We know the summer holidays have only just started in most countries, or are just about to start, but it can be hard to keep up with fresh ideas to keep the kids entertained. It can even harder to keep the kids entertained without breaking the bank. We know not every family is fortunate enough to be going on a summer holiday this year, but even those that are getting away will dread hearing those 3 nuisance words: “I am bored”. We had a quick whip around the office for ideas to keep the kids entertained for cheap this summer, here’s what we got:
This is an age old favourite. When I was a kid my mum used to make our treasure hunts really elaborate and would include Morse-code clues that we had to decipher using the dictionary, that way it took us a lot longer to complete and gave her some peace and quiet. If it’s a dry day, it’s a great way to get the kids outside and exploring, just hide some clues under the water can or flower pots. Yes, it takes some work on your part, but the results are worth it!
Home-made play doh
Also known as salt dough, this is the perfect rainy day solution. Once mixed up, these ingredients create a clay-type material that can be baked to harden and then decorated. All it takes is: ½ cup of salt, ½ of water and 1 cup of flour. Mix the salt and flour together and slowly add in the water. Once the dough is ready, roll it out and let your kids make whatever they want! Once their creations are completed simply microwave them for 60-90seconds to harden them (probably best to do this in 10 second bursts and check in between sessions to make sure it doesn’t burn). The kids can then decorate until their hearts content.
Jigsaws can be found in most charity shops and they’re a great way of keeping the kids occupied for a few hours, especially if it’s raining. If you want to make it special and particularly engaging, then you can get a picture of their current interest/fad and get it printed onto a jigsaw puzzle!
A family activity weekend break
This one is not original. Literally anyone in our office could have come up with this one. There is no denying it though, an activity break is a great way to keep the kids entertained this summer, and they don’t always have to break the bank! Our Lakes and Mountains Adventure in Slovenia is only £150pp for a 3 night stay and includes 2 fun-filled activities from a choice of white water rafting, summer sledging and gondola rides etc. Or take your family to our all-inclusive eco-resort in Croatia for 5 nights for €720** and enjoy activities such as sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, mini golf and archery!
PICTURE OF ECO RESORT
Monopoly is great, but sometimes too complicated for younger children and can often end in fights. So why not check out the games “Headbanz” or “mousetrap” where the aim of the game is a little simpler and there’s not much set up involved.
This will only work if you live near a stream or river. It involves throwing a stick over the upstream side of a bridge into the water below, you then all run to the opposite side of the bridge, and the winner is the person whose stick emerges first from under the bridge. It’s great if this can be incorporated as part of a walk… could even be squeezed in if you choose to go on one of our activity weekend breaks on the river!
Easiest way to do this is buy some bread muffins, cut them in half to make pizza bases then let your kids add their toppings. This can get messy but it’s still good fun and gets them involved! It’s a cheap mealtime as well.
To make the best bubble blowing solution, mix 6 cups of water, 1 cup of dish soap and ¼ cup of corn syrup into a basin. Stir the solution until it is mixed and try not to let the water bubble or foam. To make a bubble wand, use two straws and some string to make something like this… The kids will love it!
Jumbo outdoor chalk can be bought pretty cheap these days, and if you have a paving stones or a large area of concrete nearby, it’s the prefect distraction for your kids. The novelty itself will keep them occupied for hours, and if they can draw a hopscotch then even better! The best thing about this is that it can be washed away with the hose.
Go to the park/picnic
Make a full day of it and take the kids to the local national park, pack a picnic and let them eat outside while tiring themselves out. Picnics are also a great way to save money if you are taking the kids away on a family activity break this year!
Make tin-can telephones
This was a favourite of mine as a kid. Get old tin cans, safely remove the lids and clean them out before punching a small hole in the bottom (a hammer and nail should work). Attach a piece of string between the two cans by threading some string through the hole and tying a knot to keep it in place. Give each can to a child, tell them to pull the string tight, and let one talk into the can while the other listens. They should be able to hear each other; the can vibrates, making the string vibrate and our ears collect the sound. It’s a cool way for kids to learn about science too! The key to this is making sure the string is pulled taut.
Go to the library
Help your kids discover the magic of reading, and get them signed up with a library card. If they already love books then a library card will save you loads of money, and some libraries even let you rent DVDs with your card!
Hopefully this has given you some food for thought on how to keep those kids entertained. I’ve certainly enjoyed reliving my childhood writing this! If you’re still looking for a short break to take your family on this year, it’s not too late! We have plenty on offer for families and our customer services team on firstname.lastname@example.org will be happy to assist you.
*Based on a family of 4/5 staying 3 nights between July and October. Excludes flights.
**Based on a family of four staying 27/08-01/09/2016, with 2 children aged under 11.99, excludes flights.