Entertaining four children of different ages and all of whom need your attention and without spending a fortune can sometimes be a challenge, so here’s our pick of favourite tried-and-tested free family activities and happily, none of which break the bank!
Nature Walks – when the sun’s out (or even when it’s not!) a walk makes everyone feel better. Plus it doesn’t cost a thing! We are lucky to live not far from some great walks. We can take a trip and walk down by the river and feed the ducks or we head off to an amazing park that has lots of places to explore, deer to watch, fallen down trees to climb as well as the mandatory swing, slides and even a sandpit!
Painting Pebbles – when on a nature walk you can pick a few stones or pebbles to take home. Wash them off, dry them, get the poster paints out and let the kids decorate them for the garden. (Alternatively, if you have any terracotta pots they could paint them too).
Make chocolate nests – not just for Easter! We all have cereal in the cupboard and chocolate in the house. Melt some chocolate down, pour it over cereal and let the kids make little nests. Add some mini eggs too – why not?! My eldest daughter is allergic to cocoa, so instead we melt some marshmallow for her to make her nests and add jelly beans as eggs. Tip: Melt some butter in the pan before adding marshmallow so they don’t stick.
Make a den – probably my kids’ favourite thing to do! They love making a den under the dining table or we rearrange the sofas so they’re back to back (with a gap inbetween) and drape some sheets over. They’ll spend hours playing in their den with their toys and imaginations.
Painting – sometimes the thought of popping out the paints horrifies me but it’s something the kids love. If you have some old sponges you can cut them into shapes, or even use potatoes or good old hand and feet prints. It’s even better when the weather is nice as you can do it outside and avoid mess in the house.
Baking – probably the most popular thing to do with my kids is to bake and not just because they like to eat them at the end. Fairy cakes go well, especially the decorating. They also love to roll cookie dough and pat them in to discs. Older ones can help with weighing ingredients or reading you the recipe and instructions.
Crafts – my eldest sons favourite pastime is making things out of recycling. He’ll make tracks for his cars or rocket ships. All you need is items from your recycling, some scissors and Sellotape. If you’re really adventurous, why not let the kids paper mâché the creation with glue and newspaper and paint once dry.
Having fun doesn’t have to break the bank. All it takes is a little imagination and a few items you normally have lying around to have a fun packed day. Enjoy!!