The summer holidays are here and last week came the posts on social media about how parents can’t wait to spend some family time with the kids #soblessed #makingmemories etc you know the ones!
They’ll be the same people counting down the hours until bedtime and debating if 1 pm is too early to break open the 2nd bottle of Gin in 3 days!
So when that time comes here’s ideas to keep them amused without breaking the bank.
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5 ways to entertain the kids under £20.
1 – Home made slip and slide.
We had hours of fun as kids with this one! We had a little green area at the front of our terraced house and the parents would take it in turns to keep watch on us while a big group of neighbourhood kids took turns messing about on a cheap strip of plastic with either a hose gently spraying it down or if a hosepipe ban was in place we’d squirt some washing up liquid on it and soak it down with water pistols! Good times! 🙂
(Note this was the 80’s and I do not recommend adding anything to help with the slipping process due to the health and safety of your little ones!)
You will need:
Thick plastic sheet – something like this is perfect!
A hosepipe or access to water.
Space – A clear, flat piece of grass to set up and get sliding.
Check the ground carefully for anything that may cause injury!
Small stones, sticks, and prickles are all to be avoided for this one. The ground should be as flat as possible too. Too many bumps will result in bruises (believe me I know!) and dips in the ground will result in big pools which might seem like fun but for best results and less friction, I recommend keeping things as flat as possible.
Plus from a health and safety point of view, you don’t want anything that will cause the kids to speed up too much! Controlled slipping is the aim of the game here! 🙂
Then simply spray the plastic well and get sliding!
Bonus points can be awarded if you have water pistols to hand to add to the fun. 😉
2. Rock painting
Rainy day arts and crafts are always a win because let’s face it the British summer is never perfect sunshine all the time!
You will need:
Some rocks – We collect a couple from the beach every when we visit but any medium to large stones from the garden will do. (give them a wash before you start)
Paints – again you can use pretty much anything here but I find poster paints are best with the small kids as washing out spillages is much easier! You can pick these up easily from places like the Early Learning centre, hobby craft or The works for a few quid. Something like this works well http://amzn.to/2uSJLNi
Finishing spray – If you want to keep your finished artworks you will need to coat them with a sealer of some kind. A coat of Mod Podge or a clear spray will work great, Both available from hobbycraft/ eBay/ Amazon etc. Both come in gloss or Matt effect so you can choose which suits you best. I use this one from Wilkinsons
Paint brushes/ applicators – you can get creative here! Try a bit of rag rolling, finger painting printing with cotton reels etc or you can just go with good old fashioned brushes!
We love this set from Amazon in our house as it has a bit of everything! 🙂
Don’t forget something to cover the kid’s clothes and the floor it could get messy! 🙂
Ideas for extending this one include adding a magnet to the back of smaller rocks to decorate the fridge, adding googly eyes to make rock monsters or why not make an audience for the kids to stage their own ‘ahem’ Rock Concert…sorry 😉
3. Outdoor Chalkboard
My Pud is pretty creative and loves drawing and arty stuff so we always have a stash of outdoor chalks on hand!
They are big chunky versions of the normal blackboard chalk and they can take a beating on the rough patio surfaces.
These particular ones come with chalks included or you can buy different designs and chalks seperately for less than £10 and like I said they last ages!
This one is basically free art day. Let them go to town on the patio and paths and brick walls and simply wash it down or wait for it to rain and the clearing up is done for you! 🙂
You could extend the play by using chalks for games like hopscotch , hangman, and noughts and crosses if you want to add a bit more structure.
4. Melting Snowman biscuits
A quick simple ‘baking’ idea without turning on the oven.
You will need:
Biscuits: Any plain round ones will do.
Chocolate Beans: Mini smarties or the ones in the baking section work great for colour or you could just use chocolate chips.
Black writing icing or black icing pen
Twiglets or stick shaped snacks(optional)
This is an abridged ‘how to’ recipe taken from the BBC Food website.
- Mix the icing sugar with a little water to make a smooth, thick but still runny paste.
- spread/ drizzle the icing onto a biscuit to create the melting snow.
- Add a marshmallow for the head and some chocolate beans/ chips for buttons and a nose.
- break a twiglet in half and add it for the arms (if using)
- Use the black icing to add 2 eyes and a mouth. (If not using twiglet arms you can add arms with black icing instead)
- set until icing is dry then enjoy.
Side note: This one can get very messy but the kids LOVE it!
5. Foam pavement paint
This one is an idea from The Tiptoe Fairy
I’ve not tried it myself yet but it looks really cool so I’ll be trying it out on our next sunny day!
You will need:
- Two 4 oz. bottles of WASHABLE school glue
- 1 cup white flour
- 4-5 cups plain white shaving foam
- food coloring drops
- 1 extra large plastic zipper bag
- smaller plastic zip lock bags – 1 per colour
- Optional: plastic squirt bottles – I’ve just ordered these for us to useThe process to make it is fairly simple but The Tiptoe Fairy explains it so well with some great step by step photos I will now pass you onto her for that bit!
Click here to visit the tiptoe fairy’s blog
Don’t forget to come back and tell me how it goes though!
If you try any of these out do let me know in the comments