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Spill the beans... on free ways to keep the kids entertained

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Spill the beans... on free ways to keep the kids entertained

47 replies 40K views
Spill the beans... on free ways to keep the kids entertained [IMGRIGHT]http://images.moneysavingexpert.com/images/spillthebeans2.gif[/IMGRIGHT]


Whether it's spending a day in reverse (dinner at breakfast, etc) or treasure hunts around the house - what ideas have you got for keeping the kids entertained? Share your top tips.

Also, check out the Things to do with the kids guide.
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Replies

  • TropezTropez Forumite
    3.7K posts
    Playing hide and seek and when it is your turn to do the seeking have a nap.
  • kerrypnkerrypn Forumite
    1.2K posts
    I draw them that puzzle with 3 houses and gas electric and water to connect to each house but the lines must not cross. It is impossible but keeps them quiet for a bit lol

    We have tidy days too.

    In the main, they play in the garden weather permitting!
  • marisco_2marisco_2 Forumite
    4.3K posts
    I am very fortunate to live near the coast so we spend alot of days down on the beach. We also have some lovely parks nearby that have had alot of investment over the last few years and provide great play for the kids. I take a picnic with us and enough drinks for the day, bought cheaply in bulk from Iceland.

    We live near a really great zoo and theme park and as part of their xmas presents my children got an annual pass to it from their grandparents. I invested in a pass for me and we go their regularly, over a year it works out to about 20p a day. The kids love the animals, play areas and paddling pool. Sometimes we go for the day, other times we pop in for a couple of hours.

    Today was wet and gloomy and we have worn ourselves out over the past week so we had a pyjama day. Watched our favourite sports going on at the Olympics. Then had brunch and made some popcorn before watching a couple of great disney films.

    I have a nice circle of friends and we take it in turns to go to each others houses and spend time together while the kids play in the garden.

    Tomorrow if the weather is nice we are planning on a bike ride along the cuckoo trail.
    The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own, no apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on or blame. The gift is yours - it is an amazing journey - and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.
  • edited 31 July 2012 at 9:18PM
    savingmummysavingmummy Forumite
    2.9K posts
    Debt-free and Proud!
    edited 31 July 2012 at 9:18PM
    So far we have

    Been to different parks around out area - still have lots to visit!

    Picnics over the lake after feeding ducks and playing football.

    Nature reserve walk including searching for different insects - boys love this!

    Forest walks - including Find a pixie while mummy rests on a log :)

    Library visits - joined a story lab thing for the children which they get a medal IF they read 6 books in the 6 weeks off!!!

    Early morning Bootsale 6am-12 - kids loved selling there old junk.

    paddling pool with cups and water guns - literally spent ALL day last week out there playing.

    DVD afternoons (unwatched xmas pressies)

    Crafts and art.
    DebtFree FEB 2010!
    Slight blip in 2013 - Debtfree Aug 2014 :j

    Savings £132/£1000.
  • Mrs.W_2Mrs.W_2 Forumite
    581 posts
    The cheapest flour on the supermarket shelf makes a great salt dough. Add drops of food colouring, and you've extremely cheap 'playdough'.

    Papier mache is a very cheap activity that's rather time consuming.
    Day 1: Wrap a balloon in p-m, using flour and water paste. One coat in the morning, second in the afternoon.
    Day 2: In the morning add further details to your hat / monster / lovely thing for Grannie's birthday. Then paint and glitter it in the afternoon.

    Whenever I visit somewhere like Homebase, I embarrass my OH by taking home lots of patterned wallpaper samples - each approx 2M long.
    The patterns are great for cutting out to make collages, the size of the paper itself is ideal for drawing on a basic map of the area. I then get the girls to draw on all the landmarks; friend's houses, churches, shops, ponds, parks etc. Plenty of colouring in opportunities.

    A scavenger hunt list of about 20 items works well even indoors in wet weather. On a walk it can become really competitive, with them racing around to complete the lists.
  • nuttybabenuttybabe Forumite
    2.3K posts
    so far this holiday we have done baking a few times, gone to free museum craft, free craft at art gallery, park, water bombs & guns, bit of gardening, afternoon of wii games, tidy bedrooms and set up scalextric.
  • baileybailey Forumite
    2.1K posts
    Marisco wrote: »

    We live near a really great zoo and theme park and as part of their xmas presents my children got an annual pass to it from their grandparents. I invested in a pass for me and we go their regularly, over a year it works out to about 20p a day. The kids love the animals, play areas and paddling pool. Sometimes we go for the day, other times we pop in for a couple of hours.

    I have a nice circle of friends and we take it in turns to go to each others houses and spend time together while the kids play in the garden.

    Tomorrow if the weather is nice we are planning on a bike ride along the cuckoo trail.

    Would you be in the south east by any chance, I don't want to narrow it down further as I think I know the area you are and have been wondering about doing the cuckoo trail myself with my two. Thing is transport, I need to organise either bagging the larger car or invest in a bike rack. <Goes off to write it on the list of things to do>.
  • kingfisherbluekingfisherblue Forumite
    9.1K posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Xmas Saver!
    ✭✭✭✭
    Our local council issues a booklet with activities for the kids - some are for up to age 25! Many are free.

    This holiday, so far we have:

    changed everything round in the kitchen (so food is now in a different cupboard - confusing at first, but much more convenient once you get used to it!)

    attended two different bushcraft days - both free

    borrowed books from the library and joined the summer reading challenge

    sorted out some books that they no longer want

    visited a car boot sale - I picked up a fisherman's box/seat for 50p, a bit manky, but otherwise fine. My son happily cleaned it up, as he's going fishing with dad next weekend

    cinema - weekend visits are only £1 each for certain films, and I take my own drinks and sweets :o

    attended an activities day run by the local social housing association - you don't have to be a resident. The kids had a try at DJing, graffiti art, dance, crafts, and planting seeds.

    walk in the woods

    Made Olympics lolly stick characters (from the front of a magazine - we have to complete the podium, canoe, etc yet)

    had a leisurely breakfast at beefeater (£8.25 for an adult, and two kids under 16 eat free - all you can eat, with enough choice for the fussiest of eaters :))


    We plan to:

    have a picnic

    join the Rangers for a bat walk, wildflower walk, bug hunt and pond dip

    have a tasting session at the local youth clubs - Olympic themed

    youth club art sessions

    K'nex session at the library

    visit a classic car show

    have a go at golf

    visit a family fun day

    try some dowsing

    try out various crafts (my 12 year old son is having a try at knitting as I type!)

    visit distant family

    tidy bedrooms to my satisfaction (not the lads' - we have differing views on this :rotfl:)

    bake

    batch cook

    decorate biscuits

    complete Airfix models

    build a small bookcase

    plant some veg (I know it's a bit late for most veg :o)

    have a couple of DVD days
  • sweetmesweetme Forumite
    13.8K posts
    Chutzpah Haggler
    The local Council run pool here has free swimming all through the holidays, we have taken great advantage of this.
  • Almost free - get (or make) a kite.

    They had some in Poundland last time I looked.
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