Budget Ways To Keep The Kids Occupied During The School Holidays

We all know what it's like during the school holidays - the first week or so are okay, and then the kids get bored. And us parents are at a loss at what to do. 

I mean, you can take them on days out and to all these places that seem to be advertised on Facebook, but we all know just how expensive they can be. Even worse if you have multiple children to pay for. It's like, you need a whole weeks pay just to go to some soft play places. And don't even start talking to me about eating out at these places - bank loan here I come!

So, I thought I'd write about ways to keep the kids busy during the holidays that are cheap, or free, and not only are they fun but they are a great way to bond with your kids too. 

Cycle The Canals
We are lucky that we live 5 minutes from a canal - well, I say lucky but it flooded last year so it's wasn't that great - so we can go for walks down it whenever we like. Recently, my husband bought a Brompton bike so he can get too and from work easily so now we all have our very own bikes and spend our spare time out and about. 

Going out for a ride together is so much fun and going down the canal is not only a way to get outdoors with the kids, but they can learn so much too and it's good exercise on your bikes. We stop and help at the locks, wave at the boats going past, and talk about all the amazing buildings we see as we ride through. It doesn't half pass some time too, a whole day can be spend riding, just make sure you turn back before you're too tired to pedal home!

Make Gardening A Success
I find that children love when they can make something happen. My sons absolutely love gardening as they can see the results as the produce grows. What's more, you can garden all year round by finding the right plants for the seasons. Some gardening gloves and maybe some safety clothing to protect the children from prickles and thorns from the likes of Engelbert Strauss, and you're ready to grow. 

We've planted lilies, sunflowers and we're currently growing some chillies. You can even grow your own veg and herbs too so you can eat what you grow. The boys loved growing their own sugarsnap peas so they could munch on them. We currently have a lovely little apple tree starting off in our garden too so hopefully we'll start getting some yummy red apples soon.

Have Fun At The Park
If all else fails, the park can be the saviour. You just need to find a local Adventure Playground and let the kids play to their hearts content. What's more, if there's no one around then us parents can have a go too - you know, to make sure it's okay for the kids of course! 

From swings, slides and climbing frames, all these apparatus might seem like it's just their for fun, but children can actually get a lot of exercise from these. And of course it keeps their brain ticking as they try to work out how they can manoeuvre down the pole, across the monkey bars and up the top of those climbing walls. 

Get Your Craft On
Getting crafty doesn't have to mean searching Pinterest and the failing to copy how they create something amazing out of toothpicks and some bluetack, it's just about letting your creativity flow. My boys are so different to each other so I get everything outside (always outside so paint accidents can wash away with the rain) and then let them go ape with it all. 

For T, he likes to go big so we dog out some kitchen and toilet roll inners so he can start building and papier-mâché is our friend here for holding everything together. C is the total opposite and prefers the flat stuff. Drawing and painting and sticking with glue. It actually works quite well too as C will draw everything out and the T sticks it all together so they can jointly craft a masterpiece. 

It's all about looking at the big picture. Why pay to go somewhere and do something, when you can make your own fun at a fraction of the cost. 


  1. My son could live at the parks all day which is handy for us and being free is a bonus when the weather is nice.

  2. Some great ideas there. It's amazing just how much fun you can have with kids without spending a penny.

  3. We've done non stop crafts, garden and park so far this holiday, which is great because we can't stretch to too much!

  4. we like to go rambling through the woods, there you can collect some wonderful things that you can make weird and wonderful things from

  5. Some lovely ideas, we always go for walks up the cycle track, skin some stones in the river then a two minute walk off the cycle track we have a country park where we feed the ducks, we are lucky enough to have a few beaches and country parks a half hour drive away, which are free to enter we take a picnic too and our children love it xxx

  6. Some really great budget ideas! My kids love gardening especially watching things grow!