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How to Cope with School Holidays on a Tight Budget

Image courtesy of alamosbasement
Image courtesy of alamosbasement
It can be difficult when you see a long summer holiday form school looming and know that you do have a lot of money. You may not be going away anywhere, be able to afford many days out and be wondering what on earth you will do to keep the children entertained. There may be more options available to you than you might think, even if it rains a lot!

Discover local treasures
It is well worth doing some research to find out what local activities there are to do. You may find that there are free museums or art galleries that you can visit, for example. You may have areas that you can walk such as along rivers, canals or up or down hills and in woodland. You may just have interesting streets to walk through or shops to go to. There are likely to be areas that you and your family have not been to before or favourite places that you want to return to and enjoy again. If you try to explore a new place each week you should have lots of fun and may find that you get some new favourite places that you want to return to.

Set up imaginative indoor play
If it is wet, then it can be fun doing some imaginative play inside. Den building can be done inside or outside and you can use bedding, cushions and rugs to make great indoor dens. You can play shops, schools, hospitals or any of those games you would have played when you were little. You can even play at restaurants but actually make cakes or biscuits and have fun decorating them and then eating them afterwards. Once you get the children started in a game like this, they will often take the idea and play with it for hours. Older children may prefer to invent a board game, make up their own kitchen science experiments, write and act out a play or do some sketching. There are many ways that you can get their imagination working, you just have to get some enthusiasm going to start with and they will then run with the idea.

Have indoor picnics/bbq
It can be miserable if you cannot get outside in the garden, perhaps because it is too wet or maybe even too hot. However, you can have fun planning indoor picnics and bbqs. You can make it into a big activity too. Get the children to make invitations, place cards, bunting and decide who they want to come. Go shopping together for the food and make some things together like sauces, salads, puddings or whatever. Get them involved in thinking about the menu and if they are old enough calculating the budget as well. They could even make a menu card for any guests that are coming. Let them help set up the table ready with cloth, napkins and cutlery. Then make sure they help with the food preparation and cooking if they are old enough. It could stretch to a whole days worth of activities if you plan every small part and get them involved with decisions and design.

See friends/family  regularly
It can be great for you and your children to see other people in the holidays. Try to organise visits with friends and family at least once a week. Invite friends over to see the children and they may get invited back to other children’s houses. If you have friends with children then spend time with them so that the children can play and you can have some time chatting. Also see family regularly too so that get fresh people to be with. If they have family their age then this is ideal but even different grown ups can bring a different atmosphere and the opportunity for new games and fun.



Rachel Henderson is a professional freelance writer from the UK. She writes on many subjects but specialises in personal finance. As well as contributing to various blogs and websites she has her own website tracking her own money making process and sells her books through

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