Half Term on a Budget
Half term is nearly here, and the kids are looking forward to lots of action packed and exciting days out. But how do you balance the budget when it is nearly the end of the month and Christmas is approaching too? In this article you can get some tips for low cost and no cost activities which will keep all the family happy.
Start by making a plan. Write down the days of the week, and make a list of things that the kids have asked to do, appointments you have to attend and ideas that you have.
Free activities include
• Dressing up.
• A walk to the park.
• Exploring the local woods.
• Visiting local attractions with no entry fee. Look in the local paper, local parenting magazine and on the local council website for ideas.
• Visiting the library: ask in advance about free half term activities.
• Getting the children to put on a play. This could be based on their own ideas or a book from the library visit.
Low cost activities
• Giving each child £1 and exploring the local charity shops to see who can get the best toy, book or game
• Baking. Offer the kids the chance to make their own sandwiches, create an indoor picnic or even bake a cake. This need cost no more than your meal would have cost anyway, or you can spend a little extra on some treats.
• You could look at special half term activities put on by local attractions as well as Hallowe’en and fireworks events.
If your children have great ides about visiting theme parks, buying new DVDs and computer games and lots of meals out, work out in your head how much you have to spend on half term activities. Look for discounts of 10-45% on days out and theme parks offered by cards like BaBeeCard. This card also offers savings on the London Dungeon, paintball and activity camps.
Booking tickets in advance can save you money too: don’t forget to ask if there are good deals for family tickets. If your kids are old enough, give them an idea of the budget for half term activities. This can help them weigh up what they really want to do. It might also cut down on requests for you to buy them things if they know that the ‘half term fun’ money is being saved for a great day out that the whole family can look forward to.