chairs into our living room and gather the blankets, sheets and cushions and using pegs attach them all to make our camp/fort. We will also have our lunch in there too pretty often and bring in our favourite books or games.
- Balloons ; What child doesn’t love balloons? We have a pack of balloons in our cupboard left over from his birthday last year and nearly always have one blown up in the living room. H absolutely LOVES football and I don’t allow footballs in the house. With a balloon we clear a space and play balloon football. he loves this. And it doesn’t have to be football; we often play catch or heading the balloon or trying not to let it touch the ground! Again endless fun – tires them out too! Win win!
- Cinema; No, I’m not talking the regular screenings at the regular times these are the special kids screenings. It’s usually 10/10.30 where I live at my local Odeon. On a Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday but it has changed a few times. But what great is it’s only £2.50 each! Bargin! A great way to get out of the house. and also it doesn’t matter if for any reason your child isn’t enjoying it and you have to leave or you just spend the entire time in the loos, you haven’t wasted silly money!
- Treasure hunt; Another huge favourite in our house! We first make our treasure maps by tea staining paper and letting it dry. We then tear the edges and crumple it up so it looks ‘authentic’ then I get H to add the finishing touches with pens and stickers whilst I run around the house hiding ‘treasure’ for us to find. The treasure is usually chocolate coins from Poundland. We have heaps of fun running around the house trying to find where the pirates have hidden the ‘loot!’ Then of course eating them after.
- Days out; There are still places that you can go that are free. And providing you take snacks or lunch you wont have to spend a penny. Wendover woods is very near us and one of our absolute fav’s! no matter what the weather. Tring Museum is another one that we visit close to us but i’m sure of you google your local area there will be options near you. Animal centres/re-homing centres or the RSPCA centres are somewhere we like to go. H loves seeing the animals and they don’t charge for you to walk around but they usually ask for a donation as they are charities. But even the local parks we still visit – I just bring an old towel to dry off the swing etc before he sits down if it’s been raining and all is fine.
These are just a few ideas of cheap or free things that I do with my little boy. Hope this has helped and if you have any more ideas then I would love to hear them!
Love Amy x