The challenge of entertaining children (economically).

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children, days out, entertaining children,
I am relatively inexperienced in these matters, but I’ve already learned that entertaining children during a school holiday can feel like burning cash (see below for photo credit)

Well that was it, the Easter holidays have passed in a blur and we seem to have spent the majority of it entertaining children. This break was particularly significant for my family as we were testing just how thrifty we could be.

There is a reason for this austerity. Our oldest daughter, Helen, started school last September and so this was only the second school holiday we’d ever had to deal with as a family unit. When the Christmas holidays came up at the end of 2013, we were entirely unprepared and we spent stupid amounts of money keeping the children entertained.

This time around we made a serious effort to conserve cash and the results weren’t too bad. I was geeky enough to keep a diary of all the money we spent entertaining the kids over the past two weeks. Yes, we spent much more than I anticipated but it wasn’t the ludicrous money-fest it could have been.

The solution was preparation. There were no eleventh-hour visits to soft play centres or the cinema as there were at Christmas. Instead we spent time researching when the Kids AM showings were on at the movies. We also borrowed DVDs from the library and had fun choosing them. We also spent several days at granny’s house. Needless to say, granny spoiled the kids but, hey, that’s part of the deal, right?.

Interestingly, one of our most cost-effective days out was to London. Helen was fascinated by the Natural History Museum while her younger sister couldn’t get enough of a boat ride on the Thames Clipper.

I guess the next challenge is going to be the summer holidays. I’m looking forward to keeping both children entertained in the most economically attractive way possible. It’s only 12 weeks away. I think I may start planning for it now.

Photo credit: Images Money.

Image reproduced under Creative Commons license.


7 thoughts on “The challenge of entertaining children (economically).”

  1. Those principles will serve you forever. My mom used to entertain us (me & my 2 years younger brother) by requiring us to “go outside, now!” We were responsible for everything else after that. ;-D

    1. As ever Maren, a marvellous comment! My upbrining was certainly more along the lines of “go outside and entertain yourself” that my kids get.

      In fact, I think you may have inspired me to write another blog post! Watch this space…

  2. This spring break we just went to places that are free and we bring our own food. We did spend a lot more on gas but really it couldve been worse if not for our own food. I am so jealous of families on holidays on the blog but we cant really afford one at the moment. #mmwbh

    1. I hear what you’re saying Merlinda. We’ve clamped down a lot as a family on the amount we spend on eating out. As for holidays, we’re really not sure what we’re going to do but it’ll have to be very cost effective. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Great post and don’t tell me the summer holidays are only 12wks away! I’m only getting over the last two they had off, lol! Costs a BOMB when they are off school, so I am thinking along your lines! Plan now and pray for good weather! Thanks for linking up! #MMWBH 🙂

  4. Pingback: Entertaining kids No 2 | Dad Blog UKEntertaining kids No 2 - Dad Blog UK

  5. Pingback: Entertaining kids No 2

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