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8 Top Tips For Having Wonderful Summer Holidays With The Kids On A Budget

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Here are my Top Tips for finding things to do in the holidays to keep those kids of yours busy without breaking the bank!

 

1) The Library

There is a summer challenge every year.  This year is the ‘Creepy House Challenge‘ where the kids read 6 books by the end of the summer holidays and they get loads of encouragment from the librarians with stickers and the chance to tell them about each book.

This is a great activity.  It’s Free.  It takes time going to the library.  You can do it when it rains!  Plus it’s a gentle way of keeping them going on reading.

 

2) Forests

I’m an ambassador for The Forestry Commission and love Wendover Forest.  They have a Forest Fairy Tale activity going on at the moment, which is a great way of getting our kids involved in being outside.

Take a picnic, make dens, let their imagination run free!

 

3) Festivals

I LOVE going to small or family festivals.  I’m off to Folk by the oak this weekend and Folk Stock in September.  Check out my top tips for first timers.

Take your own food and drink to keep the cost down and give the kids a purse with their money in it so that they understand there is a limit and can choose what they would like to do, but that it’s not an endless supply.

 

4) Simple Things are good for the kids

Don’t worry about a lack of money, it’s good for the kids to enjoy the simple things in life.

Don’t try to fill all their time, it’s good for them to get a little bored, or to learn to occupy themselves (although you may need to give them a bit of direction or make it easy for them to think about it).

 

5) How to keep the house together and yourself from going crazy

Check out my Top 7 Tips For the Summer Holidays , with ideas on how to keep the kids occupied and help the house to survive!

 

6) When You Are Exhausted

Read these top tips for cheap games to play when you are tired:  so that when you are exhausted, or if you get sick, you have some simple things that take little energy for you to do, or that they will be happy doing over and over.

Take some time out.  Swap with another mum.  Ask relatives to give you a day off.  Or pop the kids into a day’s camp if you can afford it.  You’ll come back revitalised and fun to be with, so it’s a win-win for the whole family!

 

7) Don’t Do Things You Can’t Afford

Don’t put yourself in debt in order to survive the holidays.  Your kids don’t need that.  A simple rule of thumb is that if it’s going to take you more than 3 months to pay off (i.e. a season), then you can’t afford it.

They won’t be ruined forever if they don’t get to go to Disney World or an adventure park.  Look at the free things available instead like museums or community events.

 

8) Don’t Feel Guilty About Working

It’s a fact of life, some of us have to work full or part-time during the holidays.  I’m particularly aware of this as things are going to be really busy this summer with the preparations for my new Salon and Spa as it opens in October.

With the time that you have, be present with them.  Create Memories.  Have fun.

 

What are your top tips?  (Feel free to add your blog post if you have written one, I don’t mind people adding links).

 

 

Video Wed: Bristol, the simpler things in life and sunshine

Bristol is a weird place, it has an odd magnetic nature.  I remember a social worker telling me that they recommended that families didn’t move elderly relatives out of Bristol because they hardly ever reacted well to it.

A few weeks ago we went back to my home town of Bristol to meet up with some old friends who were over from the states.  As we drove in Curly Headed Boy said ‘Oooh Bristol is lovely, why don’t we live here Mummy?’.  I must admit I felt at ‘home’ immediately.  However much the place has grown up (it now has an aquarium and a science museum), it still felt the same.  It’s such a colourful place.  St Albans is lovely and all, but people do tend to wear the same colours, have the same coloured cars, and look pretty similar.  Bristol is a mass of difference.

I popped out to a chemist and suddenly was faced with something I hardly have in St Albans; someone SMILED at me, before I smiled at them.  Wow!  It’s not that people are unfriendly where I live now, it’s just that they are more reserved.  Plus local Bristollians look like me, there’s a lot of the ‘hobbit’ look as I call it; short, with curly brown hair, and rosey cheeks.

It took me a day to remember something that is most different.  It hit me when we went to a local festival (which was by pure chance, as we didn’t know it was on), and I realised that in St Albans I’m always ‘doing’ things with the kids.  But in Bristol as a child, it was more that you would go somewhere and meander around in a chilled sort of way.  You kind of look at the docks, or the downs, or the ‘stuff’ and meander around with a pile of other people just meandering around.  It was a big reminder of enjoying ‘the simpler things in life’.

Hopefully at the moment I am enjoying the ‘simpler things in life’ on a beach, paddling in the sea with Little Dimples and Curly Headed Boy.  I’m assuming it is really sunny where we are in Cyprus (did I mention my excitement at our first every family summer holiday in a previous post?!), so I thought I’d send you some sun!  So here is the video wednesday with Katrina and the Waves ‘Walking on Sunshine’.  (I’m particularly fond of her because she played a gig for us at Uni, and she has sooooo much energy, she was really fab).