School holidays are upon us! (Gulp!) Here are some CHEAP things to do with kids that won’t cause your wallet to take out a restraining order.
School holidays are here…
The harsh reality of school holidays can be summed up like this:
• The kids need a break from working really hard all term.
• Most of us need to take school holidays off from work to care for them (and let’s be honest – that typically falls to mum).
• Kids eat money like Nintendo characters collecting coins and spend it just as wisely.
• You’ve PROMISED yourself that these holidays will be BETTER than the last ones where you just yelled all day, the kids watched all the Netflix and all the Internet and you had to take out a second mortgage at the end.
And here you are. Torpedo in hand. Ready to tackle the beast from the deep that is ‘finding things to do with kids that don’t cost the earth’. Gird your loins and here we go!
Things to do with kids: Nature
This one’s easy! The great thing about children is that they can often be reduced to a simple mathematical equation.
Small child + expending energy = Worn out for the rest of the day (patent pending, some scientific testing still required)
• Get out to the playground.
• Look up nearby nature walks in your area.
• Get gardening.
• Get the kids to set up a little local dog walking business or have them doing small chores for trusted neighbours.
• Ask them to create a detailed topographical map of your neighbourhood.
If you aim to have the kids take part in ONE outside activity every day or so you’ll find that the school holidays take on more of a schedule. Children respond to structure and boundaries and, even though you may find initial resistance, scheduling in ‘outside time’ will serve to fulfil this need for consistency.
Things to do with kids: Craft
Get your craft on! Watch an episode or two of Mister Maker, or even look up “Art Attack” on YouTube (remember Art Attack?!) or simply turn to the internet for a million and one tutorials on how you can get crafty with everyday objects.
5 Minute Crafts is an awesome YouTube channel with tutorials and step-by-step instructions for kids to create COOL stuff.
You could suggest themes: Christmas in July. Winter Wonderland. Some kind of theme will help guide the kids and promote a sense of working together for a common goal. (Yes, there IS such a thing!)
Things to do with kids: Community
Take the kids to your local library and check out the bulletin board. You’ll find activities science activities, Minecraft workshops, magic classes and more! Libraries are a real community hub. They also have these magical things called ‘books’ there that MAY spark an interest in your kids as well!
Organise play dates amongst your children’s school and neighbourhood friends. See if you’d be willing to form a parenting collective that means the kids go to one house for a few hours so you can have some much-needed quiet time to yourself.
See if you’ve got a volunteering program in your local area. Could the kids be involved in a park clean-up? Could they help with Rosie’s or a similar community help project? Are there elderly neighbours who would love their garden weeded and the chance to have a chat?
Cheap things to do with kids: Consider it a challenge
We often bemoan the fact that kids seem to have screens attached to their foreheads and that they have no sense of the world around them.
These coming school holidays could present as an opportunity for you to break that stereotype and give your kids a whole new kind of natural, creative and community-based education.
Plus, if you play your cards right, you won’t spend a cent!
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