Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    • charmed1318
    • By charmed1318 15th Jun 17, 1:31 PM
    • 189Posts
    • 33,790Thanks
    Can anyone shed advice...
    • #1
    • 15th Jun 17, 1:31 PM
    Can anyone shed advice... 15th Jun 17 at 1:31 PM
    Probably another place to better post (and let me know if there is ) Me (29) and my mum (57) are due to babysit for 7, yes 7 kids for a weekend, and I just wondering if anyone had any go to idea's cheap if not free. I know whats available in the area and we have baby sat for them (a few hours) before. Just thought this great forum would maybe have some ideas i'd not thought of (library, go to the beach/park, colouring, reading, baking) or maybe even an itinerary. I am trying to figure one out. Its for around the 18th August.


Page 1
    • loocyloo
    • By loocyloo 15th Jun 17, 1:57 PM
    • 253 Posts
    • 1,530 Thanks
    • #2
    • 15th Jun 17, 1:57 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Jun 17, 1:57 PM
    first things first! make sure you will have fun! If you are enjoying the activity, the children will sense that and enjoy it too!

    go to the woods ... take some rugs and build a den ( maybe need a few pegs or some rope to help construct - but should be able to do it using branches/sticks etc on the ground ).
    ... take some water and little pots ... mix up some soil and water to make mud paint to decorate the trees? ( or take some paper and use that ) ( paint using sticks/leaves etc )
    ... take some string and use it to tie sticks together to make sculptures/stars/wands etc. little children can wind the string round the stick 'trapping' other sticks/leaves/flowers to it, or tying them on.
    ... take some books and read 'forest' stories ... 'the gruffalo', ' going on a bear hunt ' then act them out?
    ... take some small toys/animals with you to build dens for.
    ... find logs to climb over, balance on etc
    ... (depending on age of children) - in pairs - one blindfolded and the other leads the child around 'exploring'.
    ... spread a tarp or rug on the ground and just sit/lie, listening to the world pass by. and then let the children make up their own games and activities.

    I spent about 5 hours in the woods with 8 children aged from 2.5 yrs - 15 yrs one day during half term!

    * could you do sports day type races/obstacle courses/activities?
    * have a 'cinema' experience ... make tickets, snacks etc .. watch film in the dark.
    * junk modelling - start collecting unwanted cereal boxes, cardboard tubes, plastic tubs etc etc NOW ( you'll need lots! ) and then let the children loose with it to see what they can create? maybe set a theme - tallest/robot/fairy house/etc
    *depending on the age of the children, could they write a play and then put it on for their parents at the end? or could you video it/make a film.

    it depends how well you know the children, and how well they know each other. they might just like some time to 'be' and relax! my advice would be not to offer everything all at once, but to spread things out, otherwise you run the risk of having done everything in the first 10 minutes and spend the next few hours with the children saying 'i'm bored' or 'what can we do now?'

    have fun! x

    (ps.. I'm a childminder! )
    Last edited by loocyloo; 15-06-2017 at 1:59 PM.
    • Chris25
    • By Chris25 15th Jun 17, 2:00 PM
    • 12,776 Posts
    • 12,608 Thanks
    • #3
    • 15th Jun 17, 2:00 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Jun 17, 2:00 PM
    I used to have a box which I filled with wallpaper & paint card samples, old bits of interesting material, feathers, anything that could be made into a collage or scrapbook page.

    We'd have a day in the hols when the children's friends would come around & they'd all do an organised craft activity.

    We also used to get cheap wallpaper rolls through the year to keep for said event.

    We bought the daily paper for each child, rolled out a length of wallpaper & then they cut out the date header from paper & stuck it on wallpaper with their name.

    They then either chose a theme or we chose one for them (easier because you collect things you'd use in advance).

    One year the theme was sea-side so they painted the sea, pressed bubblewrap onto it wet to make bubbly waves, then painted the sky, adding cotton wool clouds. They then mixed sand into yellow paint for the sand. We cut up towels to make mini towels and as we'd already bought some of those cocktail umbrellas, they used them as parasols.

    They also used some old crab shells and plastic horses (pretend donkeys) & some had dollies on their towels as people sunbathing. Not a lot was to scale but they had a great time. They also made a poster saying Welcome to The Sea-Side, or some such thing.

    These were anchored down with stones and laid onto shower curtains to protect the grass

    We had sandwiches on the lawn, put the sprinkler on and have games with a seaside theme.

    Another year it was theatre and they made a punch & judy stall out of cornflake & apple boxes, & puppets out of socks & beads. They made programmes and designed a 2 plays. During the interval we had ices and afterwards we presented them with bouquets made & painted earlier from a mix of feathers & newspaper trees.

    Sometimes they made individual collages or a big shared one. Sometimes they'd cut out food from mags & stick it onto paper plates & 'add' it to our picnic.

    For some reason the newspaper was always important for cutting off the date & checking through if anything was relevant to the activity

    One year I got lucky & got a roll of wallpaper that looked like a brick wall, another like planks of wood flooring, and another like large pebbles - I think they built a house that year

    A scavenger hunt is good fun too - just prepping everything beforehand & aiming things to the right age group
    • EssexMumKate
    • By EssexMumKate 15th Jun 17, 2:01 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    • #4
    • 15th Jun 17, 2:01 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Jun 17, 2:01 PM
    What's the age range and whereabouts are you? There are lots of free activities put on during the summer holidays, but depending on the personalities of the children it might be easier to go somewhere quieter so you can keep an eye on them all?
    • charmed1318
    • By charmed1318 15th Jun 17, 3:39 PM
    • 189 Posts
    • 33,790 Thanks
    • #5
    • 15th Jun 17, 3:39 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Jun 17, 3:39 PM
    Wow, thanks for all of that, definitely got my cogs ticking over.
    The ages range from 11 months, (will be 13 months) to 15 y/o.
    Plus the 15 y/o has played adult number 2 for, well along time so we also want to take the pressure off of her.

    Again thanks to loocyloo, Chris25 and EssexMumKate for your replies.

    • pretz
    • By pretz 15th Jun 17, 4:46 PM
    • 424 Posts
    • 3,227 Thanks
    • #6
    • 15th Jun 17, 4:46 PM
    • #6
    • 15th Jun 17, 4:46 PM
    When we have large groups of children over to stay we usually opt for a holiday in the garden, tents included.

    We normal have a game of rounders or go net fishing in the stream during the day , a bbq for tea followed by board games and arts and crafts. The house is out of bounds unless you need a wee. Then in the evening we have got chocolate and marshmallows around the fire pit. Then it's a quick story with the children acting out their parts. Our oldest child get to be the narrator being 14 this is just about acceptable lol then it's down time into the tents for the kittens with a movie on the laptop whilst the adults and the teen sit around the fire for a couple of hours.

    In the holidays we also love picnics, long walks or adventures as we call them just take a well charged phone as one year we got lost in the country lane and it took us 3 hours to walk home but we had a great time especially finding the roadside strawberry stall. Google maps was our savour.

    Whatever you do take lots of photos and make a scrapbook with the kids at the end for them to keep.

    Memories are worth more than money
    • Prinzessilein
    • By Prinzessilein 15th Jun 17, 5:08 PM
    • 2,271 Posts
    • 10,552 Thanks
    • #7
    • 15th Jun 17, 5:08 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Jun 17, 5:08 PM
    Your post says East you could always google 'free summer activities' and the location and see what comes up!

    Local papers are already advertising summer holiday events....I happen to know that the weekend you mention is the weekend we have a Big Day Out at the local park...local bands...face painting...bouncy castles....that sort of thing. (Sparrows Nest, Lowestoft if that is 'your' part of East Anglia!)

    You might want to have stuff ready for an indoor picnic....DVD...colouring et.c ...just in case the typical British weather means you are housebound!
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

3,893Posts Today

4,849Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • It's the start of mini MSE's half term. In order to be the best daddy possible, Im stopping work and going off line?

  • RT @shellsince1982: @MartinSLewis thanx to your email I have just saved myself £222 by taking a SIM only deal for £7.50 a month and keeping?

  • Today's Friday twitter poll: An important question, building on yesterday's important discussions: Which is the best bit of the pizza...

  • Follow Martin