If there’s one thing that a lot of parents find themselves struggling with as their kids get older, it’s trying to find new ways to keep them entertained. After all, when they’re babies, it’s easy to keep them happy when all they really need is for you to make some funny faces at them. This is especially true during their time away from school. Plenty of parents spend their kids summer holidays desperately trying to figure out ways to stop them from getting so bored that they end up tearing the house apart. However, there’s one major issue that a lot of parents run into when it comes to trying to make sure that their kids are entertained: a lot of the things that kids love to do cost money. Whether that’s going out somewhere for the day or the hundreds of different toys that kids find themselves wishing for, it’s easy to end up feeling like the only way to keep your kids entertained is by spending huge amounts of money. However, that’s simply not the case. Here are just a few things that you can do to entertain your kids when you’re working on a tight budget,
If there’s one thing that you can pretty much always rely on, it’s the imagination of young kids. Kids love to create things out of nothing and one of the best ways that you can get involved with that as well is through crafting. Every single parent should have some kind of stockpile of crafting materials. And it doesn’t need to be anything fancy either. Save the cardboard boxes from any deliveries that you get and your kids will almost certainly be able to turn them into something pretty unique. Having a few specific crafting tools like a craft glue gun and some decent pens is always a good idea. Though you should always make sure that you’re the one dealing with anything hot, sharp, or dangerous. From robots to monsters to castles, there’s no limit to your kid’s imaginations and crafting is a great way to give it an extra boost.
Have a movie night
Plenty of parents have a limit on the amount of screen time that their kids get and that’s a pretty sensible thing overall. However, there’s nothing wrong with bending that rule from time to time, especially if it lets you have some real quality time together. Having a movie night with your kids is one of the best ways to deal with miserable weather or simply not being able to get out of the house for whatever reason. Let everyone pick a film that they want, make a huge bowl of popcorn, get under a big blanket, and turn your home into a cinema for the day. It’s a great way to take something kind of simple like watching TV and turn it into an event that your kids are really going to enjoy.
Go get lost somewhere
Do you know what doesn’t cost a thing? Going outside. A lot of the time, parents are so concerned with making sure that there’s a decent degree of structure to their kid’s activities that they forget that sometimes the most fun a kid can have is just being let loose. Next time you and your kids head out for a walk, why not go somewhere new and forget about structure. Go for a stroll in the woods and get lost for a while. After all, you’re always going to have your phone which gives you access to the rest of the world when you need it and few things fire the imagination of a child like getting away from the rules and structure of their regular life and getting back into nature.
Kids love cooking. Ironically, it often feels like kids love cooking more than they love actually eating. A lot of the time it can be difficult when your kids want to get involved with cooking when you’re just trying to get food on the table. They can get in the way, slow things down, and make life just that little bit more stressful than it needs to be. So why not actually set out some time for cooking with your kids where you’re not worrying about hitting a meal deadline? Embrace the mess and chaos of cooking with your kids. It’s a great way to not only keep them entertained but teach them the fun of food and teach them a valuable like skill all at once.
Stories are some of the best things in the world for both kids and adults. And yet, far too often we reserve storytime purely for when the kids are going off to bed. Why not set up a little reading corner at home for you to read together. You can read to them and if they’re a little older they can read their own books while you do the same. There’s a decent chance that they’ll even want to sit and read to you. It’s one of the simplest pleasures in the world but it really is a wonderful thing that could well end up wiling away the entire day without you or your kids even noticing what happened.
The reality is that the most important thing is you and your kids spending time together. It often matters less what you’re doing and more than you’re all enjoying yourselves. You also need to remember that there’s nothing that says you have to be keeping your kids completely entertained every second of every day. Sometimes it’s okay for you all just to hang out on the couch, watching TV and relaxing. Sure, that’s no how you want to spend all of your time, but there’s nothing wrong with that being at least a part of your free time with your kids. Trying to force too much structure is just going to leave both you and your kids feeling stressed and out and exhausted.