The summer holidays are just around the corner and like many of us you are faced with trying to keep your child entertained for 6 whole weeks. While older children can often entertain themselves the younger ones are not always that easy to please.
We have some great ideas, tips and tricks to get you through the holidays with a smile of your face.
Keeping Them Entertained
Have a plan of action for each week. Possible days out, play dates, activities etc Mum in The Madhouse has some great free printable planners on the blog. Perfect for working parents that need to plan childcare through the holidays as well.
Don’t make plans. Make a daily decision on what you are going to do. Wing it and see where you end up.
The worst sentence ever muttered by a child is “I’m bored”, it can drive you insane. Be prepared and get a bored jar ready before the holidays start. All you need to do is fill a jar or box with activities for them to do like read a book, crafts, watch a film, go for a walk, tidy your room, make a den etc When they tell you they are bored get them to choose an activity to do.
Get them to make a summer bucket list and list all the things they would like to do in the summer holidays and then choose one each day.
Start a summer scrap/happy book. Have your child write, draw, glue on pictures of their summer adventures. A great rainy day activity.
Go on a park crawl. Make a list of all the parks in your area and visit them all. You could either do it in one day or spread it across the 6 weeks.
Go on lots and lots of picnics.
Have a sports day. Invite their friends over and have a sports day in the garden.
Arrange some playdates. Take turns with friends to host a play date, the kids can play and you can site, drink coffee and have adult conversation.
Set up different play stations in your garden. You could have sand & water, a shop, kitchen, balls & hula hoops, trikes & scooters, crafts, reading corner etc that way they can flit between each station and not get bored.
Bake cakes! Who doesn’t like cakes? If baking isn’t your thing but plain fairy cakes or biscuits and let your children decorate them.
Make your own ice lollies. Make them in the morning and they should be ready by lunch time. Experiment with frozen smoothies or fresh juice lollies.
These Strawberry and Banana Smoothie lollies by A Mummy Too look great.
Psst mums here are ones just for you, Cucumber Gin & Tonic Popsicles by Port and Fin.
All the crafts. If in doubt get the craft box out and let them get messy. Perfect for those too hot to play in the garden days. You could set a theme for the summer and make items for an art show at the end of the holidays.
Build a den. In the garden, in the woods or in your living room.
Invent your own games.
Put on a show. Invite family and friends over for a show, get the children to sing, dance, tell jokes or do magic tricks.
Go to the seaside, eat doughnuts, build sandcastles and play to 2p machines.
Go to the Zoo.
Go to a theme park.
Visit a museum.
Go on a train ride. Choose a destination and have an adventure.
Go the cinema.
Have a home cinema afternoon. Make popcorn, snuggle up and chill out.
Go to the theatre. Check out your local theatre for children shows.
Top Tips and Money Saving Ideas
Have a garden box/trug/bag ready to go. Fill it with wipes, sun lotion, towel, hats, tablecloth etc and have it by the back door. All you need to do it grab drinks and snacks to throw in and off you go into the garden. It saves you running around looking for everything you need and you can just get outside and have fun. It’s especially good if you have very young children that you don’t want to leave on their own while you keep going back indoors for things.
Have a car bag ready to go. Similar to above we have a bag in the back of the car with wipes, nappies, sun lotions, sun hats, a towel, first aid kit and bucket and spades. It means we only have to grab a few things before go out for the day.
Make sun care a part of your daily routine. We out on sun lotion every morning before we get dressed so we are protected before we leave the house.
When going on a picnic, pack everyone their own pack lunch rather than one big bag of food. That way you will have leftovers which go floppy by the time you get home.
Take your own food on days out. It can cost quite a bit to eat out at theme parks etc
Take your own drink when you go out. Costs of drinks can add up.
If you are out and fancy an ice-cream, visit the local supermarket and buy a multi pack it will be much cheaper.
Check for any offers and voucher codes before you go out for family meals. Try sites like my voucher codes, voucher codes and Money Saving Expert.
Book online and in advance at theme parks, zoos farms etc they often have a good online discount.
Use your supermarket points. Tesco and Nectar points can often be used for money off tickets.
Find free events. There are loads out there you just have to look for them. Many museums have free entry as well. Have a little search and see what you can find.
Take part in the Summer Reading Challenge at your local library. It’s free, fun and gives you a regular day out during the holidays.
Sign up for the 10 minute Shake Up from Change For Life. It’s full of activities, stickers and a free wrist timer.
Watch films for free by setting up a trial with Netfilx, NowTV or Amazon Prime just remember to set a reminder to cancel if you don’t want to carry on.
Ditch the car and stay local for the summer. You’ll get fit and save money on petrol.
What are your top tips for a great summer?
Father’s Day is around the corner and lets face it dad is hard to buy for.
We have a some great printables for you to give dad an extra special treat.
There are 4 posters for you to print out and frame. Choose which one you like best and just click and print.
We also have this great poster for you to print out and fill in. Get the children to write or draw what makes their dad rock! They could do one each.
Just click and print!
Let us know if you use them, we would love to see pictures
Easter and half term are just around the corner. We have found these great Easter Crafts to keep you and little ones entertained.
These Bunny Cards from Emmys Mummy are really cute and the kids will love making them.
We are loving these Spring Chick Brooches from Life Is a To Do List.
Decorate your home with this adorable Pompom Tailed Bunny Garland from Mum In The Madhouse.
Try making these Paper Plate Easter Baskets from Nurture Store for your Easter egg hunt.
These Yarn Easter Eggs from Craft by Photo look brilliant and loads of fun to make.
We do love a bit of salt dough at Kids One Stop Shop. Try making these Salt Dough Eggs from Design Mom.
Keep it simple with our Easter Egg colouring sheets.
Visit our Easter Pinterest Board for more Inspiration
Its St David’s Day this Sunday and we have found some great crafts and recipes to help you celebrate.
These Daffodil Pin-wheels from Nuturestore are simple to make and look lovely.
We love this little Welsh Lady from Activity Village
These Paper Leeks from Filth Wizardry look brilliant
Make a Dragon Shield with DLTK Holidays
These Welsh Cakes from BBC Good Food look amazing.
Wales.com have this brilliant recipe for Bara Birth.
This Welsh Dragon from Domestic Goddesque looks like a lot of fun to make.
Visit our Pinterest Board for more inspiration.
Just a few weeks now until Valentines day which happens to fall just before the half term. We have found some great crafts ideas that you could do in then half term and extend that loving feeling through the half term. Lets face it February half term is probably the one that needs perking up the most!
We love this Beaded Valentines Card from Emmy’s Mummy.
These Rose Buns from Et Speaks From Home look amazing!
In The Playroom have been making these cute Scrunched Tissue Paper Valentines Hearts.
We are loving these Mini Paper Plate Dinosaur Valentines Crafts from Crafty Morning.
You will have a lot of fun making these Salt Dough Heart Footprints from Red Ted Art.
This DIY Clay Heart Bunting from Nurture Store is so simple to make but looks amazing.
Looking for something quick and simple? Try these Heart Shaped Paper Chains from Mum In The Madhouse.
We have some Cut & Colour Hearts which are perfect for your Valentines Crafts.
These Pom Pom Love Monsters from Sugar Bee Crafts are super cute.
Another really simple but oh so effective craft from Aunt Peaches. Have a go at these yarn hearts.
For more inspiration visit our Pinterest Board.
Ok now its your turn if you have a Valentines make on your blog at it to our linky below
The autumn half term and Halloween are just around the corner. Don’t panic we have plenty of ideas to help you keep them entertained.
We loves these Toilet Roll Bat Buddies from MollyMoo.
These Pumpkin decorations from Here Comes The Girls are brilliant.
Why not make a Halloween Moon Mobile. Activity Village have a great tutorial.
Not feeling crafty and fancy some baking instead? Try our Witches Fingers .
Try these easy mini donut spiders from Its Always Autumn
We also have some free Halloween printables for you to download. Decorate with our spooky garland.
Or if your looking for something a little less messy try our Halloween and Autumn colouring sheets.
Find more inspiration on our Halloween board.
The Thrifty Festival had a nice summer holiday and now its back ready to help you be a little bit more thrifty.
Autumn is on its way so we thought we would kick off with a Autumn themed festival.
As the weather gets cooler and wetter it gets harder to keep the children entertained. Anna at In The Playroom as the perfect thrifty activity for you. Check out her post with 11 Recycled Junk Modelling Crafts.
Everyone likes flowers and these are perfect to brighten up a room when its a bit grey outside. They also make great gifts and if you choose right and arrange them yourself they won’t cost the earth. Ellie at Family Style has this great little tutorial on how to make a Beautiful Boutique Florist Style Flowers on a Budget
As the weather gets colder you may find yourself using the car more and that means more fuel. A Thrifty Mum has 10 top tips on saving money on fuel.
Liz over at Me and My Shadow took part in Zero Waste week and her goal was to minimize lunch box packaging. She did a great job and her post is packed for of tips on how to minimize packaging and save money!
The Diary of a Frugal Family have the ultimate list of 70 Frugal and Fun Autumn Activities to do with the kids.
Looking for ways to use up those leftovers? Try our Chicken, Bacon & Mushroom Pasta Bake.
Half term will be upon us soon we have some great ideas for having a great autumn half term on a budget.
Lastly we have some great ways to save money this autumn
Now its your turn. Share your Thrifty posts with us to read and share.
There is also a Pinterest Group board if you would like to be added please let us know and of course feel free to grab a badge.
The summer holidays are upon us and it’s sometimes hard to know what to do with then children. Don’t worry we have some brilliant ideas for you to do this summer holidays.
If you want to get out and about this summer there are plenty of events going on throughout the country.
Old Winchester Hill National Nature Reserve, Hayden Lane, near Warnford, Hampshire, SO32 3LF
Can you jump like a grasshopper, run like a beetle, flutter like a butterfly, dance like a bee, hunt like a dragonfly? Come for our mini-beastastic activity session, play some marvellous mini-beast games, uncover some mini-beast mysteries – about dancing bees & farming ants!
Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Join Mowgli on his wonderful adventures with the loveable and wise Baloo the Bear, the powerful panther Bagheera, not to mention mischievous monkeys and the terrifying tiger Shere Khan! A guaranteed summer hit for all the family.
As part of National Play Day we are hosting a hungry bug play day! Have a go at our butterfly hunt, make yourself a caterpillar hat, and enjoy our bug-themed play area. Why not bring along a picnic to enjoy in the castle grounds – because all us bugs get hungry after a good play!
Cattows Farm, Heather, Leicestershire LE67 2RF
WOW! 2014 – and now entering our FIFTH year, Strawberry Fields Festival is widely regarded as one of the fastest growing and most exciting independent festivals in the UK.
Stanmer Park, Brighton
Little Monsters Bash is a fun festival for mini festival goers aged between 0-10 years old and their families. The event is being held at the glorious grounds of Stanmer Park in Brighton, East Sussex on Saturday 9th August 2014. Enjoy the main stage hosting a variety of celebrity live acts and shows or visit one of our many specific Monster zones which have their own entertainment schedule and activities which are free for visitors to participate in. Families who attend get to enjoy a fantastic fun day out, where children get to enjoy interactive learning and play as well as having fun!
Brockholes, Samlesbury, Preston
This Hobbit themed adventure is guaranteed to excite and entertain the whole family whether they are seven or 77!
Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD
A visit to the Summer Exhibition is the perfect way to introduce your children to art, bringing together some of the most exciting work being created right now. From sculptures and paintings to drawings, prints and photography – prepare to be inspired! Book now to take part in a fun interactive tour of the galleries, led by our engaging artist-educators, followed by an art making session inspired by the works on display in the Summer Exhibition.
Enjoy this once a year exclusive family opportunity to cycle around the picturesque Parkland of Blenheim Palace, a World Heritage site. Bring your bicycles (and helmets) and cycle around the spectacular Lake and over the Grand Bridge, take in the scenery and fresh air, stop for a picnic and make it a day to remember.
Burley Park, Burley, Hampshire
Come and join us for a friendly uplifting fun weekend. Enjoy the magik in the enchanting home of the New Forest Fairies.
Live acoustic music, Folk bands, Morris dancers, story telling, belling dancing, Platform Mediumship, lots of activities and workshops will heighten our senses with love and joy. Let your spirit run wild and free!
Dress in your finest fairy and elf costumes and be sprinkled with Magik Fairy Dust!