We’ve made it to spring and the next lot of school holidays is fast approaching. Here are seven budget-friendly ideas that’ll help keep the kids off their screens throughout the two weeks of the school holidays.
If you’re increasingly tempted to preserve your sanity by caving in and allowing your kids more screen time, then fret not!
Here are seven outdoor and indoor activities the whole family can enjoy together – and save you a pretty penny in the process!
1. Build a herb garden
This is quicker, easier and cheaper than you’d ever think! The best bit is it can actually save you money over the long run.
You can buy dirt cheap (excuse the pun!) seeds online here, or ready-to-plant herbs down at Bunnings for a few bucks each. Or you could do both if you want to mix a little instant gratification with showing your kids how plants grow.
While you’re down at Bunnings, buy a few bags of $5 potting mix – depending on how big you want your garden.
The garden bed itself doesn’t have to be fancy. You can use large rocks, old planks of wood, spare bricks or besser blocks – whatever you or your neighbours have lying around that will keep the soil in place.
2. Make a home movie
Instead of fighting over how much screen time the kids are getting, try and put their bad habits to good use.
You’ve already most likely got everything you need – a camera phone to record, and a computer to edit (some phones even have video editing software on them).
The best bit is you can stretch this activity over three days. One day to write the script, one day to act out the movie, and one day for editing!
3. Create a family book club
Before the end of the holidays pencil into the calendar an event where you all sit down as a family and hold your own book club.
You don’t all have to read the same book, or feature article, either.
The youngest can read a picture or kids book, the teenager can read a young adult novel, and you can read a full length novel or feature article.
Not only will you get everyone’s eyes away from the screen, but you’ll get to share with each other what lessons you took away from it all. If you all enjoy the concept, there’s no reason why you can’t hold one each month throughout the year.
4. Visit the beach or local swimming spot
While the weather may not be hitting the highs of mid-summer, Spring is often warm enough for you to enjoy cooling off at your local swimming. However, if you don’t show up prepared with ideas, the kids can get bored or restless quite quickly.
Tried and tested activities that will tire them out include a sand castle making competition, an old school ironman beach flag race, and learning to surf (which can give them a fun, healthy and low cost activity for life!).
While you’re down by the water, consider catching the night’s dinner by going fishing.
5. Go fish! (aka card games)
Dust off the old deck of cards for hours of entertainment.
Once your kids are getting tired of that, have them build a card tower to see who can go the highest!
6. Camp somewhere nearby
Camping doesn’t need to be a tedious and rough affair. You can do it in a nearby designated camping area for a night or two, or even in the backyard.
Teaching your children basic camping skills means they’ll have more confidence to explore this beautiful continent on the cheap when they get a bit older themselves.
If they’re old enough, show them how to safely build a fire and then you can all toast marshmallows together!
7. Cooking or baking class
Teaching your kids to cook and/or bake is a skill that will set them up for life. Especially as these days more and more young adults are over-reliant on take-away and delivery services such as UberEats.
Here’s an additional tip – get them to cook something you can freeze and defrost so they can take it to school during their first week back and show it off to their friends (and spare you a day or two of odious lunchbox duties!)
We’ve tried to make the above tips cheap and cheerful to highlight to the younger generations that you don’t have to spend money to have a good time.
It’s also important to remember that the same applies to you – experiences and long term financial goals are what matter most, not necessarily the latest must-have new gadget.
So here’s to living in the moment and smashing your budgeting goals as we enter into the last couple of months of 2019!