Holiday Activities for the kids: share with Lidl your top tips - vouchers to be won NOW CLOSED

(230 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 29-Dec-16 14:31:13

The team at Lidl know how hard it can be to entertain your children during the school holidays, whether that’s the cold February half term, the longer Easter hols or the never ending Summer break. So we’re keen to hear all the activities you do with your children to stop them from uttering those dreaded words… ‘I’m bored…’

So, what’s your saving grace? Do you try and get them outside for for a kickabout in the park or a game of rounders with friends? Or - if the weather’s not playing ball - do you have some ideas for keeping kids occupied when they’re stuck indoors. Maybe you have some Easter-related food you make together, or arts and crafts tricks? And above all that, how do you stick to a budget and keep costs down?

Add your top tips and plans of action to this thread and you’ll be entered into a prize draw where 5 winners will each get £50 to spend in Lidl.

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OP’s posts: |
TrollTheRespawnJeremy Thu 29-Dec-16 19:47:55

I LOVE the holidays and live for the time that I have off work to do things with my DD, we always have a house full of her friends.

It doesn't have to be a big entertainment activity- sometimes boringish stuff that needs done can be fun. Last year I had all the kids on our street planting my seedlings for me in Spring - I stuck some squash and cake out for them and they were delighted.

I also get help with the weeding, or spots of touch up painting inside the house. Kids love to be involved.

We do splash out every now and then and go on days out or have a tea party/bbq but I would urge people not to be stressed over what to do with their kids during school holidays as they are quite capable of amusing themselves!!

purplepandas Fri 30-Dec-16 09:54:11

For me, craft and playing games and generally hanging out in the garden works. Some easy baking is appreciated too (e.g. Christmas cookies last week). Meeting up with friends also!

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Fri 30-Dec-16 09:59:27

I'm a firm believer in Benign Neglect. So I will balance hours/days where I focus a lot on the dc with times when I deliberately pay less attention to them. Children who are used to entertaining themselves cope better with boredom - get less bored in general.

Sometimes we will spend intense time together, sometimes I do minimally directed stuff. I dig out a handful of toys that are rarely played with. "Do you want to keep these, or shall we give them away?" Usually keeps them busy for a few hours! Or a challenge: who is making lunch today? Or when I go shopping I rewrite my shopping list so that I can give them each one, and they fetch things from around the shop.

Other times I reply to the very occasional "I'm bored" with "so go do something".

PorridgeAgainAbney Fri 30-Dec-16 11:37:37

Having a big list of things to do (boring and exciting, big and small) is good because then there is always something that will fit the mood rather than pinning my hopes on doing something that my son doesn't want to do or planning only for a picnic and it turns out cold and wet!

A magazine or sticker activity book which is great for rainy days can be earned by helping out with other tasks throughout the week.

Like the pp, I find that putting a big bag of toys by the front door for the charity shop is a good way of occupying my son for a few hours!

Spread out family and friend visits so there is always something to look forward to rather than ending up seeing everybody in one exhausting weekend.

CopperPan Fri 30-Dec-16 11:38:42

I like getting the dc out of the house - we live in London so there are always lots of things available to do, lots of it is free or low cost. During the Christmas holidays we've been to a few museums and galleries, been to see a film, gone to a couple of parks, gone out on a bus to see Christmas lights and shop windows, and visited relatives. Most activities have been free and they travel on public transport for free so that keeps the costs down. The cinema trip was on a kids screening which was only £2.50 a ticket. It's great living in a place where there is so much on offer that they never get bored.

ThenBellaDidSomethingVeryKind Fri 30-Dec-16 12:07:23

Going swimming is always good - suitable for a variety of ages and inexpensive. As we have a gym membership I count it as 'free'! It's also not reliant on the weather. Failing that, making cakes, a good stomp in the park or a museum - the latter two are also free, in most cases! If I feel like splashing out, we often try a theme park or aquarium.


asuwere Fri 30-Dec-16 14:38:00

I tend to have a list with different activities; days out, crafts, games, baking etc, then we can pick something each day. Most of the time though, I try to encourage the DC to entertain themselves and they know that if they do moan about being bored, they will be given extra chores to do! smile

itsnotfair10 Fri 30-Dec-16 15:39:15

My ds is a massive outdoor fan, so we go for walks on the beach, in the woods, to the park and play in the garden.

When the weather isn't so good I tend to follow the footsteps of my grandparents and what they did with me when I was a kid. Baking cookies or Easter nests, painting stones, playdoh and making cards for upcoming birthdays smile

I do agree with other posters though, children do need to be bored sometimes so they learn to entertain themselves. so I will sometimes pop a film on in the background and let him entertain himself

foxessocks Fri 30-Dec-16 15:59:22

Going for walks or drives to explore places , cheap and cheerful too although a quick cafe stop is always good!

eckythumpenallthat Fri 30-Dec-16 16:27:34] is brilliant. Every holiday I check to see if there's one running near me and there usually is. It's usually free, gets us out in the fresh air and a perfect challenge for dd to do

Chokehold Fri 30-Dec-16 17:06:14

All in the planning...
Make calendars for gifts at Christmas these can be with photos of the kids, by the kids; adding autumn leaves, glittering fireworks, dried flowers, or tinsel to decorate that month.
Walk dogs and stroke cats etc at local rescue centres.
Make bouquets for friends and family.
'Entertain' elderly at care homes and put on a show for them.

Purplehonesty Fri 30-Dec-16 18:19:15

We bath dolls, play board games, play with cars and make dens.
Today we changed the beds and did the washing and the kids loved helping!
Then we got the guinea pigs out and played with them and then the kids spent a good few hours playing together with their cars.

While it's nice weather we get out in the garden, for for walks and to the beach.

kateandme Fri 30-Dec-16 18:54:53

make sure you give them time to breathe and be bored on their own.dont fill the days with plans and do not be one of those who has a planner marked with day trips!
they need to feel boredom to find themselves.find their loves find how to entertain and learn from it.go go go doesn't help I found specially if something happens and it all suddenly changes.
then it also make the trips and days out or activities more fun.and they will be less engaged and spoilt with it.
colouring.baking.reading. tent out in the garden or a den made out of blankets.
national trust places.picnics.
going on walks and bikerides. loads of national trust places have excellent cycle paths the kids love in the holidays.getting the route letting them have a map to follow they love it.
planning to cook and waitress for mum and dads restaurant one night has been supirsingly successful.they decorate the tableplan the meal then shop.then design a menu. they loved it.
make cards.letters. nothing
slob.wathc tv or movies.
let what comes come plans harly ever work unless your fluid

YerTiz Fri 30-Dec-16 20:10:41

Get outside as much as possible - walk in the woods, to the park, local farm. Wellies and raincoats to get outside even if the weather isn't great!

I try and mix up seeing friends a couple of days in the week with lots of down time too. At home we'll do:

Playing with the many toys they have! Building a big train track around the front room, playmobil pirates versus knights, building Lego.

Play doh, colouring, painting.

Baking - biscuits or, at Easter, chocolate nests with mini eggs.

Tv/iPad/movie time - it's ok a little bit!

Miss pies or digging/planting or games like 'what's the time mr wolf' in the garden. Sandpit when it's warmer!

YerTiz Fri 30-Dec-16 20:13:26

*Mud pies, that should be!

Gazelda Fri 30-Dec-16 20:49:44

The park, library, crafting or Lego usually do the trick. Sometimes I get her to hang the washing out as a 'treat' or she can wash her dolls clothes in a bowl in the garden.
I've kept her busy today by drawing and writing thank you cards for her Christmas presents.

Anuvvername Fri 30-Dec-16 21:14:11

We're members of a gym, and a trip for a swim or gym (older DC is 10 and allowed in the youth area of the gym) burns off a bit of energy. We then have a snack in the cafe before leaving. Everyone is showered and clean and feels virtuous!

CMOTDibbler Fri 30-Dec-16 21:37:25

Keep an eye on your local paper (even if you don't usually read the free paper) and any family orientated magazines that are distributed - I find lots of special offers, free events and ideas in those.

LiveLifeWithPassion Fri 30-Dec-16 21:46:13

Out and about as much as we can. The weather isn't usually a problem.
We also take advantage of free stuff going on in museums and libraries.

At home, we do a 300 piece jigsaw puzzle over a few days, baking, arts/crafts, tv/games and some benign neglect.

FeelingSmurfy Fri 30-Dec-16 22:17:40

Top tip for people with older children is a bored board! Get a wipeable board, write I'm Bored... And then a list of jobs that need doing. Any time anyone says they are bored they have to do one of the jobs. It cuts down on the "I'm booooooored" moans and it makes them more inventive and able to think for themselves as they start to move themselves on to a new activity.

Also, make time to give them your full attention, even if it's just an hour over lunch

wannabestressfree Fri 30-Dec-16 22:28:53

I aim to do something with them individually (there are three boys) even if it's an hour of Fifa or a board game. Two have asd so prefer an activity to either be in the home or played way far in advance....
I am now older and wiser than I was and have learnt the following things....
more often than not the best things are not the things that cost the earth.
Don't put too much emphasise on 'making memories' or 'instafection' chill.
My sons have had lots of hobbies. I have watched inane football teams, know the rules of war hammer, know a Roche run from a air max 905 and will watch whatever they want on the tv.
''Tis the little things innit.....

littledinaco Fri 30-Dec-16 22:36:14

Get wrapped up and go to the park/beach. Take lunch/snacks so can stay out longer.
We like to put the music on and all have a dance.
Do face paints/make up.

Theimpossiblegirl Fri 30-Dec-16 22:50:39

Camping in the garden (or just in the living room if it's cold) is always fun.

We get out in all weathers, we have to because of the dog, but as long as you are dressed for it, it's great fun.

Rainy days are also a great opportunity to play the board games we never usually get time for, or to watch a movie together.

Every day doesn't have to be filled, we don't spend much, but we do have fun!

queenoftheschoolrun Fri 30-Dec-16 23:19:47

I agree that children have to learn how to entertain themselves. My DD is quite happy left to her own devices - reading, crafting, building dens, riding her bike, playing with lego - yesterday she did a show. She designed the programmes, chose what to perform (singing, recorder playing and reciting poems), made some popcorn for the interval and had a lovely afternoon. The show itself lasted about 5 minutes!

We also make lists of places we'd like to visit or things we want to do and make sure we tick some off each holiday. This holiday we had doing some lino cut prints, playing board games, visiting a local National Trust property and making gingerbread. It's been great.

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