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    • Tropez
    • By Tropez 31st Jul 12, 4:49 PM
    • 3,358 Posts
    • 11,789 Thanks
    • #2
    • 31st Jul 12, 4:49 PM
    • #2
    • 31st Jul 12, 4:49 PM
    Playing hide and seek and when it is your turn to do the seeking have a nap.
    • kerrypn
    • By kerrypn 31st Jul 12, 4:55 PM
    • 1,185 Posts
    • 1,993 Thanks
    • #3
    • 31st Jul 12, 4:55 PM
    • #3
    • 31st Jul 12, 4:55 PM
    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
    • By marisco 31st Jul 12, 6:54 PM
    • 3,973 Posts
    • 17,951 Thanks
    • #4
    • 31st Jul 12, 6:54 PM
    • #4
    • 31st Jul 12, 6:54 PM
    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.
    • savingmummy
    • By savingmummy 31st Jul 12, 7:24 PM
    • 2,873 Posts
    • 3,619 Thanks
    • #5
    • 31st Jul 12, 7:24 PM
    • #5
    • 31st Jul 12, 7:24 PM
    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.
    Last edited by savingmummy; 31-07-2012 at 9:18 PM.
    DebtFree FEB 2010!
    Slight blip in 2013 - Debtfree Aug 2014

    Savings 132/1000.
    • Mrs.W
    • By Mrs.W 31st Jul 12, 7:47 PM
    • 568 Posts
    • 1,307 Thanks
    • #6
    • 31st Jul 12, 7:47 PM
    • #6
    • 31st Jul 12, 7:47 PM
    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.
    • nuttybabe
    • By nuttybabe 31st Jul 12, 7:57 PM
    • 2,300 Posts
    • 20,755 Thanks
    • #7
    • 31st Jul 12, 7:57 PM
    • #7
    • 31st Jul 12, 7:57 PM
    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.
    • bailey
    • By bailey 31st Jul 12, 8:30 PM
    • 2,063 Posts
    • 2,821 Thanks
    • #8
    • 31st Jul 12, 8:30 PM
    • #8
    • 31st Jul 12, 8:30 PM

    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.
    Originally posted by marisco
    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>.
    • kingfisherblue
    • By kingfisherblue 31st Jul 12, 8:51 PM
    • 8,122 Posts
    • 17,586 Thanks
    • #9
    • 31st Jul 12, 8:51 PM
    • #9
    • 31st Jul 12, 8:51 PM
    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

    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 )


    batch cook

    decorate biscuits

    complete Airfix models

    build a small bookcase

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

    have a couple of DVD days
    • sweetme
    • By sweetme 31st Jul 12, 9:09 PM
    • 13,545 Posts
    • 46,749 Thanks
    The local Council run pool here has free swimming all through the holidays, we have taken great advantage of this.
    • zenmaster
    • By zenmaster 31st Jul 12, 10:05 PM
    • 3,052 Posts
    • 3,281 Thanks
    Almost free - get (or make) a kite.

    They had some in Poundland last time I looked.
    • Thefunkygibbons
    • By Thefunkygibbons 1st Aug 12, 7:59 AM
    • 1,362 Posts
    • 758 Thanks
    An after dark walk in the local forest will be remembered

    Best to find the Forestry Commission places, as they have good paths
  • Poor but happy
    Alphabet Days
    Alphabet Days are a really good way to fill a holiday, especially if you have a child who is currently learning the alphabet!

    I have just dug out our scrap book from 2010, when we were particularly short of cash and I was struggling to keep the kids amused!

    Each day has been decorated with drawings. Some times I have printed a wordsearch or a colouring page from the enchanted learning website.

    A - We visited out town's ART GALLERY, shared an AERO, had ADMIRAL'S PIE for tea, watched ALPHABLOCKS and Dad's ARMY!

    B - We played BUCKAROO, made paper BUTTERFLYS, ate BUTTONS, BAKED potatoes with BAKED BEANS, watched BUGS Life, had a BIKE RIDE, had BALLOON games.

    C - I face painted the children as CATS, ate CHEDDERS with CREAM CHEESE and CUCUMBER, and ate COD and CHIPS after a walk along the CUMBRIAN COAST.

    D - DOZING, played with a DOG, DOUGHNUTS, DOMINO'S pizza.

    E - we EXERCISED, made ELEPHANT masks, rode the ESCALATORS (EIGHT times!), watched the EMPEROR'S New Groove, ate ECCLES cakes and EDAM.

    F - Drank FANTA, played FARIES, did FARM jigsaw, played FOOTBALL, ate FISH FINGERS and FRENCH FRIES, had FAB ice lollies, watched FLUSHED Away.

    G - Together we painted the GATES (one of my summer jobs!), made a treasure map showing were the GOLD was hidden (having made pirate hats), watched Wallace and GROMIT, ate GARLIC bread with pizza.

    H - washed our HAIR, had a HOPPING race, played HORSES, ate HAMBURGERS and HASH browns

    Hopefully you get the idea. After a bit I didn't have to do much planning as the children began to come up with their own ideas as to what we should do on the days.

    We ended up having a very cheap, but memoriable and happy, summer!
    15/12/11 Overdraft 2,300
    • chrisjw37
    • By chrisjw37 1st Aug 12, 10:20 AM
    • 75 Posts
    • 55 Thanks
    Boxes = forts
    I always used to get a couple of large cardboard boxes, split them, reverse and re-tape so the blank surface is outside.

    One box with a window makes a puppet theatre.
    A couple of boxes with cut tops make forts - really good fun to stick a couple together.

    Then the kids get to paint them - cheap bottled paint for bargain stores or Wilkinsons / IKEA and water them, cheap paint brush (1 a set in IKEA).

    We've made tons of them, the puppet theatre also makes a good target to throw bean bags into, we painted a clowns mouth, no bean bags?
    Use a potato.

    Sideways they make cars, paint pink for the girls and supply glitter and stand back, or red and black for the boys with go faster lines and 50's aerofoil fins. The Batmobile is very easy to make.

    If they have a train set or scalextric, cut holes and make a mountain to drive through, paint green and add painted trees, flatish boxes are fun, cut eyeholes to watch the train coming through, add a torch inside for dramatic fun.

    Cardboard boxes - more fun than the contents - proven
  • jetheather
    How about having your own garden Olympic games? Make some medals out of play dough, paint them yellow, grey and brown (or gold, silver and bronze if you have those colours!) and have events like the egg and spoon race, paper aeroplane throwing and hurdles over empty milk cartons!

    You can also get your children to design their own medals, there are some on the twinkl website, and there are also certificates you can edit and put your child's name on!

    We are doing it in a couple of days, can't wait!
  • ali71
    Free theatre tickets
    Starting today, children go to a West End show free when accompanied by a paying adult. Google Kids Week in the West End for details (it is actually running for a month!).
  • Sulevia
    Lay out a roll of ceiling lining paper in the garden, get out the poster paints and get them to paint their own wallpaper. Cut up the best bits for bedroom wall posters.
    If you don't mind mess, let them paint their hands and feet and print the paper that way (wash them down in the paddling pool).
    My two did both one year and it was so popular all the neighbourhood wanted to join in. I made the neighbours kids go home first and put old clothes on, and phoned their mums to check it was ok for them to get that messy. I didn't want anyone's mum to get on to me for ruining any clothes!
  • bargain hunts
    I go through their rooms looking for old toys and games they haven't played with for months (or longer) and suggest donating them. It's amazing how interested they suddenly become in old toys that then get played with again.
    Admittedly I do this when they are not there at some point before Christmas every year so the stuff actually gets donated and make some much needed room
  • Scrg1976
    For rainy days join Netflix a film and tv service they have a 30 day free trial so you can cancel after this, there are hundreds of kids films and episodes of kids programmes, bob the builder etc it's all there, kids are loving it, you can limit it to a few hours a day if you don't like them watching too much tv but it's good to kill a few hours and many kids tv programmes are educational too, you need games console or any device that can connect to the web
    • Mrs.W
    • By Mrs.W 2nd Aug 12, 12:21 AM
    • 568 Posts
    • 1,307 Thanks
    Going on with the papier mache theme, making a pinata is easy and very cheap. The link below shows how to make a very basic, cheap as chips pinata. I've always some poundshop bits and bobs stored that make ideal pinata fillings.

    We'll find a celebration day on the calendar, then break it open when we're celebrating that day. e.g. August 5th celebrates Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. We'll be spacemen all day.

    The dining room will be the moon. We'll be travelling there in our lunar modul from the sitting room (made the day before; a cardboard box decorated with bits of poundshop tinfoil), and taking a spaceman packed lunch with us.

    I'll have some rocks from the garden around the room, for the girls to collect samples of moon rock. The cat will play the part of the alien - as long as he puts up with it!

    Breaking open the pinata will be our celebration of a safe return home.
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