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Single mother, single child, and not much money... please give me some ideas to entertain my child in a shoestring.

(19 Posts)
Maelstrom Sun 05-Dec-10 23:10:43

The sob story is this: I'm a single mum, I have no family whatsoever around, I work but there is hardly enough money for DS and I to go through the month. DS has no contact with his dad (his dad's choice), and is also a single child. So more often than not we have to stay at home as there is not much spare money, or spare time, to go around doing fun things :-(

I do a lot of things to entertain DS but as I have no time on my own, I was wondering if you could suggest some activities that we BOTH can enjoy. Could you?

AuraofDora Sun 05-Dec-10 23:12:45

walks / nature trails
how old is your ds?

TwoIfBySea Sun 05-Dec-10 23:23:07

How old is your ds?

I have dts age nearly 9 now but they were 5 1/2 when their dad walked out on us and similar story, he is very much an absent parent by his choice (but I get blamed of course!) Sticking with the same boat theory here I only work part time so budgeting is an art form!

I think it all depends on your ds and his age. Is he outdoorsy? Then as Aura said, you can pick up a second hand bike for £20 or thereabouts and if there are nice walks in your area then all the better.

My two love the library, there are cds, dvds and toys you can borrow from there as well as books to read together. Also if he enjoys reading it gives you time to relax a little.

What free museums are there? I go in to the museums and galleries of Edinburgh when I can. Not too expensive on the bus and lots of interesting things to look at and talk about.

Maelstrom Sun 05-Dec-10 23:25:16

Thanks for the suggestions

We have doing cooking together and he seems to enjoy it, as long as it is no more than once a week. But when we do... it is my favourite day, he seems to feel very proud of being able to go from cooking to serving the dinner (he draws a line at doing the washing up grin)

Cycling he loves (and me too), but weather and asthma are not helping much at the moment sad

Swimming, I simply can't afford it at the moment. He insists in going to a place with slides and stuff, and tbh I can't manage to do it more than once a month. He claims to get bored in a normal pool.

Walks and nature trails I love, but I guess I need to organise for more children to come with us, as he tends to get bored if it is just the two of us. It is a bit difficult to organise thing as most people I know are busy catching up with their own families during the weekends, but perhaps I need to find more single parents having the same lonely weekends as we have...

Maelstrom Sun 05-Dec-10 23:30:00

BTW he is 8.

Twobythesea. I understand about getting the blame.

There are not many free museums around here, and the few that there are we have done ad nauseum. When the financial situation was not so precarious I used to take the car and drive to nearby cities to see other museums but it is out of my budget for the time being. I really miss that, we had a wonderful time doing those things...

Need to recover the library routine, we used to go once a week after school but we are not doing it anymore. Thanks for reminding me of it.

gillybean2 Mon 06-Dec-10 07:17:41

Do you shop at tesco? If so use the vouchers for days out locally.

Lots of free craft ideas here:

Do you have a patio or path outside your home? If so get some cheap chalks and let him make pictures and designs which can easily be washed away. Or draw tracks or race routs for his toy cars/trains. Fibd ways to make obstacled (stones for rocks or bridge made from a cereal packet)

Make a list of ten things to find on a walk. So in autumn I would pick things like something red, a conker, and acorn etc

Is he into board games? Play sopme together or show him how to make his own simple games.

Play crads together. There's so many games to play, as well as solitaire to learn when you are busy. My ds loves patience and clock patience too. But he also likes playing hearts and various other games.

gillybean2 Mon 06-Dec-10 07:19:04

grief I think I got up too early!
That should of been play cards together.
The rest of the typos I think you can work out! blush

lucie19 Mon 06-Dec-10 14:35:13

A favourite in our house is a DVD duvet day, I get some cheap snacks (value you know the stuff) and they choose the DVD then we get into our pyjamas and sit under a duvet watching the movie and eating crap the kids love it.
Another one my youngest likes but th eldest has got too cool for is wallpaper painting when I have a spare pound I buy poster paint and pick up odd rolls of wallpaper from friends or freecycle then I roll it out on the patio if its fine or the kitchen floor if its not and we paint anyhting using fingers brushes feet anything we think of.
Finally have you got a phone or sat nav with GPS if so geocaching is great fun. Google it for the details. Its like treasure hunting. Often the caches are within walking distance or a short cycle.

Forster Mon 06-Dec-10 14:38:59

Sport? Local football/rugby/swimming clubs would this appeal to ds? They are often low subs and/or will exercise their discretion is cost is an issue.

lucie19 Mon 06-Dec-10 14:44:54

Talking about clubs if your DS gets free school meals find out about Join Up Join In. I run a guide unit and a number of my girls have their subs paid for by the scheme

BikeRunSki Mon 06-Dec-10 14:52:19

Libraries - he's probably too old for Storytime, but mine do free craft activities during school hols.

Swimming - I thought this was free for under 16s? British Gas do vouchers for free family swims too.

Musuems are free, and often a lot more interesting than you anticipate, and very child oriented.

TrappedinSuburbia Mon 06-Dec-10 15:11:41

Do you know any of his friends parents? Perhaps you could invite his friends over for an afternoon playdate.

Forster Mon 06-Dec-10 21:24:13

Are you near London?
Can you network on the net/MN to find other families/LP who might want to do stuff at weekends?

Also Forest School Camps is a fantastic orgnaisation. Kids generally love it. My ds went when he was six for three nights and had the time of his life. google them and see if it is for you.

Kewcumber Mon 06-Dec-10 21:27:45

singlewithkids website is good for arragning meets with other local single parents, also good for chepa camping holidays in the summer.

anothermum92 Mon 06-Dec-10 21:43:35

Message withdrawn

GypsyMoth Mon 06-Dec-10 21:45:23

one word......GEOCACHING!!!!!

MollieO Mon 06-Dec-10 22:15:01

Don't you need a GPS something or other for geocaching?

TrappedinSuburbia Tue 07-Dec-10 23:18:37

My son's favourite is going to the beach (we live on the coast) and kicking a ball about, maybe not advisable in this weather though!

girliefriend Wed 15-Dec-10 20:09:26

Am in a similiar situation, does your local odeon do a kids club? Sometimes on a rainy wend I take dd to the kids club as its cheap (£2) and adult goes free- dd loves it! Also we do trips to a local garden centre where they have a pets corner, muddy walks ummm and games (if Im being good!!!)

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