Keeping the Whole Family Entertained (on a budget!)
With half term and the summer holidays on the way, I thought it would be useful to offer some ideas for how to keep the family entertained at home whilst on a budget. I’ve put together a list of activities that might inspire you to try something new in the holiday but also caters to the whole family and keeping them entertained. I hope you find this useful and don’t forget to drop me a message if you put any of these into action with how you’ve got on – I love hearing feedback from my blog readers! Whatever your up to this summer, I hope you have a brilliant and restful period!
Get Crafty at Home
Arts and crafts are a great way to keep the kids entertained over the summer period and there’s lots of ideas online to help you create exciting craft set ups over the holidays. I really enjoyed getting inspiration from this list of 50 craft ideas but the possibilities really are endless. I find it helps to give arts and crafts some lead in tasks that can be done throughout the day. For example, we’re going to do some crafts about the summer time and create some pictures or cards etc. To help us, we’re going to head to the park and choose some leaves, grass, twigs etc. This is great as you can frame it like a hunt of treasure or adventure exploring different places and getting lots of items to use later. At home, everyone can be involved with creating a picture or even cards that can be sent off or gifted to others. This allows children to practice creativity, patience, writing skills which is great to keep these in progress for the next academic year.
Enjoy Lots of FREE Online Games!
There are lots of online resources that can be enjoyed during the holidays. Playing games can be a great way to give your children some playful and structured activities that are completely free and don’t interfere with your budget. One of my favourite sites is plays.org, here you’ll find tonnes of free games that are easily accessible. You can search through the categories tab to find games that will also enhance your child’s learning while they have fun such as alphabet, education, kids, science, numbers, spelling etc. Naturally, I did what all bloggers do and tested quite a few of the games out for you. I used their categories section to navigate choosing the food category where I came across Alan’s Pizzeria Game.
This games sees you take on a character in the pizzeria receiving orders from customers and creating their pizzas for ‘tip coins’. This game was easy to follow and understand and felt so satisfying fulfilling tasks faster and faster while building coins.
Although I’m suggesting this as a resource to keep kids engaged – it definitely catered to my inner child! I felt so relaxed at the end after really switching off and just focusing on moving through the tasks involved with the game. It was actually a great way to unwind at the end of the day.
I also gave the Employee of the Month game a go which would be perfect for kids. It was a bit less methodical than Alan’s Pizzeria and there were lots of silly moments and tasks. For example, dressing your character up and getting points for throwing burgers at customers which I thought children would absolutely love. The sections move quickly so it’s a great pace for children to keep them interested.
You can find their newest games here to browse through and they are constantly adding new additions. I’d really recommend browsing through and choosing a selection to get the family involved in over the holidays. A really helpful tool to look out for is the summaries at the beginning which also give you an indication of the games difficulty, as well as, others reviews of it. It really is a brilliant resource which lots of variety and hours of free fun to be enjoyed. Alan’s Pizzeria even inspired my next idea in this post!
Make Your Own Pizza (or anything!) Party
Eating out over the holidays can be a budget killer! Instead of heading off to restaurants which can be stressful experiences in themselves, why not focus on having lots of fun cooking experiences at home over the summer. You could choose different foods or themes to get the family to have wonderful hands-on experiences. One of my favourites and an easy one to do at home is a pizza party. Make the dough in the morning together and set it aside to rise. Come back to it in the evening and watch your children’s eyes light up in amazement to see their pizza dough doubled! You can then hone down their motor skills by carefully cutting and grating the toppings together and laying these out on the table. Bring the whole family together to have lots of fun creating and cooking their pizzas and exchanging slices. You could even give each person’s pizza a rating whether it be on taste or design! This could be adapted in lots of ways whether it’s menus from around the world, making picnics together to be enjoyed al fresco or maybe even some baking for an afternoon tea. Teaching your child these skills and sharing this time and food together will be far more meaningful!
Go Anywhere Using Your Imagination!
A family holiday or day out can be pretty budget busting so why not create a make believe experience all together. This could be creating stories that you act out challenging your children (and yourself!) to use imaginations and play. What’s great about this is you can develop lots of learning skills with your child in a fun and low cost way. For example, we could make believe going on holiday to Egypt. First things first, some research and learning about the country and a itinerary to be drawn up. You might use online learning resources such as BBC bitesize. Next up the airport and airplane experience created from home. Arriving in Egypt and off to the pyramids which you could create using furniture at home and sheets laid over the top. Maybe you learn some facts and act as tour guide for your child! The possibilities of make believe games really are endless, although they take a bit of planning and lots of energy, they are great ways to bond and have what feel like new experiences from the comfort of your home. Why not check out the subjects they will be studying the following year at school and shape your make believe worlds to give them a head start in these areas.
The holidays don’t have to be full of budget busting activities to bring the family together. There’s lot of ways to keep the budget in check while creating amazing memories and learning new skills. I hope these suggestions have given you a bit of inspiration to get your holidays off to a great start.