With the Summer holidays fast approaching, the worry is how to keep the children entertained over the long six weeks without breaking the budget. Most days we have cheap days, trips to the park or the woods, days in the garden or visiting friends. I try to plan something interesting for each week. I like to use our Child Benefits for the treats. It works out at £20.70 for the first child and £13.70 for any children after that. This is a good little amount for a treat. I used to budget it for important items like school shoes but unfortunately, they cost way more than £20 these days!
Our favourite thing to do as a family it to make things. The girls love painting, drawing and creating, anything messy really. Most of the time we try to recycle and reuse so it doesn’t cost too much. However, you do need to buy a few pieces. A box of glue, googly eyes, lots of glitter, wool and fabric is pretty much essential. There always seems to be a new trend these days, last year it was loom bands. At the moment it’s making slime. The girls shopping list at the moment includes contact lens solution and bicarbonate of soda.
The girls love to bake. I am trying to move them away from making cakes and biscuits which are lovely but not exactly healthy. This Summer, I am going to get Molly, who is now ten, to budget a meal they can cook for the family. With a budget of £20, they could make homemade pizzas or Mexican tortillas.
Try Something New
It’s fun to try new things in the Summer holidays. Days out we have loved have included ice skating, climbing, skiing and horse riding. These are definitely expensive to take up as a hobby but are great to do occasionally as a treat. You never know you might find a hidden talent.
Family days out can be expensive. A trip to the cinema is great for a rainy day or the Sealife centre. Our favourite day out is somewhere like a National Trust place. This usually has a good combination of history, and lovely grounds and woodlands to walk through, plus a lovely tea room to have a rest in. Often they have family activities planned for the Summer so it is worth looking out for what is on.
If you do want to buy toys to keep the kids entertained then it is worth buying something they will use all Summer long. A sandpit costs very little, especially if you buy a plastic one, but with a few bags of sand children will play in it all day. Equally sports equipment, like balls, tennis bats and skipping ropes are great for playing in the garden or taking to the park.