Keeping the kids occupied during the school hols

Children play football

Banish boredom with Mumsnetters' crafty ideas for keeping the kids entertained without breaking the bank

1. Suit up

1. Suit up

“Invest in decent waterproof trousers and coats. You can get out and use some of the parks nearby – it seems to stop the children going stir crazy!”

2. Football fanaticism

2. Football fanaticism

“My two are football obsessed, and we have a fab park near us, so I take them there with a ball for an hour or two.”

Tip: Try FA Skills sessions, where FA coaches run morning and afternoon sessions through school holidays in a friendly, fun and safe environment for children of all abilities.

3. Open a "restaurant"

3. Open a "restaurant"

“Planning to cook and waitress for Mum and Dad's restaurant one night has been surprisingly successful. Our kids decorate the table, plan the meal, then shop and design a menu. They loved it.”

4. Head into town

4. Head into town

“In London there are always lots of things to do, and lots of it is free or low cost. During the holidays we've been to a few museums and galleries, gone to a couple of parks, and visited relatives. Most activities have been free and they travel on public transport for free, so that keeps the costs down.”

5. Build your own Groundforce squad

5. Build your own Groundforce squad

“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.”

6. Make a bored board

6. Make 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 moans and it makes kids more inventive, and encourages them to think for themselves as they start to move themselves on to a new activity.”

Photo: craft-o-maniac.porch.com

7. Dive In

7. Dive In

“Going swimming is always good – it's suitable for a variety of ages and inexpensive. As we have a gym membership I count it as free!”

8. Go gadget-free

8. Go gadget-free

“Remove electronic games and ipads. Let the fun begin.”

9. Step into the past

9. Step into the past

“National Trust membership has been a fabulous gift from our in-laws. There's usually something going on at our local ones in the holidays for those days without a plan.”

10. Cache in the attic

10. Cache in the attic

“I rotate toys. I put things in the loft for a few months and then bring them back out – that way they're fresh to the kids, and keep them entertained during the holidays.”

11. Be your own Cake Boss

11. Be your own Cake Boss

“Our fallback activity is baking. We have cake tins and biscuit cutters in all shapes, so we can bake to match the season or festivities. Often my son will want to throw a birthday party for his teddy bears so we make small fairy cakes for them all. It is a great activity that makes him feel grown up (helping in the kitchen) but also allows messy play (icing everywhere and little silver balls found for days after!).”

Look here for great baking recipes that are easy for little hands and won't break the bank.

12. Turn on the tap

12. Turn on the tap

“For bored children up to a certain age there's nothing like water – a long bath, a sink full of water and lots of random plastic pots, splashing in puddles, running through a hose, filling a paddling pool with jugs.”

13. Carry on camping

13. Carry on camping

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

14. Get an app for that

14. Get an app for that

“Our children are just getting into geocaching – which can provide a 'reason' for going for a walk or exploring somewhere a bit different. And now, of course, there's Pokemon Go. It's very similar – just lots cooler when you're 11. Our council has also started to make apps to encourage people to go out and do things outdoors, like treasure hunts, to liven up a walk in the woods.”