When school closes for a week, things can get expensive.  From paying for childcare to keeping them entertained, it can be a huge drain on the bank account.  We’ve come up with a few tips to keep the pennies in the purse and make things a little easier.

Free activities

Not all activities have to cost money and free activities can take place at places you mightn’t always consider.

  • Check out your local library, they often have activities and reading challenges during the holidays.
  • Local museums may also run trails or special exhibitions for children to attend.
  • Other places to look are your local garden centre, children’s centre and public gardens or nature reserve.
  • If you live in a city, museums are also usually free and there’s a number of great history walks you can find online which are free.

Park life and a train journey

You may be surprised how many hours can be spent at a new park.  Do your research and find a new park that you could bike or walk to, or reach on public transport.  Pack a picnic and warm clothes and go exploring.  There are lots of discounts on public transport and children under 5 go free on the train.  Also, if you’re travelling with friends with children, check the Family & Friends Rail Card.  So why not hop on the train to a new park?

A lot of train tickets also give you two for one access to popular attractions.

Crafting

In the weeks leading up to half term, make sure you keep all your empty bottles and boxes and look out for large cardboard boxes when you do the weekly shop.  Then, simply empty your haul onto the table or floor, give the kids safe scissors, glue and Sellotape and see who can make the best rocket.

When they’ve finished the construction, mix PVA glue with ready mixed paint to allow it to paint over plastic or cardboard.  Spaceships, dens, fairy castles or even toy storage are a great way to upcycle your rubbish into hours of free fun.

There are some great videos on Facebook and YouTube of things you can make, here are a couple of our favourites:

25 Fun Activities to Do With Your Kids – DIY Kids Crafts and Games

35 Genius Crafts to make in 5 minutes