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How to have a fab summer on a budget.(33 Posts)
I know the summer holidays are 2 months away, just I wanted to get planned early to spread the costs etc.
I'd love to have the 6 weeks go smoothly this time, with all of us having a fairly fun, relaxed time.
DH will be working through it, other than weekends, and the bank holiday. I'm a SAHM, and DC1 is 15, DC2 (SN) is 9, DC3 is 5.C
I'm looking for ideas, and tips etc, as we always end up rather lacking and I really want everyone to enjoy themselves.
Also hoping it'll help others too.
We try to do as many free or cheap things as possible in the holidays. It's easy when it's sunny, hard when it's wet!
I get my DC together at the start of the summer and we make a list of ideas of what we'd like to do. A bike ride, trip to the beach for crabbing and the tuppenny falls, a picnic, lots of National Trust places (membership is really worth it for holidays), local free museums, water fights in the garden, a pyjama day with unlimited screen time, some crafts, a visit to our local animal park (another membership), going to a park we haven't visited before.
I'm also having the same thought. Everything really depends on money really. Here are a few of the ideas I have seen batted about. Movie day, turn the living room into some kind of den, duvets, cushions, popcorn etc. Camping in the garden, BBQs, outdoor day, making big bubbles, assault courses, water fights etc. Beach day, or go on some kind of hike. Get ideas from the kids, give them each a different colour, put them in a jar and pick one. Visit a museum, have a picnic day with friends. Depending on money maybe a couple of more adventurous outings a theme park for example. Scavenger hunts, depending on your kids, some kind of console tournament with their friends.
Like Earslaps, I used to get mine to make lists.
There'd be one 'big day' (zoo or safari park or something) and the rest would be free stuff. There's loads around.(well, always has been in my city)
Sign up to local facebook sites, e-mails from places, etc. as things often advertised there.
Go to things like open days at the local fire station...... libraries usually have a scheme on across the Summer..... local country parks usually have trails on (as do City Centres, tbf)..... museums..... walks....... cycling (don't know what needs your dc2 has obviously)..... there's an eco place near here that does things like free workshops where they teach you how to look after your bike / change a puncture, etc)..... feed the ducks...... there's a little farm place near here that is free (you can make a donation).
Mine used to love 'going on the bus' and 'going on the train' as a trip in itself (we walk most places and drive to those that are too far)
Get them involved in making the picnics, involved in jobs you have to do like the shopping.
Obvious things like baking, but also cooking some meals.
HOwever.... just let the 15 yr old sleep most of the time
Whereabouts are you OP? In striking distance of a beach or big forests / national parks etc? That can help.
Yes where do you live roughly as locals can give you better advice. For example, we live within walking distance of the beach so go there a lot. Basically, if the weather is nice, ds (nearly 9) wants to be outdoors: riding his motorbike, pushbike, at the beach, in the woods etc. It’s just a pain when it rains for days on end as it inevitably does in August 🙈.
Looking at the smaller details, I find days at home go better with a plan - for the days you have at home, maybe you could get into a routine, e.g. After breakfast we do chores etc until 11, chill out with books until lunch, do something fun in the afternoon, tidy up before dinner etc.
Print a 6 week calendar
Add all the free days - museum library etc check local sites for open days and visits and mark them down
Throw in some park and sports clubs - check the community centre
Add a few play dates
Pick your own fruit and veg
Get some boxes and build a major project
Get creative in the garden with chalk and. Swimming pool
Throw a paint party or craft party
Another thing we used to do
to fill time on the wetter days was get them to make scrap books of the things they'd done.
Just glue in the bus ticket or a leatflet and to draw a picture and write (or dictate) a sentence about it. You can stick a couple of photos in afterwards. They are hilarious to look back on in years to come, too.
Mini or crazy golf takes up ages for what it costs.
Local to us there are free table tennis courts - buying a decent set of bats and balls was a good investment, maybe an ongoing tournament through the summer? Likewise encouraging tennis on the council courts if you can borrow rackets, maybe buy a few tennis balls.
River swimming is fab if you are anywhere near a body of water.
Scavenger hunt and/or flour trails can be fun.
Is there anywhere local that you can walk to, build a fire and cook sausages and s'mores or dampers? Preparing for it, doing it is a whole day thing.
Oh by the way, we had some blackberries near us ripe on 24 July last year so blackberrying and cooking/jam making is a summer thing now.
Thanks for all the replies These suggestions are all great.
Seems letting the kids choose some ideas goes down well. at letting the teen sleep through most of it.
We're in the South East, and about 25 minutes from the sea.
Ooh, and also ideas for batch making picnic foods would be great too. It would cut costs down, and stop us being so limited, where we have to come home for lunch.
Could just grab and go
I'm sure the teen will be out with friends so just the 9 and 5 year old to entertain.
I would get up and out each morning with a picnic- whatever you would have for lunch and go to park /playground/forest/beach.
Spend a few hours out then home for arts and crafts/movie
You could start looking up arts and crafts projects now and get everything together and have them work on one a week?
Can you do plsydates one or twice a week, try have a friend each the same day .
Maybe a few big trips out over the summer- zoo, local attraction
My 5 year old loves going on the bus so we would take the bus somewhere and go to the playground at destination and either eat out or bring a lunch.
By the time we are back it's bath and bed so fills up the day!
My DC are older now, but on the bank holiday recently we took a walk through Lower Leas Coastal Park at Folkestone and thought then how it would be a great day for younger children. There are loads of picnic/BBQ areas here, easy access to the (pebbly) beaches all the way along, and lots of different themed play areas spread all through the park. It's quite jungly in places so lots of scope for hide and seek etc. There were so many families who clearly had been there all day.
You may have to pay for parking but it's easily available from the Radnor cliff end and you're sort of 'in' the park so access t the car is simple, you could fill the car with seats/tables/toys/balls and the kitchen sink and get back to it when you want.
We're actually not far at all from Folkestone. Maybe 20minutes..
If completely forgotten about it, though now it is the first thing to go in my calender.
I like the idea of a craft project per week. Any suggestions, or good websites / programs to get inspiration from?
Re picnic foods, my Asian grocer sells large boxes of frozen samosas that work out really cheap. Instead of frying, I oven bake them at 200c. Most kids like them and there are veggie ones.
Check Charity shops between now and the holidays for bits and bobs for craft projects. You may even be lucky enough to pick up some commercial kits for pennies.
Painting stones was all the rage earlier this year so keep an eye open for suitable pebbles (and pine cones).
Youtube has plenty of videos of crafty things.
Gah posted too soon.
Old school crafty things like :
- a roll of lining paper, draw around each other to get an outline and then play "dress up" with crayons etc
- home made play do with flour and salt
- dress up box so you can have a pirate or spaceperson day (pick your own theme)
- give them a matchbox each and see who can get the most (different) things in it by the end of the day
No suggestions for specific outings, but if your DC with SEN gets DLA you can get into lots of places free as a carer - cinema, swimming, theme parks, most attractions you have to pay for.
Shamelessly bumps these are really helping out.
Do you plan something for every day, or should stay at home days be had? We don't have a garden, so it's not like we can drag out a paddling pool or anything
I would plan some time outside every day, yes. Doesn't have to be anything huge. I just think kids become unbearable without fresh air.
How about making and planting a window box as a project?? (this would be beyond me!)
Follow your local council and similar organisations on Facebook etc- ours organises lots of free or heavily subsidised activities during the summer holidays.
Your dc are a great age for geocaching!
We spent an entire summer obsessed with it. Kids all really love it as do my adult kids!
In the county I live in you can apply for respite hours for children 5 years+. It might be worth contacting the council in your area and see if they offer similar.
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