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5 ways to entertain the family on a budget

Friday, August 8, 2014

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Keeping kids entertained over the long summer holiday is far from an easy task, but it’s also a great opportunity for parents to spend some quality time with their youngsters and make some great memories.

Constantly paying out for visits, transport and everything else can get very pricey after a while. But in fact, having fun with the family doesn’t have to cost the earth. There are loads of great ways to keep them happy on a shoestring.

1. Picnic in the park

The humble picnic is often forgotten when there’s a coffee shop on every corner, but it’s a cost-effective way of keeping everyone fed and happy when you’re out and about. Make it special by turning it into an event - find your local bit of green space and walk there and back if you can. It’s also a twist on the big family dinner: putting everyone in one place might help you rediscover the lost art of conversation.

2. Treasure hunt

It does take a little preparation, but leaving clues around the house and garden for the kids - and even the grown-ups - to follow will keep them busy for ages. Split the family up into teams to introduce some healthy competition, and choose something small and inexpensive for your prize. Maybe the loser has to do the washing up…

3. Collages

Don’t throw away those old magazines, newspapers, cereal boxes and sweet wrappers - keep them somewhere safe so you’ve got plenty of material for a massive collage. Either stick with a theme or let their imaginations run wild. However you do it, it’s great to encourage kids’ creativity and is a fun activity for adults and children to work on together.

4. Tidy up games

Seriously - they can work! Turn the housework into fun games for younger children, helping them to develop good habits for the future. You never know, they may not forget them when they turn into grumpy teenagers. If Mary Poppins could do it, so can you.

5. Free museums and attractions

The UK is packed with everything from castles to nature reserves, museums and activity centres that are absolutely free. What’s more, if you take a picnic you can cut costs further. Search online for attractions near you - they may be cheap to travel to, or even in walking distance, and they often have special activities for families in the holidays.

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