Some ideas of things to do for families on a budget:
• See your local town (or surrounding areas): my local town consists of a retail park with a huge Tesco and an Outfit store, so there's never anything going on. The next town over though is large in comparison and they ALWAYS have themed activities on during school holidays. Most are free, including a 'Beach', workshops and meet character days. It's worth checking out whats happening in your local town too.
• Go to the park: when I was younger I'd always be outdoors. We didn't have iPads and mobile phones back then so the outdoors were where we had all our fun. Feeding the ducks and eating ice cream, as well as picnics and playing on the swings will always remind me of my own childhood. The weather isn't too great for the picnics and ice cream these days, but nothing an umbrella and wellies couldn't fix!
• Build a den: this can be done both outside and inside. Lately, William and I have been placing a blanket over the back of the sofa to create a little den behind there, or over his bed. This is where we can play lego or TMNT in our own world.
• Get creative: paint, bake, make sock puppets - go crazy! William LOVES helping out in the kitchen, and lately he's been obsessed with making sock puppets (I don't know where he's got that idea from). Little things can go a long way.
• Explore the garden: kids are fascinated with the world, and they can feel like explores in their own back garden. Get out a magnifying glass and a pen and paper and they go crazy! You could always collect different shaped leaves and do some leaf paints too.
• Make a film: William had been watching me make youtube videos, and is always telling me that he wants to make a film too. This might just be something that my little one is interested in, but it's worth a shot with your own. Even if an award winning film isn't made, you've managed to create some great home movies that will be treasured in years to come. I feel like I don't make enough home movies, so this is great for me and William.
• Have a teddy bears picnic: if the weather is horrible (like usual) then why not have a teddy bears picnic in your living room? Get all of your LO's favourite toys around (and even include your own if you still have it) and drink juice from tea cups and eat cup cakes and jelly.
• Saturday film day: sometimes its great to just snuggle up on the sofa and watch films all day. William and I watched Aladdin and Monsters University the other day (he'd never seen any of the old Disney films). William loved it and wanted to keep going all day long, but I told him that we could dedicate one day a week to watching films. He's already chosen what we're watching next!
• Make a costume: William loves dressing up as his favourite super heroes and recently told me that when he grows up he wants to be a super hero. Well a super hero is going to need a costume of his own isn't he? It doesn't have to be anything grand; a pillow case as a cape will do him for now.
• Build huge lego creations: William is obsessed with Lego at the moment, which suits me just fine. Lego is fantastic for your LO's creative side. William recently made a house that could shoot the enemies and also be used as a submarine. Just remember to tidy it up after to prevent accidentally standing on a piece *ouch*.
Do you have any tips for families on a budget?