A cheap holiday is best

Planning and a little creativity were key to keeping the kids "flat out" and happy.
Planning and a little creativity were key to keeping the kids "flat out" and happy. Sergiy Bykhunenko

SCHOOL holidays are a time for parents to have fun with the kids, even if funds are limited.

Parenting resource website Sunny Coast Kids publisher Lara Hodgson said the holidays were the perfect time for parents to dedicate quality time with their children but keeping them entertained didn't have to involve spending a fortune on outings.

The mother of two said planning and a little creativity were key to keeping the kids "flat out" and happy.

"There's still plenty to do you don't have too sit and watch television all day," she said. But be sure to also give kids time at home to play and don't schedule too much in, she advised.

To help parents and kids beat holiday boredom, the mother of two suggested the following budget-friendly holiday activities.

Check local libraries and art galleries and shopping centres for school holiday activities and workshops: Most libraries will put on craft activities or workshops which are usually free or at low-cost.

Some shopping centres host free face painting, shows and concerts during the school holiday period. Entry into the shopping centre is free but to avoid blowing the budget and spending money or being tempted to spend money at the centre leave the credit cards at home at just bring a set amount with you. Go online and find out what's happening she suggested.

Get outdoors: "Get the kids outdoors they love it. But of course don't forget sunscreen, a hat and water. With my kids we enjoy going for picnics, bike or scooter rides," Ms Hodgson said.

"Beaches and parks usually have great paths and tracks to ride along.

"To cut costs and provide an inexpensive lunch what we do as a family is we will pack plates, cups, bowls and then pop into a supermarket and pick up rolls, deli meat, a bottle of drink and maybe a treat for lunch instead of spending money on take-away foods."

The kids still see it as a treat even if you are still buying lunch from the supermarket.

Science experiments: The internet is a great place to find science experiments for the kids to do at home. Explore your garden, look and learn about what's growing and the insects and bugs that you find.

Playtime at home: There's stacks of simple things parents can do with their kids around the house both indoors and outdoors. "A lot of kids learn through play," Ms Hodgson said. Playdough fingerpainting, bubbles, ball games, dress ups were listed as some of her family's favourties.

"Pitch a tent in the backyard, blow up a bunch of balloons, kids love that stuff," she said and it will keep them occupied for ages.

"Play with them, don't expect them to entertain themselves, the mother of two advised. A lot of kids learn through play," she added.

For more information or ideas visit sunnycoastkids.com.au.

Topics:  parenting tips, school holiday activities, smart shopper



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