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!
I have just put K down for her nap and was about to do a bit of not much really, when it dawned on me that my little daily session of down time is about to come to an end for the next six weeks or so. M breaks up from school today, that’s why.
I love my little hour-and-a-half window when K’s having her nap, M’s at school and my Other Half’s at work. I get to have my lunch in peace and then do whatever I want (which usually involves searching for something online or perusing Facebook). I will miss it next week.
I’m really looking forward to having M around though (and I’ll particularly enjoy not having to leave the house at 8.30 to do the school run) but the six weeks holidays will definitely change the dynamics chez nous. The trouble we have at the mo is that M is nearing six, whilst K isn’t yet 18 months. That’s quite a big gap when you’re trying to find activities to suit both of them. Added that to the fact that I don’t drive (I know, I know) and things become even more awkward. One of my tasks for this weekend is to try and pre plan some do-able activities so that the weeks don’t stretch out emptily in front of us.
So far I’ve come up with:
*Castle Museum – walk/bus-able, free to local residents and actually good
*Picnic(s) in park(s) – we’re lucky enough to have three nice parks nearby
*Visit to local library – good for killing half an hour and great if raining
And that’s it so far. Needs work, no?
On a slight tangent, I can’t believe that M has completed her first year at school. I still feel like one of the newbies in the playground at drop off and pick up. The year has flown by, but as someone who used to be a teacher, I know that the school year is like that. You live from term to term with everything revolving around the holidays and before you know it, the year has passed. Luckily, as far as M is concerned, she loves school and has done really well this year. She’s more than ready for Year One, even if I’m still getting there.