We’ve all experienced the sharp rise in the cost of living. Unfortunately, this includes paid-for activities for children but there are discounts and savings available:
Kids Pass is currently available as a 30 day trial for £1 and this membership provides significant discounts on activities such as cinemas, museums and meals out. Visit kidspass.co.uk/indoor-things-to-do
Visit England offers suggestions, by local area for a wide range of activities to combat boredom. Visit visitengland.com/things-to-do
Local newspapers could offer free and discounted summer activities. Keep an eye out for these.
It can be embarrassing asking for discounts, but it’s always worth reading the small print and checking whether there are any offers. Everyone likes a bargain and you certainly won’t be the only person seeing if they can save a bit of money.
Local libraries are also a good source of information, as well as providing access to books for rainy days indoors. Joining is free and there are often separate, fun places for children to sit and read…..and quiet areas for adults too.
Sign up for the national summer reading challenge: summerreadingchallenge.org.uk
Local Councils and holiday activities and food (HAF)
Finally, it’s worthwhile checking what’s provided by your local Council on their website, such as holiday play schemes, after-school clubs and activities.
The Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme is funded by the Department of Education, usually for those in reception to year 11 who receive benefits-related free school meals. This year is the first time the entitlement to free activities has been extended from just those accessing free school meals to ‘those affected by the cost of living’, which will apply to all families! Many activities are indoors (in recognition of our unpredictable summers) and at least one meal is included. Check your local council website, searching HAF to book onto sessions. They’re booking up fast, but most councils are adding to them constantly.
Blue Peter badges give you free entry to lots of places!
“I’m bored” is a refrain that parents often become used to in the school holidays, with no structure or arranged activities. Many children are happy to just play either on their own or with friends and siblings. However, sometime, they’re not and especially when there is limited indoor or indeed outdoor safe space to play. Here are a few suggestions:
Cooking – most children can be lured away from a screen with the promise of cleaning a bowl of cake mixture. Homemade food often works out less expensive than readymade alternatives and can be fun. Flapjacks are a tasty, simple and cheap option. Here’s a link to a recipe: everydaycooks.co.uk/flapjack
Games – from old fashioned ones such as hide and seek, to free online games. The BBC has games for all ages. Visit bbc.co.uk/cbbc/games. There are also numerous games on other sites, just make sure children stay safe online. You can download and print (or copy by hand) some pre-made treasure hunt sheets here.
Colouring books and paper and pencils/pencils are also good to leave around as sometimes children are happy to entertain themselves.
Grow something – seeds from fruit and veg, a bit of compost and some pots is all you need to get started. Seeing something grow and feeling that you have been part of that process is rewarding. Cress is a good option or sprouting carrot tops is fun! gardeningknowhow.com/special/children/grow-carrot-tops.htm