The fun hacks to keep your kids entertained this summer – and they all cost less than a fiver | The Sun

THE summer holidays are upon us, which means both the opportunity to spend precious time with the little ones and pulling your hair out trying to keep them entertained.

It all adds up financially too – with a recent study revealing parents can face around a grand a week in extra costs during the long summer break.

Thankfully there are some simple, easy – and most importantly, super cheap – ways to keep the kids entertained too…

Get creative with coins

Admittedly this one does involve money – but only spare change is required.

Mad About Money founder Maddy Alexander-Grout says: "My kids love making pictures, and coin rubbing is a great idea.

"Everyone has crayons and the odd two pence lying around, so this activity will cost you nothing – unless you lose the money!"


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Potato printing

Not all activities require having to buy lots of materials.

Maddy says: "Potato printing is another old classic.

"Carve shapes into potatoes and dip them into paint – hours of fun printing.

"You can also get the kids to peel them, so it’s a lesson in culinary skills!"

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An oldie but a goodie – you can't go wrong with potato printing for little onesCredit: Getty

Forest foraging

Maddy says: "Find a forest and go foraging, and make a list of things you want to find when you get there.

"My kids love making pretend campfires, and we did this in a random field the other day.

"Kids love little challenges, so get them to find a leaf with an insect on it, or a purple flower for example – and they actually leave you alone while you do it!"

Visit the library

Another option is to visit your local library, and make the most of the events they have on, as well as borrowing books to keep the kids entertained.

Maddy says: "They often have free events for kids over the summer, they are usually pretty well attended as well.

"And they have a range of things to do.

"Or just visit your local library to support them, and take out up to 20 books at a time once you are registered."

Investigate what's on offer locally

Join local community Facebook groups to keep yourself updated on what’s happening in your local area during the school holidays.

Maddy says: "Check out local parenting groups for cheap kids activities , there is always someone advertising something, and usually they are community run, which means they want to help to keep the cost low.

"Most cities have family hubs , or council run activities.

"Some even offer free childcare for families on free school meals. Worth having a google for stuff in your local area."

Create a ‘fake away’

Food costs considerably impact parents during the school holidays, with kids not eating meals and snacking all day.

Parenting coach Isobel Mary Champion, who has teamed up with Reassured Life Insurance, says: "Instead of forking out for their favourite takeaway, why not create your own ‘fake away’ at home?

"Instead of a takeout pizza, how about making pizzas together and adding your toppings?

"This is also a way of keeping meals healthy; you could add their favourite veggies to the pizza and have a side salad."

Take part in a car boot sale 

Some activities are not only cheap – but could actually make you a bit of dosh.

Isobel says: "Why not have fun with your kids by having a clear out of their clothes, games, and toys that they no longer use and sell them at a car boot sale to give your kids some extra pocket money?

"This is also a great way for educating your kids on money!"

Buddy up for play dates

Isobel also suggests contacting other parents and asking for a play date at your home.

She says: "This takes away the cost of going out and spending a lot of money on activities and food.

"It's also a chance to spend some time with other parents."

Explore the great outdoors

Consider camping outdoors overnight, even if it's just in your back garden.

Isobel says: "Light a bonfire or fire pit for a cozy evening and enjoy s'mores.

"Cook and eat outdoors, swim or paddle in a natural water source, dig in the earth and look for bugs, or plant seeds.

"You can also visit a local fruit farm, pick your own fruit, vegetables, or herbs, and then bake with them in the kitchen."

Make use of coupons & loyalty cards 

Finally, you can use loyalty cards in many supermarkets to receive discounts and build up points.

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Isobel adds: "As food bills will rise during school holidays, it's important to make the most out of these loyalty cards that can now be downloaded onto your phone and are free to use!

"Many retailers also offer coupons, keep an eye out for magazines sold in supermarkets to receive discounts on your weekly shop."

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