Friday 21 July 2017

Finance Fridays – 10 free things for the kids to do in the holidays

We were looking at how we could retire at 40 for last week's Finance Fridays. For this week we have some immediate business to take care of. The school holidays start today for the Junior JibberJabbers. We've got some trips planned together but there's still a lot of time to fill over the next six weeks. If we had an unlimited budget it wouldn't be a problem but like most of us I need a good supply of free things to do that will take up a large amount of time. Here's our list of some of the free things we will be getting up

1. Museums – Many museums and art galleries charge quite a hefty fee to get in. It's not surprising considering the upkeep but there are hundreds of museums up and down the country which are free to get in to. Some are locally themed whilst others are quite niche. Of course some of the best known museums have no entrance fee such as Science Museum and The Natural History Museum next door to each other in London, The Royal Armouries in Leeds and one of my son's favourites, The National Railway Museum in York. There's a great list of free museums across the country on Money Saving Expert.

2. Movie days at home – Summer is great for the latest blockbuster films but a trip to the cinema can be pricey. Instead dig out some of the films you already have in your collection. Chances are there will be some you haven't watched in years and others you've never seen. Also go through the TV guide to see what family films you can record to watch later. Even on Freeview you can find good films on children's channels such as CITV and POP plus also Channel 5.

3. Park – Don't get cabin fever by staying thinking you have to stay in all the time. If your local park allows it take a football, cricket bat or Frisbee. If it's raining gets those wellies on and start looking for some muddy puddles to jump in.

4. Blanket forts – Perfect for rainy days. My kids love dragging some fleece blankets downstairs and then hiding under them. Just be on hand to deal with the requests for food/drink/books/tablet/toys!

5. Picnics – If you're going to have sandwiches for lunch you may as well take them outside if you can. Even lunch in the garden can seem far more fun than sitting at the table. There's no reason to buy anything different from what you would normally have. For rainy days have a carpet picnic and invite your teddy bears/dolls/spiderman figures as applicable.

6. Friends – If your kids are bored then the likelihood is so are their friends. Get in touch with their parents and see if they want to come round. Getting out their toys is always much more fun if they have someone else to play with.

7. City trails – How well do you know the city, town or village where you live? Most people only go on three routes – school, work, supermarket. If you have a local tourist information centre or library see what leaflets they have. If not do a search of the place where you live followed by 'walks' or 'trails'.

8. Library – The Summer Reading Challenge is back for 2017 with the theme 'Animal Agents'. This encourages children to read six different books during the holidays and they receive a small reward each time they finish a book. If your local library doesn't have much of a selection of books see what they can order in from other libraries for you to pick up. My council has an online library service so we can search for titles, authors and themes at home and get them sent to our nearest library.

9. Board game marathon – Dust off your board games and see who will be crowned Board Game Champion. If you haven't got any then design your own. Snakes and Ladders is an easy one to start with. Don't worry if you haven't got any dice as you can find virtual dice on

10. Treasure hunt – A great one for inside or out. Make a list of items which your children need to find. If you're doing it inside then add some of the items to find in stages so they don't complete it within 5 minutes!

How do budget for the school holidays? What free things do you do?

If you want to join in with this week's Finance Fridays then add your link to the linky below. Any post concerning financial matters is allowed. Full details here. It doesn't have to be published today as you have until 23.55 on Tuesday 25th July 2017 to join in.

Finance Fridays

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