The first week of the school summer holidays are with us, let BritEvents.com show you how to have fun on a budget.
Low cost summer fun ideas for children
This economic climate makes it very hard for parents to keep their children occupied during the summer holidays. But with a bit of thought and imagination, you and the kids can have a fantastic summer to remember.
Lets face it we all hate saying no to our little angels,but these days even the smallest of outgoings have had to be put on hold. It does take a bit of planning and digging but there are ways to keep even the most demanding child entertained throughout the summer holidays.
As an ex-childminder, and having two kids of my own I am only too aware that there will be some amount of spending which will include petrol and eating out. But the way around this is by car sharing with other parents and splitting the petrol bill between you and planning picnics at the beginning of the week by bulk buying drinks, crisps and snacks.
Here are few ideas to keep the little ones and big ones amused and keep parents from going totally insane!
Library summer challenges
1. Most libraries in the UK have a FREE summer reading challenge.
Basically these schemes reward children for reading. All that is needed to compete in this fun and rewarding way is to read at least 1 book per week. The child will then be rewarded with stickers, badges and fun things to do. Most of the libraries that participate in this summer event will have a summer reading challenge launch.
This launch is normally held in the first weekend of the holidays, where children can go along and register their interest and take part in any launch activities. Don’t be disheartened if you are away during the launch children can join the challenge at any time during the holidays.
Why not make a day of visiting the libraries each week by taking the bus instead of the car and taking your picnic to the nearest park before catching the bus back home.
At the end of the challenge the library will present the child with a medal, which is brilliant for taking into school in the new term for show and tell!
Keep a diary of summer activities
2. Children love to look back at what they have packed into the summer holidays and how much they have achieved. A great way is to record each day in a scrap-book with things that they have collected on their days out.
This is particularly great for children who can’t yet write and also gives children something to do together on those rainy days.
For example, postcards can be picked up from anywhere at a small cost, even most villages have their own postcards, so a trip down to the local shop on foot can be easily be recorded by a postcard, ice lolly paper or something interesting found on the way.
Remember museums are free
Some museums and galleries are free
3. Some museums and galleries are now free. This is a wonderful way to keep the children entertained by tying in what they have learnt at school with a hands on approach during the holidays. Not only is this fun, but the practical side of these activities can really fire up the child’s imagination and bring to life what they have learnt during the school term.
Take along a picnic, you will always find somewhere to sit down and eat, and together talk about your findings and remember pick up a postcard for your summer scrapbook!
A walk in the park
4. Boring! I hear you say… Not at all, the more children the better for this activity, take along tennis rackets, cricket bats, balls and loads of rugs.
On the way ask the children what they would like to play and ask an older child to write down a list. This could be a game of rounders, mini tennis tournament, football with jumpers as goal posts or older children could play a game of dodgeball.
This is an ideal time to take along a picnic, remember though children are always thirsty so pack as much water as you can for when they are playing and save the nice drinks for lunchtime.
Finish off the day with a visit to the nearest shop or supermarket where you can pick up a pack of 4 ice-creams/ ice lollies for the same price as a single one at an ice-cream shop!
BritEvents love the National Trust
National Trust Summer Fun!
5. We at BritEvents just love the National Trust, yes you have to pay to be a member, but during the summer you will reap the benefits as children entering National Trust sites with parents and grandparents are free.
Although, just recently BritEvents.com were informed by the National Trust that children are free to visit National Trust sites FREE in August, a great saving on a family day out. Just download and print out their voucher before you visit. Simply register your details to get your voucher from this link: – https://join.nationaltrust.org.uk/voucher/register
There is ALWAYS something to do at National Trust properties from cake baking, rock pool rambles, art exhibitions, walks, food festivals, bee keeping to moth mornings and Music in the Park.
There maybe a small charge for children to partake in these activities, but they are always very popular so booking is essential.
In most National Trust Properties there is a tea room, but if finances don’t stretch to that then take your own neatly cut sandwiches and cake along with flasks of coffee or tea and sit on the lawn for an old-fashioned Victorian themed picnic of your own!
Catch up on chores with a bribe or two
6. Now all these days out mean that your home may be neglected over the summer weeks. But remember being out means that your home is less likely to get wrecked.
But the ironing and washing needs to get done…so what is the plan? I hear you ask hysterically. Well a bit of thought went into this. A bribe or two doesn’t do any harm does it? So, grab a load of magazines, glue, glitter, paper, cardboard and paint and lay an old sheet in the garden and let the kid’s imagination run riot, if they behave and play nicely then reward them by having their own art exhibition and a trip to the pictures at the next Saturday Matinee; most cinemas have a Saturday morning children’s film showing from just £1 per person!
Seaside fun and frolics
7. A trip to the seaside is always a treat, and apart from the petrol, this can be a relatively cheap day out. If you live a distance from the nearest seaside, then an early morning start is a must. As a family we have always found it easier to pack a disposable BBQ, this saves on time as food can be thrown in a coolbox and cooked on the beach. There is nothing better than a hot-dog or burger cooked on the beach in the sunshine.
Remember though to take windbreaks, buckets, spades, swimming costumes, towels, a change of clothes, sun hats and suncream with you.
But best of all when the tide is out and the kids are playing in the sand this is a particularly good opportunity for parents to catch with their favourite novel!
Emulate the London 2012 Olympic Games
Emulate your own Olympic games
8. The London 2012 Olympic games kicks off in just four days. There is no better way for children to learn about how important it is for them to join in with sporting activities.
Why not ask the children to pick a favourite sport to watch on the television during the Olympics, but make sure that you can emulate the experience!
Once children have got engrossed in a sport on television most want to try it out for themselves. Almost all towns now have a sports centre where children can try out their favourite sport or activity from swimming, athletics, basket ball, cycling, volleyball and table tennis. Why not join in with another family or two and make a day of it with a mini Olympic games day.
If the weather is particularly nice, then meet up with some like-minded children and parents and organise your own Olympic Games day at the local Village Hall or recreation ground. Take along bikes for a bike race, use water bottles as batons for your own sprint relay teams, use ropes on the ground for long jump and a cricket ball for your own shot put competition. Record all the events on a flip chart!
You could round off the day with a joint BBQ and award ceremony! Cadbury are doing some chocolate Olympic Gold medals to get your teeth into!
It won’t rain!!…But if it does…
9. Let’s be totally honest, we are going to have some days when we can’t get out and about. Therefore planning ahead for those rainy days can save tears and tantrums and that’s just from the parents!
So, with a little imagination and some clever trickery, you can keep your little ones happy for hours!
You’re going to love this one. Tidy your room competition! This ingenious idea not only saves you from the dreaded task, but when children are given a certain amount of time to finish a task or project, you will not believe how much more you can get out of them.
So, set the timer and get them tidying, they’ll be amazed at what they have found stuffed in the back of a wardrobe, from old board games to dressing up clothes, the kids will forget they are being timed…time for a cuppa and feet up I guess!
Make your own movie
10. When I was a child, I used to play out my favourite story with my brother and sister. We would practice and practice the play and then my poor Mother would have to sit through the finished article!
This got me thinking, that with all the technology around it would be very easy for children to star in their own movie.
The first thing to do is for them to pick a favourite story that they can act out. If they are older children they may want to write and direct their own play, and take the video camera outside. Make sure your video camera is insured!
Secondly, pull out the dressing up box and get them to rummage through and pick out their character’s clothing. Then let the fun begin.
Once they have finished practicing the play, let them loose with the video camera (if they are very young get an adult to film it). Now watch their faces as they replay the video on the television and see themselves staring in their own movie!
Choose BritEvents.com for all your summer events
BritEvents.com is one of the biggest event listing sites in the UK. We have hundreds of thousands of events listed all over the UK, so if you are stuck for something to do this summer with the kids http://www.britevents.com can help you out!