M breaks up for half term this afternoon so we have a week plus an extra day of ‘fun’ to look forward to. Anyway, as it’s Thrifty Thursday, I thought you might like to hear some of my ideas for filling the next few days without spending a small fortune.
I think the activities fall into two main categories – Home and Away. Within these categories, there are the sub groups: Free, Cheap or Pricey. Obviously this post isn’t about spending big money – that’s very easy to do without any help – so we’ll forget about anything which is too expensive and concentrate on free or cheap stuff.
Let’s kick off with Home:
I suppose this will depend on the ages of your children. Mine are almost six and 19 months respectively. Quite a large and sometimes un-bridgeable gap. I tend to tailor things around M (the big one) and then let K join in as best she can. Here are some things to have a go at:
Baking/Cooking – easy recipes such as fairy cakes or pizza – include a trip to buy ingredients and you have a morning or afternoon covered
Messy time – I hate getting paints/glue out, but the kids love it and so long as you’re prepared for the mess, this kind of thing can keep them busy for ages. There are some great websites with art/craft ideas. This can incorporate anything from finger painting or papier mache to play dough or collage making.
Halloween – pumpkin carving and spooky dress ups. M likes to go the whole hog and put on a show complete with handmade programmes and posters.
Bulb planting – just about still got time for this and it combines fresh air with a nice wholesome task – result!
DVD and popcorn – okay, so not so much an activity as a chance to chill out, but nothing wrong with that.
Indoor den – make some form of tent or teepee and let your kids set up a den inside. Again, this can lead to all kinds of role play games.
And moving onto Away (by which I mean out of the house rather than abroad):
Visit the local park – great time of year for an autumn nature trail. Use their finds to fuel their craft activities – leaf rubbing/printing, twig collages etc… Older kids can use a digital camera to take pics for an autumn project or make a mini film.
Musuems – here in York, we have lots of museums and quite a few are free or offer reduced price entry to locals.
Autumn picnic – you could combine this with a trip to the park (in fact I recommend that you take a packed lunch wherever you’re going. It’s only recently started to dawn on me that this is the way to save £££)
Local library – always great for your kids to get ‘new’ books and often there are free or cheap actvities taking place during school holidays
Bike ride – if your kids are old enough to ride along on the path next to you then this is a nice way to get some exercise. In our case, M will ride on the pavement and I’ll take K in the child seat on the back of my bike. There are lots of cycle paths where we live, so this is perhpas easier here than in some other areas.
So, there you have it. A few thrifty ideas. We’ll try to do some, if not all, of these activities and I’ll let you know which ones are best. In the meantime, tell us know what you’re up to. Happy half term!