Monday, September 27, 2010

School holiday fun at home that won't break the bank...

If you have 6-10 year olds at home, read on...

It's school holidays and you're finding yourself stuck for ideas on what to do with the kids that won't burn a hole in your wallet? Fear not fellow holiday go-ers, there is plenty for them to do at home on the cheap that will keep them amused for hours.....

Dig out any scraps of cardboard they've been hoarding under their desks. And the stickers too and dump them all on the kitchen table and let them create greeting cards to their heart's content. Perfect for keeping in touch with relatives that don't use email (!), plus no one can resist a card made by a youngster....


Maybe you have some autumn leaves pressed from eons ago in old phone books? Grab those out too, they'll be perfect on the cards. If not, send them out to the garden, park or footpath with a bowl so they can gather, gather, gather.. Back at home, place them in between sheets of greaseproof or scrap A4 paper and press in any heavy books you have. Forget about them until next school holidays....


Plays are a fun way for them to be creative. Let them write the script themselves, type it up and print it out, allocating roles for different siblings. It's a good exercise to get them to work together as a team and the beautiful thing is, it doesn't have to be finished in one day. They can spend endless hours happily rehearsing away, so long as you're prepared to put up with the same accented voices over and over and the dissapearance of kitchen chairs and the appearance of blankets and sheets for 'stage curtains'.

Blankets and sheets..ahh yes, what child doesn't love creating their own hideaway with these items. Let them pull out all you've got, they'll be so occupied with the construction of their special place, it will give YOU valuable time for a well earned break and cup of tea in peace. If you're feeling game, let them 'camp out' in their tent for a night or two...

Let them into the kitchen. Chose a day when you're having something easy for dinner so that you're not feeling overwhelmed by their 'clean up' efforts (they tried, really they did). Most kids will surprise us with what their capable of. By 8-10, they can often follow a simple recipe and complete the dish from start to finish with maybe the teensiest bit of help from you..pretty good really. Plus it doesn't matter how bad it turns out, they'll usually be so excited they'll eat it up anyway because they made it. More often than not though, their efforts are indeed edible for the whole family....


If the weather is fine, perhaps plan a simple picnic, either for the backyard or a local park. The backyard is perfect because if you're finding yourself in the middle of a project, it requires no time taken out of the day travelling. If you can walk to the park, all the better! Get them to help prepare the 'picnic', even if it is just very simple fare, the fact that your all sitting outside on a blanket together eating their food is enough to make any child happy...

Maybe you are lucky enough to own an ancient sewing machine that has survived all manner of abuse, including being dropped on the floor with an earth shattering crash?


If so, drag it out, dust it off and let your young ones learn a valuable life skill. It's fun! They can make tiny blankies for their toys, teensy little cushions as well and not to mention finger puppets and...


....perhaps an alien or two. Make it up as you go or try an online search for 'free monster patterns'.

Spring is the perfect time for some seed sowing. Your youngster(s) may be very interested in growing their own plants. Some good seeds to start with are nasturtiam, marigold, sunflower, chives, parsley and beans. Of course there is no reason not to try others, these are just the foolproof seeds that seem to come up on their own. If you're heading into Fall/Autumn, bulbs are a guaranteed winner.

If you're finding yourself still stumped for something to amuse them with, go ahead and pull out that box of chalk at the back of the cupboard and let them lose on your paving areas. They love to create tennis courts, hopscotch, downball courts and any number of games from their imagination...

Happy School Holidays! What do you get up to? :)

5 comments:

  1. Fabulous school holiday ideas! It's hard to keep them entertained, isn't it? Of course, with boys, you just need to go buy them some plastic guns.. :)

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  2. Oh...and don't forget to get down and play yourself...fun for all and the basis of many happy childhood memories.

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  3. Sometimes it's SO hard, Celia. But it's what we do. With boys...sticks, lego and garden implements too - it's so strange to watch them, they'll use anything to make a weapon!

    Ahh, yes, too true, Hazel. :)

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  4. I had a friend who once steadfastly refused to buy her sons guns..until she caught them biting their Nice biscuits into gun shapes and using them as weapons...sigh. I took her advice and just never bothered fighting it.. :)

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  5. OMG - Nice biscuits! That takes the cake!! Or should that be biscuit? There really is no stopping instinct. :)

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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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