The summer holidays are a great time for relaxing and enjoying spending time with your children. However, keeping the kids entertained during the summer holidays can be hard work and can cause a hefty dent in the wallet without excellent money skills. In our household, we often come across the dreaded 'two-week’ itch; when the novelty of no-school starts to wear off and a chorus of 'I’m bored’ floats through the halls. Sound familiar? In this post I’ve pulled together my top five tips to keep your kids happy and banish the boredom over the summer, without spending a fortune.
1. Make use of great deals — Get the kids out of the house and visit some of the UK’s great family attractions. There are plenty of ways to save money on these trips if you know where to look. Deal sites such as Groupon, Living Social and Littlebird are a good place to start and offer discounts and deals such as 2 for 1 on ticket prices. Also check out Money Saving Expert for tricks on ways to bag discounts off entry to theme parks during the peak summer months. They cover tips such as how eating chocolate or cereal can get you the best deals, buying rail tickets en route to save on train fares or swapping supermarket loyalty points for rewards. Don’t forget that some of the UK’s best attractions including museums and festivals are also free. These can be found all over the country from galleries to forests and castles. Try Visit England for some fab, free ways to bust boredom.
2. Get out into the wild — One of my favourite (and cheap) ways to beat boredom is to ignite the explorers inside your children and venture into the great outdoors. Make use of the brilliant weather we’ve been having lately and take the kids to the seaside, walk through your local woods or visit one of the many cultural sites in the UK such as Hadrian’s Wall or Stonehenge. Find out the best spots near you using this interactive map. It’s also a great way to teach your children about money, in the sense that fun things don’t have to cost the earth.
3. Earn extra money around the house — Save yourself some of the housework and teach your children about money by rewarding them for helping out with chores. Giving your kids ways to earn extra pocket money will not only beat boredom but by using goHenry’s online tool, will give them a help in financial management and the benefits of earning, saving and spending. Chores for the kids could be anything from walking the dog to washing the car. Setting saving goals will also give them an extra incentive to take on tasks and added satisfaction when they reach their target. How much to pay children for chores? There’s no one answer for this question. Do what works for you and your financial situation.
4. Write a holiday diary — Spark their creative side by getting your children to write a holiday diary. For younger children, scrap books or journals are a fun and simple way to record their holiday activities. Help them collect small items to stick in a book and write tales about what they’ve been doing. Blogging can be a great way for teenagers and older children to keep an online holiday diary. Make use of one of the free blog hosting sites such as Google blogger or Word Press and get them to write about their holiday activities. Blogs are fantastic as photos and videos can be uploaded, producing an interactive record of their experience — which they can look back on in future years. Not only does this beat the boredom but provides them with a creative outlet and chance to practice writing skills — you never know — you could discover you have the next J.K Rowling on your hands!
5. Hurray for hobbies — Whether it’s taking up a new activity or practising an established one, hobbies can be a great way to beat holiday boredom. Summer sports camps can keep your kids fit and active and are a fun place to try new activities such as trampolining or fencing. Kings Camps offer day camps for 5 to 17 year olds throughout the UK or try Activate Sport camps, which specialise in sports training for 5-16 year olds. If sport isn’t their thing, then try your local music, theatre or drama club or why not get them to channel their inner Jamie Oliver by getting them baking in the kitchen. Whatever their passion, the summer holidays is the perfect time to practice. goHenry is a unique earning, saving and spending solution for parents with children 8 - 18. Start your free trial of goHenry today by clicking here.