If a summer holiday is stretching the budget, then there are alternative ways to make children happy without having to go further than the back garden.
The summer holidays might initially mean fun and freedom for children, but it can often turn into major stress for everybody when the kids get bored. Even so, creative thinking can ensure that entertainment for offspring does not have to mean uncomfortable journeys on planes and trains or big debts on the credit card.
It can be a lot of money
A survey conducted by Moneysupermarket.com found that moms and dads spend an average of $330 to keep their children entertained during the endless weeks of summer. It found that families across the United States will spend $5.6 billion during the summer holidays, with almost two-thirds of parents concerned about how much they’ll have to part with to keep tantrums at bay.
The survey showed that 3.4 million families struggled to keep their kids entertained, with over a quarter saying they were happy to give up on nights out to make sure there was extra money for their children. Interestingly, 12 per cent also said they weren’t taking a foreign holiday this year, which is a pressure in itself when the entertainment has to be found elsewhere rather than in Disneyland.
So how do parents keep their kids occupied over the holidays without spending a fortune? Here are some bright ideas.
A Trip to the Park or a Local Playground, Not the Toy Shop
Not everybody is lucky enough to have a local park on their doorstep, where the benefits are obvious. However, there are activity centres within shopping arcades, playgrounds and strips of green, even in the most concrete of jungles. Breathing the great fresh air and having some kind of positive exercise are essential ways to avoid the behaviour that children show as a result of boredom and frustration.
Summer Fun and Games at Home
Not every activity has to involve a journey from hell in dry heat. Kids can satiate their appetite for science and nature by getting dirty in the back garden. Looking for worms, ants, spiders and bugs in the undergrowth, while helping water the plants, is a pretty solid bet for controlled entertainment value, especially where boys are concerned.
Summertime is also a good excuse to have a party with the outside activities of paddling pools, water guns and hose downs on standby. Should things get too hot, literally, then a great way of getting the kids excited but still is the Zoku Pop Maker, which freezes customised lollies within 10 minutes. It can seriously save a fortune over the summer months and also be healthier than the majority of pre-packed popsicles.
Visiting Free Attractions in Summer
Even if a mode of transport has to be taken to get there, there are a number of museums which do not charge an entry fee. Children can often play interactive games or at the very least look and discover through some kind of viewfinder. There is also the local library which cannot be underestimated in being a vital resource for taking out books and low-cost DVD hiring.
Funfairs are one way of delighting children, but look out for the free rides which are often for a specified period of about half an hour on a particular day within the small print of the posters around town. Local Summer Fairs are often an ideal way of providing relief for the whole family by catering for both adults and children through a variety of music, entertainment and food stalls
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