As the nights draw in and the days grow colder, it’s harder than ever to find things for the kids to do besides sticking the TV on or leaving them to level up on their games console. Instead, try out some of these cost effective activities that are not only great fun to do as a family but also won’t break the bank:
Craft Christmas cards
As winter brings about the festive season, encourage the kids to sit down and work together to craft this year’s Christmas cards for friends and family with plenty of glitter, felt tips and pom poms. You can likely use art materials already in the house so it’s a very cost effective activity to do.
Build a fort
Blankets, cushions, sleeping bags and snacks all work together to create epic blanket forts that the kids can play inside on a particularly miserable winter’s day. Simply use two chairs or the back of your sofa and a chair to drape blankets across, lay blankets and cushions on the floor underneath then throw in a torch or assemble some fairy lights and climb inside! It costs nothing and can keep them amused for hours.
Most of us have the basic ingredients required for a spot of baking, such as butter, sugar and plain flour so check what’s in the cupboards, load up a site such as the BBC Good Food hub and search for a recipe that features everything you already have. Then spend the afternoon whipping up batches of cookies or cupcakes, perhaps some gingerbread biscuits to decorate by hand or a yummy Victoria sponge to enjoy during a tea party on the living room floor.
Classic board games
Dust off those board games you have piled up in the cupboard and teach the kids a thing or two about the classics. Monopoly, UNO, Cluedo and Scrabble are all great for older kids but for the little ones Buckaroo, Operation, Mouse Trap and Guess Who? are ideal to keep them entertained for a few hours. It is an activity perfect for whiling away a winter’s evening, just ensure you have plenty of snacks and drinks to keep you going!
Grab your warmest scarf and gloves and get the kids wrapped up too, ready to head outside for a brisk walk around the nearby park. You could even make the trip into a scavenger hunt, by putting together a list of things for them to spot while on their travels that they can tick off. Fallen leaves, frozen puddles and cute robins are all good ideas of what to look out for – here’s a great list to print off and take out, or to use for inspiration when creating your own.
Spend an afternoon tucked up on the sofa with blankets and a copious supply of warm drinks, looking through fun picture books together or if your kids are a little older introduce them to a popular book series to keep them entertained. The Harry Potter books are an excellent choice, for example, and you can either read them aloud or leave them to work through the pages on their own. Be sure to ask them questions about what they’ve read later and discuss their favourite characters and story together.
Keeping the kids entertained doesn’t have to cost a penny and no matter what the reason is for you trying to spend as little as possible – whether you are paying off debts or trying to work around a reduced income – there’s so much you can enjoy together as a family for very little cost.
If you are struggling with debts, seek out the advice of an impartial and free debt management service such as PayPlan who can help you get back on track and enjoying life with your kids, with no worries again.
This is a collaborative post.