Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cheap Ways to Keep Children Entertained During Autumn and Winter Half Term Holidays

If you are a parent who wants to find inexpensive or free ways to entertain your kids during half term holidays, look no further than our boredom busting blog as we have a few ideas that you’re bound to find useful!

Of course having a pile of DVDs and a games console will keep them entertained for a while but the novelty will soon wear off and the dreaded wails of boredom will chime once again. One of the best ways to get prepared is to make a holiday to-do list.

You can start by searching for free events in your area online or in local newspapers.

Community centres may have special holiday events that children can attend and take part in. Shopping centres could also have entertainment scheduled in especially for kids.

Find out what child-friendly exhibitions are on at local museums as these are often free. You could also make the trip extra fun by listing things that the children could find in the museum based on the exhibitions. For example Manchester Museum has dinosaur, Egyptian and live animal galleries – so you could ask the Children to find T-Rex or ancient mummies.

What about encouraging budding artists with a trip to an art gallery? You could also bring some art materials and ask them to copy their favourite painting so you can make your own gallery at home.

Girls and boys of any age love eating sweet things, so why not get them in the kitchen baking? If you don’t consider yourself a great cook, why not take a look online for easy recipes? You can also get cupcake and biscuit recipe boxes in supermarkets which are cost effective and simple to follow. If cash is a problem, look at what you have in your cupboards as you may already have most of the ingredients at home. Cornflake or Rice Krispie cakes are very inexpensive to produce, fun to make and are really delicious. 

If your son or daughter loves story writing or you think they’ve got what it takes to be the next J.K. Rowling, use your imaginations to write a story together. The story doesn’t even have to be original - you could rewrite one you both love or write a short story using several characters from different fairytales.

If you have family or friends with children of a similar age, arrange for them to visit each other. You could plan a theme for the visit like a dance party. You could download their favourite tunes and encourage them to make up dance routines; it’s a great way for them to keep fit too! All you’ll need to do is provide healthy snacks and soft drinks. Similarly, if you have a Wii console or know someone who would let you borrow one, you could arrange for the children to take part in different sports tournaments like tenpin bowling or tennis.

Scavenger hunts are another fun way to keep your kids busy without spending lots of money. Simply come up with clues and interesting items to hide around the house or your garden and give the winner a treat.

Of course one of the most tried and trusted destinations for family fun will always be the local park. Playing on swings or kicking a football – you’re never short of fun activities to do at the park. You could even take some sandwiches and a flask of soup to keep their energy up.

Chris Turner writes for Baines & Ernst – a specialist debt company in the UK. If you need help managing debts, speak to Baines & Ernst for confidential advice.