Taming the Terrors on a Budget

One mum recently said, “I love the first two weeks of the school holidays, then the novelty wears off, usually when the activities and money runs out.” While you want to keep the kids occupied, you don’t want to break the bank with expensive outings. Check out these top tips for keeping your kids and your wallet happy.

Let Mother Nature takeover

There’s nothing like a bit of fresh air to keep everyone happy. Get down to your nearest beach, pool, forest trail or walking track. Best of all, apart from national park fees, it’s free. Pack a picnic, tennis balls and bathers to make the most of it.

Get crafty

Kids love a good art project so set up a craft area where they can work to their hearts content. Put down an inexpensive plastic drop sheet, don the smocks and get out the paints and textas. Try setting themes for them to work to, or time challenges.

Save dough

Making your own Play Doh will save money as well as create a fun activity when you cook it up. Kids will get excited about choosing the colours and you won’t feel guilty if they mash all the colours into one.

Local Institutions

Check out your local art gallery, museum, observatory or local council to see if they have a school holiday program. Many institutions run low or no cost activities on a daily basis through the school holidays.

Get a job

Encourage older teenagers to get a casual job over the school holidays to get them out of the house and some extra cash coming in at the same time. Scrub up in a nice outfit and walk around local shops to ask if they have any extra shifts to share.

A little helper

Rather than keep kids occupied elsewhere, get them to help you with your household tasks - make pizza for dinner, bake cupcakes or make muesli.

Dress it up

Head to your local op shop with a few dollars to spend on costumes for a themed play afternoon. Set your kids a theme and budget to stick to, at the same time making a donation to charity.