Guide to Life: Budget Friendly School Holiday Fun.
The first day of school holidays are upon us and already my Facebook feed is full of parents searching for the best ways to avoid hearing the two most dreaded words of the holidays "I'm bored!". Since the school holidays mean that I am getting 2 weeks away from kids I thought it was only fair that I share my child entertaining tips with the struggling parents out there. Having now worked as a full-time live-in nanny, a part-time nanny, a babysitter, a kids party entertainer (face painter, activity runner & balloon modeler), an after school care worker and a casual teacher I've spent plenty of time avoiding the dreaded whinges of a 'bored' child.
- Leading up to the holidays collect all the things! Cereal boxes, toilet rolls, milk cartons etc. Buy a roll of sticky tape and let the kids loose. Encourage the creation of a box city, toilet roll pets, tissue box shoes, the ideas are endless!
- Buy a pack of stick on googly eyes from a cheap shop. Stick them to paper and have kids create around them. A simple and cheap way to reinvent drawing.
- Got old magazines lying around? Let the kids loose with scissors and glue. They can create "Enter" signs for bedroom doors, or vision boards full of the things they love, or simply cut out a square to glue down and have the kids continue the image by drawing the rest of the picture.
- Fill a bucket with water and any bath toys you have. Becomes even more fun if you add some food colouring to the water and include some scoops or cups for pouring.
- Fill a tray with sand or rice and place mini toy animals or toy cars in it. Children love to play with different textures.
- One family I used to babysit had two kids aged 5 (boy) and 9 (girl). Our favourite thing to do was a play a song and film ourselves dancing around the loungeroom to it. We would run in and out of shot and lipsync and pretend we were shooting a film clip. Then we would watch it back and giggle at how silly we looked.
- Go to the park, ride bikes, rollerblade, walk the dog, jump in puddles, jump in piles of leaves, jump on the trampoline, build an obstacle course. Get out in nature and away from screens and electronic games atleast once a day.
- With young kids it can be as simple as letting them "help" you with the cleaning. The kids I nannyed loved to sweep or mop the floor and could spends hours standing on a step at the sink "washing" their plastic dishes. Anything that makes them feel grown up can be made into a game (and gives you some time to get things done).
- Build a cubby in the lounge room. Place a sheet over some chairs and let the kids play house. Bonus points if you let them have a picnic in the cubby!
Got any other great cheap ideas? Share in the comments!