Home School’s out for summer and quality time with the kids is right around the corner – but how to fill seven whole weeks without breaking the bank?
Unless a lottery win is in the near future, my kids will have to rethink their grand summer plans and compromise on a few activities closer to home.
Cheap doesn’t have to mean boring though, and with a bit of creative thinking, you can plan a summer break to be proud of!
Here are some quick, easy and cheap summer holiday ideas to make memories and save pennies!
Have breakfast in the park! Pack up an easy breakfast – we usually grab some croissants, yoghurt tubes and fruit – and beat the playground crowds. The kids will love having breakfast outdoors and there won’t be a queue for the swings! Make it extra fun by letting them go in their jammies. · Make microwave popcorn – we love this easy popcorn recipe from My Fussy Eater. You just need a brown paper bag, popcorn kernels and a few minutes. You could even take your teddies and turn it into a Teddy Bears Picnic!
Lick ice lollies – in the bath! It’s a great way to cool down and you don’t have to worry about them getting sticky!
Decorate bikes – gather some craft supplies like stickers and streamers then let the kids transform their rides into the brightest bikes on the block. They’ll love showing off their new creations and burn off energy riding them around later.
Have an “unbirthday party” at home – A whole summer off school is reason enough for a party! Go the whole hog with balloons, party games, streamers, a pinata and a cake. You don’t have to worry about cards and presents, or inviting people if you don’t want, just spend the day partying with the kids!
Embrace face painting: You can get lots of cheap kits in the shops, some come with stencils and accessories too. Experience has taught me this is best done outside and NOT anywhere with a light-coloured carpet!
Make invisible ink: use the juice of half a lemon and a few drops of water.
Invent a code write each other letters to crack.
Hold a Garden Sports Day – gather the kids together and hold a good old fashioned sports day – or night – in the garden, or somewhere else that’s safe. Think egg and spoon races, sack races, wheelbarrows, all the oldies and goodies.
Try geocaching: this isn’t something we’ve tried yet, but have friends who do it all weekend. Geocaches are treasures hidden by other players; usually little plastic containers with a few trinkets inside. You download an app, get GPS information for the geocaches you want to find, then start hunting. There’s usually a logbook inside and you can take one of the knickknacks home, leaving one of your own behind for the next people to find.
Backyard camping – skip the drive to the campsite, shower blocks and shared loos and pitch the tent in the back garden. They can play camping all day, and even sleep in it at night!
Write a story together – you could write a line each, either by saying it out loud or by writing something and folding it over, then passing the paper on. We also like to write sentences onto pieces of paper, put them into a bowl then pull them out to create a wild and wacky tale.
Try Origami: There are loads of how-to videos online, it doesn’t have to be tricky! The Mini-mumblers love making the fortune-tellers! We mix this up with exercises rather than fortunes. You could even craft a boat and race them across the paddling pool or bath.
Buy a bucket of garden chalk: make giant snakes and ladders, hopscotch, or draw huge pictures on the path.
Sign up for the library reading challenge – it keeps their hand in reading over summer, and they can collect a prize at the end.
Make nature faces: use what you have in the garden or go on a walk to collect flowers, twigs etc then make fabulous faces with your finds.
Make banana bites: chop up a banana, spread it out on baking paper then stick it in the freezer for a few hours for a deliciously icy, sweet and healthy treat!
Toast Smores over a campfire – For an easy Smore, toast a marshmallow over the flames then stick it between two chocolate digestives. Delicious! Don’t fancy building a campfire? Use a BBQ!
Turn the garden into a science lab: take the mess outside and conduct some cool and easy experiments. There are some good ones here.
Make a marble run: Use sticky tape, toilet rolls and cardboard
Play Paper Games: Think hangman, battleships, noughts & crosses!