We’re just over halfway through the kids summer holidays now and when I have been looking on Instagram, I’ve noticed that there seems to be a big change in what parents are doing with their kids during the school holidays nowadays, at least compared to what I did as a kid.
When I was at school, I remember my school holidays being very laidback. To break up the holidays my parents would usually book a holiday* during this time. Whether it was a trip abroad or a week camping in the Lake District, this was the highlight of our summer holidays.
If we weren’t going on holiday, then we would have one special day out to a theme park or zoo with friends planned, but apart from that we pretty much had to entertain ourselves. My parents still had their everyday jobs that they had to do and they didn’t have the money to pay for a family of 5 to do something expensive every week. So my mum would drive me to a friend’s for a sleepover and vice versa.
The change that I have noticed these days is that quite a lot of parents seem to be taking their kids out to expensive theme parks, zoos and on holidays every week, sometimes going to a few different ones in the same week! How they afford it I just don’t know. But do kids really need to have that much money spent on them during the summer holidays?
If you are a regular reader of Bunny on a Budget then you will know that I have two young boys, Isaac who is 6 and Malachi who is 4. They are a pair of action packed kids that just seem to have an endless amount of energy. 🙂 So you can probably imagine that I was a little bit anxious about how the summer holidays were going to go. Knowing just how much energy they have, I was worried that I would struggle every day to keep them entertained without having to spend a fortune.
Like I said, we’re over halfway through the holidays now and they are going great! We have been able to keep them entertained without having to break the bank. Here are a few of the things that we have done with our boys.
Going for a walk in the countryside is a great day out. The boys love being amongst the birds, bugs and animals while we’re out and about. They constantly see things that grab their attention and love running through the fields and burning off some of their energy. Another great thing about going out for walks is that there are always new places to explore. You can make it into a real adventure.
Playgroups are a brilliant way to let kids have fun for less. I take mine to our local Sure Start Centre on a Thursday. They have a different theme each week and this week’s just so happened to be ‘super heroes’, so my boys were over the moon! Mali even had his face painted which made him one very happy little boy! It cost £1.50 for both of them to play for the afternoon, and they had a great time. I had also arranged to meet my friend there too, so it’s a nice afternoon for all of us.
Picnics in the park
At least once a week we like to take the boys to one of our local parks for a picnic. As a real treat we like to get the early bird offer at Dominos, which is a large pizza with one topping for just £5.99. The pizza fills us all but we do take a load of naughty goodies to have after too. Having boys means that we always have a football in the boot of the car, ready and waiting to be played with. So we have a little kick around after our food and then go for a walk around the nature reserve. It is a cheap and fun way to keep the kids happy.
Making use of our local tennis courts.
We recently bought some new tennis rackets* for each of us. It is something that we have wanted to do for ages and so we thought that having them for during the summer holidays would be great. We have been using the free tennis courts at our local park and the kids have absolutely loved it. They bug us to take them every day which is great because we want them to be active and healthy.
Discount Days Out
Taking advantage of vouchers is a great way to take the whole family out without having to spend a lot. We like to check out sites like Groupon* and others to see what they have on offer in our area.
We just bought a family ticket for our local play farm Wellybobs for only £10 for example, which is great because it is one of our boys favourite places to go, with an indoor play area, go karts, horse riding, petting zoo and a yummy café to enjoy. So even if the weather is a bit wet, we can still let the boys enjoy their day out.
The summer break doesn’t have to break the bank
So these are a few of the exciting things that we have been doing with our kids during the school holidays. They are all great money saving days that the kids have loved. So, do we need to spend a fortune during the school holidays to entertain the kids? Personally, I don’t think so. There is nothing wrong with spending money on your children as it is something that all parents love to do. But I don’t think that we need to worry too much about being able to afford the kind of holidays that some parents are doing. Children don’t base their fun on how much a day out costs, they just want to do things together as a family and have fun. 🙂
Have you had fun during the summer holidays? What have you been up to with your little ones?