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to not want to fill my children's holidays with expensive and exhausting 'fun'?

(46 Posts)
RedCharityBonney Tue 02-Jun-09 11:06:36

We're doing the odd thing (swimming, the farm, play dates), but loads of people seem to be going entirely mad with trips and visits and expensive garden toys. I don't have the cash, energy OR inclination to spend eight hours out of the house at theme parks and things, nor to spend zillions on show-offy pools. Or am I just a miserable old misery?

ginnny Tue 02-Jun-09 11:17:40

YANBU. We spent half term week visiting friends and going to the park/beach etc and I hardly spent any money.
I took the week off work and it was just great spending time with them.
I think children appreciate quality time with their parents more than expensive trips and toys.

feetheart Tue 02-Jun-09 11:20:31

Your are definitely NOT being unreasonable or miserable (or if you then I am too grin)

We have just had 2 weeks off school:
- first week camping in a buttercup field in the middle of no-where - lots of friends, oodles of stuff to do (it was a circus festival) and it cost £150 for 4 of us for 10 days
- second week mainly spent at home in garden/neighbour's garden with 4 year old paddling pool, 2nd hand swing and birthday present hammock. Went to park lots and swimming once for whole day as have outside pools and that is free for children!!

Don't even bother trying to keep up with anyone else, not worth the energy. MUCH more fun running round garden naked, leapimg in and out of the paddling pool then snuggling up on hammock and readingsmile (tho I didn't do the naked bit!!)

mrsdisorganised Tue 02-Jun-09 11:24:10

YANBU. We go for walks, picnics, if it's warm enough swimming in the river or sea (very lucky as they are within walking distance) takes all day if you want it to, when it's raining, board games , playdough, making things out of bits picked on walks, a 'settle down film' in the

spokette Tue 02-Jun-09 11:27:26


My DTS love to play on the floor with their cars and trains and they will be doing a lot of that over the holiday as well as play out in the garden.

They also love picnics so we will go to local parks for that or just do it in the garden or if it is raining, have it in the living room.

Children can swim for free now so will take them swimming most weeks. I also plan to take them into London a couple of times (train ride for them is free) because areas like the Southbank will have lots of free things on plus we can just wander around sight-seeing and visit free museums as well as different parks (Coram fields, Green Park, Hyde Park etc). Will also take them to Mudchute Farm which is free and they get to travel on the DLR for free. They also love riding on the bus (free for them) so will visited different towns with them.

They also love the library and that puts on free activities so will take advantage of that too.

However, chilling out at home is something they need and will enjoy.

mrsdisorganised Tue 02-Jun-09 11:27:51

Totally agree with the 'leaping around naked in the garden', lucky if they get their clothes on to and from the river!! Also the trampoline is the best thing ever for any child to have, hours of entertainment! Not good at socialising but lovely if it 'happens'.

spokette Tue 02-Jun-09 11:28:13

BTW, I work part-time so will be sharing the holidays with DH and grandparents.

slug Tue 02-Jun-09 11:48:37

DD's favourite holiday activity is 'going on an adventure'. This means hopping on some random bus/train and getting off when we spot something interesting and exploring. In practise I usually have a fairly good idea of where we are going (living in London helps a lot) and have a travel card, so the actual cost of the adventure is an icecream at most.grin

mowbraygirl Tue 02-Jun-09 12:17:38

YANBU Speaking as grandparents we have just had our GD's for half term, and will have them for a week or two in the summer. This holiday we had a big family gathering one evening so they helped get things ready they are aged 5 and nearly 8. Another day a trip to a farm even though have been a couple of times before love it take a packed lunch so only entrance money. Spent time at the fairly local RSPB bird sanctuary/marsh didn't know if they would like it but they did apparently still talking about the marsh toads. In the summer the paddling pool will be out and we have a great playground just up the road. Other grand parents I know spend a fortune entertaining the GChildren going to adventure parks the pictures ten pin bowling and it goes on. We will take them up to London one day as the oldest one keeps talking about seeing Buckingham Palace free on buses and trains for us and them. Even having a picnic in the garden is enjoyed.

BonsoirAnna Tue 02-Jun-09 12:19:56

It's much more beneficial for children to spend most of their holidays engaging their imaginations and being creative than in being constantly entertained.

flamingobingo Tue 02-Jun-09 12:21:22


We home educate so 'the holidays' don't apply to us - our lives won't change. Our children are perfectly happy with a teeny £3 paddling pool that they can jump in and out of, do splashing, get water from for feeding their pretend pets. We have a sandpit, and a climbing frame, and have picnics in the garden, and go for picnics to lots of free or very cheap places. We get membership for some lovely places for Christmas presents.

spokette Tue 02-Jun-09 12:21:25

Slug, my DTS are the same. The adventure for them is the train or bus ride. Usually, once we reach our destination, they want to go back rather than walk around the place we are visitinghmmgrin.

forehead Tue 02-Jun-09 13:28:18

Some parents always feel the need to entertain their children, what is wrong with children entertaining themselves.? My Dc's spent most of their half term at home playing board games ,watching tv,fighting with each other ,all the things that children do. They had a blast.They did however, eat me out of house and home.

ChippyMinton Tue 02-Jun-09 13:36:12

YANBU. I love staying at home.
We did buy one of those 12ft pools last year, and I've just got it out again, and the DC are in it all the time, so it was £50 well spent IMO.

Bonneville Tue 02-Jun-09 13:44:09

YANBU. I despair of "activity obsessed" parents who seem to think its compulsory to arrange "activities" for every spare moment of their childrens lives. Do they think it makes them better parents?

ChopsTheDuck Tue 02-Jun-09 13:58:53

I want to swap my four for some of these children who entertain themselves! If mine entertain themselves it usually involves causily actual bodily harm to each other.

I don't spend a fortune, but I do have to get them out and about on activities. I managed to take them bowling, paddling pool/park, two craft groups, and the cinema and spent about £25 all week with petrol. Doesn't have to cost a fortune, but some of us do need more structure. I end up searching the net for free activities and cheap deals prior to holidays.

I usually buy a new paddlign pool every year. They are flipping impossible to clean once they've been in the shed all winter, and have punctures that are impossible to locate.

branflake81 Tue 02-Jun-09 14:04:20

YANBU. However, I get exceedingly bored stuck at home and it's ME who wants to get out and do activities. it's possible to do things very cheaply (parks, swimming, walks, cycle rides) so that's fine but I can't abide spending the day at home. perhaps it would be different if we had a garden.

Countingthegreyhairs Tue 02-Jun-09 14:09:37

YANBU ... couldn't agree more in fact ....

the only caveat being it is a bit more difficult keeping an only child occupied ...(well that's my experience anyway). Dd (nearly 6) is quite happy playing in the garden with a hoop and a cardboard box as long as she has an accomplice ...

morningpaper Tue 02-Jun-09 14:11:50

agree that only children must be harder work

My two are happiest at home in the garden - they hate being trussed up in car seats

I feel bad about it TBH because most days are like this, and I'm aware that they don't have the informal meeting-with-friends-on-the-street opportunities that I had

Overmydeadbody Tue 02-Jun-09 14:29:30


As another clever MNer said the other day, I prefer a more free-range approach wth DS.

SheherazadetheGoat Tue 02-Jun-09 14:33:00

my dd is perfectly happy playing with her wooden hoop and practising her slovakian folk dancing in a nearby meadow. we don't have a tv and knit our own hair.

pagwatch Tue 02-Jun-09 14:46:48

Isn't goat hair really valuable? What a worthwhile hobby - entertaining and potentially lucrative.

Sometimes we stay at home.Sometimes we make stuff shock. Sometimes we go out. Sometimes I place children in very expensive and exhausting activities.
I don't really think it is a big deal what ever you choose as long as your children have fun and you are not tempted to swing for them. Although I suspect from the use of 'expensive and exhausting' in the OP we are all supposed to be macrameing and spotting different coloured beetles in the garden....

SheherazadetheGoat Tue 02-Jun-09 14:48:51

yes we use it to make cashmere jumpers and then barter them for wooden clogs

gardeningmum05 Tue 02-Jun-09 14:49:22

agree with branflake, i would be lost without my garden sad

my 4 are happy with the pool up for the older 2, invite a couple of friends round. my 2 year old is happy catching frogs and letting them go again and again..........
frogs getting abit pissed off now though grin

pagwatch Tue 02-Jun-09 15:43:59

ah Goaty.So close
Brilliant at producing natural materials. Talented enough to turn that raw material into a beutiful product.
Crap at bartering.

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