When school breaks for summer, children’s voices fill the house from morning to night, leaving little or no time for busy parents to work from home or get housework done. Finding ways to keep your young people entertained doesn’t have to be expensive and the best part is that the less bored they are, the less likely they are to get into mischief. With the price of utility bills spiraling and wages being stretched to breaking point, many families have found that the piggy bank is empty and there’s not much left over for treats this year. Rather than feeling frazzled about budgeting- make the most of your extra family time.

Kids don’t need to go to pricey summer clubs or costly tennis lessons to have fun, so let’s find out the easiest ways to keep young people of all aged amused without breaking the bank.

1. Flexible scheduling

If you run a tight ship during the normal school run, but struggle to maintain such a high level of organization during the summer months- you’re not alone. Flexibility is the key when it comes to non-term time plans at home and it won’t cost you a penny. The kids still aren’t dressed by 11am? Just call it pajama day! The baking class turned into a floury mess? Host an impromptu lesson about the perfect way to wish up. Any school teacher can vouch for the difficulties of keeping young people to an itinerary so save yourself the effort and leave a little wiggle room.

2. Parks and playgrounds

Taking your kids to the playground is a fantastic way to give them space to let out steam, and usually it’s free too. If you’re sick of the sight of your regular park, open Google Maps and search your area for a new green area to explore. It’s surprising how often we walk past another block or neighborhood without wondering about the parks that might be hidden amongst the houses inside.

3. Freecycle sites

Check social media for the freecycle site with free offerings in your area to help you with your family budget. A quick glance will often reveal a range of toys and children’s accessories that nearby families have grown out of. Although these “handmedowns” are often used and secondhand, occasionally new items are listed by people reluctant to dispose of them in the garbage. After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

4. Nature

Birds and plants provide endless opportunities for youngsters to investigate and study their surroundings. Borrow a library book about the wildlife and fauna that are native to your region and create a challenge to identify as many species as possible. Encourage young nature detectives to use coloring pencils to draw those that are spotted and award homemade prizes for the winners.

5. Theatre

Children love to put on a show and by staging their own performance, they can develop essential skills about how to work together and gain empathy. Guidance and instruction may be required for very young children, but helping them to develop their own ideas is a wonderful introduction to the stage and can increase confidence and self-esteem. It’s equally as important for the audience to pay attention too, and acting their role for a captive parental viewer is thrilling for both parties. 

6. Put the gadgets away

It costs nothing to put an electronic gadget away, and science has shown the benefits of reducing screen time for both adults and children. Switching off the internet might sound extreme, but being forced to interact with each other in real life is a simple and easy way to build better relationships. Reducing time spent looking at tablets and phones at night may even contribute to better sleep patterns.

If you’re heading away on holiday this year, these top tips can also apply when overseas. iVisa.com is the number one processing site when it comes to simplicity and ease in travel. Apply today.

By Rob