Saturday, 9 June 2012

Bank Holidays on a budget

What do you think of when someone mentions a Bank Holiday? Rain? A day off work? Or, how you'll entertain the kids?

Research by found that around half of us (52%) were planning to stay at home for the Jubilee. With the British weather, and the recession, it's not surprising that many of us aren't splashing out on expensive holidays and days out. But if you've got kids, you need some fun activities to keep them entertained.

Here are some fun ideas to keep the kids entertained on the next (probably wet!) Bank Holiday weekend. Remember - you are only limited by your imagination, and that costs nothing!

  • Play indoors. Kids love playing. Use your imagination - if they're into pirates, play pirates with them; if they're into horses, play horses with them. You can even make games out of household chores! One mum asks her child to play 'match the colours' with socks from the laundry. You can turn anything into a game at home with a little imagination.
  • Turn your living room into a home cinema. Most people have large-screen TVs these days. All you need is popcorn - which you can make yourself for extra savings - and some good family films.
  • Arts and crafts - you can make things out of materials you have around the house. Think 'Blue Peter' with a touch of 'Mr Maker'. And don't be afraid of making a mess!
  • A treasure hunt works well for a group of children because they can compete with each other, which adds to the excitement. The 'treasure' doesn't need to be expensive; a lot of younger children would be happy with the promise of some sweets.
  • Build a den - kids love dens! You build a den out of their bed or some chairs, and some sheets. Or build a den in your garden, or put up a tent for your kids - if the weather isn't too bad.
  • Get together with other parents so your kids can play together and you can enjoy some grown-up company. Spread the cost of feeding and entertaining them by sharing it with your friends.
  • Have a computer game tournament - there are loads of games that the whole family can play together and compete with each other.
  • If your children are swimmers, a trip to the local pool is relatively inexpensive and good exercise for your kids. Plenty of public baths have a dedicated children's pool so that they can play safely.
  • Seeing as so many people like to see family over a Bank Holiday, give your children time to socialise with members of your extended family. Aunties, uncles and grandparents might enjoy the opportunity to take your kids out somewhere, and that doesn't have to cost you a penny!

Bank Holidays are special because they're limited, so you might want to do something more spectacular. These ideas work well as back-up budget options if you're staying indoors. Of course, if the sun does shine on your Bank Holiday, then it doesn't cost the earth to spend the day in the park.

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