Today I am sharing some of our favourite low cost ideas to keep the kids entertained for less.
Visiting your local park can be a great way to get out and about and lets the kids burn off some energy in the process. Whilst kids are having fun playing at the park they are also building up their imagination with lots of creative free play and engaging with other children. It also gives them a little freedom to play and explore as they wish (of course under your watchful eye). All that climbing, sliding and running is also building up muscles they may not use when at home or school too! You may be surprised at how many little local parks you find within the local area too.
Woodland walks/ Wildlife hunting.
Why not take the kids exploring, its fun, free and easy for the whole family to get involved in. One thing we like to do it draw a tick list before we head out and see how many things we can find from our list. You could draw different insects, birds or any sort of wildlife you think you may find on your walk including, rabbits or maybe even deer depending on where you live. Give each of your child their own sheet and armed with that and a pencil head out and see what you can find, don't forget to tick them off as you find them and see how many things you and the kids can find.
Arts and Crafts
Arts and Crafts are our go to rainy day activity. Things can get a little messy especially if you plan on using glue or glitter but if you are worried about your carpet or work surface though you can buy large disposable or reusable plastic sheets cheaply to cover a large area before you start. Arts and crafts can be as cheap or expensive as you make it. Things like paper mache or loo rolls monsters can be made using items already in the home. I save loo rolls, egg boxes, pringles tubes, old newspaper, tissue paper from presents and anything I can find that I think could be reused and keep it all in a box ready for a rainy day. Above are some of the crafts we have made using household objects.
If you think picnics are just for the summer think again. Whilst picnics in the summer are a lovely way to get outdoors and enjoy lunch in the winter we simply bring our picnic indoors! Getting the kids to help lay out a big blanket on the living room floor and then get them to help you prepare the picnic food. They will love getting involved in preparing the food and it makes lunch so much more fun! I also found having new foods to try in a relaxed fun environment such as a picnic often means kids are more willing to try new foods, especially if they see others doing it too. Picnics can be cheap and easy to make using things you have already in the cupboards.
Remember if your stuck in wondering what on earth to do to entertain the kids the chances are other parents and kids are feeling the same way! Why not get chatting to other parents at school and see if you can arrange a regular play date for your child with some of their friends. You can swap each week or month and that way its fair and the kids are kept occupied playing with a friend. James adore having friends over and having someone of a similar age to play his toys with and hes often kept occupied and happy for hours!
Both James and Evelyn have been water babies since they were little babies and so swimming is something we regularly do as a family. However I think some people feel that swimming can be expensive but not if you head to a leisure centre! A family ticket is around £10 - £15 on average for a family of 4 and often leisure centre pools don't have time limits like other pools. Ok so they may not have lots of fancy slides or wave machines etc (although some may have!) but a lot of leisure centres do "big bath time" sessions where they have some foam floats and shapes, watering cans, foam rings, boards and balls etc for everyone to play with. Regular swimming is also great for building up water confidence and spending some time together as a family.
What are your favourite low cost family days out or activities?