So, as every Mum, Dad, Auntie, Uncle and Grandparent out there will know only too well, the school Easter holidays are well and truly upon us and that means only one thing; what on earth do we do to entertain the kids?
Yes, it doesn’t matter how many kids you’ve got or what ages they are, every adult responsible for looking after little ones for the next few days will be only too familiar with the phrase “I’m bored!”, and thinking up things to keep the kids busy, especially on a tiny budget, can be a challenge in itself.
But fear not parents of the UK because, this week, your favourite British based childrenswear brand (that’s us, by the way) are here to give all you frazzled parents and grandparents a helping hand, with our top ten tips on how to entertain your children these Easter holidays. And, what’s even better, is that none of these ideas need to cost you anything more than a few quid, so you can keep the kids busy on the cheap and build precious memories whilst you’re doing it.
So, without further ado, let’s get on with our top ten things to do with the kids during the Easter holidays!
1.Build A Fort
It doesn’t matter what age or gender your children are, every kid loves to build a fort; when we were little, we used to build forts out of anything and play in them for hours, usually whilst having a teddy bear’s picnic at the same time.
The beauty of a fort is that you can build it inside or out, so if it’s pouring down you can build it in any room of your house, but if the sun is shining and you want to get the kids outside then the garden or back yard will work just as well. All you’ll need is some bedsheets or blankets to create the tent and some chairs or similar furniture to hold the material up. If you have a dining table, then it’s even easier, simply drape the sheets over the top, or clothes rails work really well too, with some pegs to hold the material in place.
After that, all you need is your imagination, and you could be a medieval knight, an Arabian princess or some jungle explorers off to discover a new world.
2.Play At Dressing Up
Everybody loves to dress up, and if you’ve got young children especially then it’s always a good idea to have a dressing up box for those rainy-day afternoons. With some old clothes and a bit of ingenuity and imagination, your little ones can be whoever they want to be; the possibilities are literally endless.
And of course, if your dressing up box is missing some vital elements (which, if your little angels are anything like every other kid on the planet, you’re bound to be missing the exact thing they want at that particular moment!) then why not simply set them to work making their costume instead? If they want to be a space explorer, then use an old cereal box and some tin foil to create a space backpack, or why not stuff some old tights to create animal tails and ears?
3.Put On A Fashion Show
If you’ve got children who are a little bit older and maybe don’t want to dress up as cowboys and Indians anymore, they why not get them to put on a fashion show for you instead? Because everyone knows that you’re never too old for dressing up or showing off and, trust us, boys will love this activity just as much as girls.
One thing kids especially love to do is dress up in the grown-ups’ clothes, so let them raid Mum or Dad’s wardrobe (or, even better, Gran or Granddad’s wardrobe!), and maybe even wear some jewellery and make up to accessories their outfits too? Or, if your wardrobes have nothing suitable, then you could take a quick trip to the local charity shops and let them select a few items to mix-and-match, and see what creative outfits they can come up with.
4.Play A Game
It’s something we don’t think to do much these days, but sitting down and playing a game can bring hours of entertainment and laughter for all ages. And fortunately, there are now so many ways that families can play games together that you can literally take your pick.
If you’ve got the technology, then consoles such as the Wii or a tablet offer great ways of playing games in a group, whether it be something physical like sports or a general knowledge quiz. In particular, the Amazon Fire Stick or Google Chrome Cast offer great ways of playing family games through your TV, and there are many different genres and formats to choose from.
Alternatively, why not go old school and get out the board games? Monopoly or Connect Four are just two examples that will keep the family entertained for hours, and if you haven’t got any board games yourself then why not nip down to your local charity shop to see what they’ve got, or you could even get the kids busy making their own snakes and ladders board instead?
5.Get Your Crafting Skills On
Easter is a particularly great time for crafting, because there are literally so many things that your little ones could be making. It’s always a good idea to have a well-stocked art box in the house for those times of extreme boredom, but if you don’t then most supermarkets these days sell good quality art products (such as coloured card, crayons, glue and glitter) for very cheap prices.
If you’re stuck for ideas on what they can make, then why not task them with creating some Happy Easter cards, or decorating some hard-boiled eggs to hide around the house for your Easter egg hunt of Easter Sunday? The internet is a great place to look for inspiration on easy things that children can make too, so there’s no excuse for not having a house full of handmade decorations this Easter time.
6.Pack A Picnic
Every kid loves a picnic; it doesn’t even matter where you go to eat it, they just love a picnic. And of course, part of the fun of a picnic is in the making of it, so get your kids involved right from the very beginning. Whether you choose to make the picnic food yourself or simply buy it in, ask the kids to help you in age appropriate ways and they’ll love getting the picnic together and ready to go (the plus side of this, of course, is that they’re much more likely to eat food they’ve prepared themselves, so you benefit on all fronts).
Once your picnic is packed, you just have to think of where to take it. The local park is always a great cheap option, or maybe you have a similar National Trust property or interesting museum nearby that you could combine the trip with? Wherever you choose to go, make sure you do it properly and take a picnic blanket, and the kids will just be thrilled to be having a picnic.
And of course, don’t forget that, if it’s pouring down, you can always eat your picnic in the fort you’ve built at home instead, with or without your teddy bears!
7.Raid The Kitchen
Cooking and baking only great ways of keeping the kids busy for a few hours but they’re also important life skills that all kids should acquire. That’s why there’s nothing better to do during the Easter holidays than get in the kitchen and get creative.
Especially at this time of year, there are so many things that you could make with your children (homemade hot cross buns anyone?) that the whole family will be able to enjoy; after all, Easter is the season of eating, so it’s the perfect time to try it. Again, if you’re stuck for ideas then the internet is the perfect place to find suitable recipes, or pick up a second-hand cook book in your local charity shop for 50p instead.
And don’t forget, it costs nothing to be adventurous and try out new things, and you can always clean up the mess afterwards. One tip though; invest in an apron, preferably a wipe clean one!
8.Get The Jobs Done
This may sound like wishful thinking (I know you’ve all just raised your eyebrows and said “I wish”!) but if you get your Mary Poppins vibe on then there really is no reason why you can’t enlist the help of the kids these Easter holidays and make it fun at the same time. And, as with cooking, these are again important life skills that your children need to learn, so you might as well set them to work and kill several birds with one stone.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s inside the house or out, if you’ve got cleaning or gardening jobs that need doing then you’ll be able to find something appropriate for all ages. For example, if you’ve got younger children, then why not ask them to do the dusting, sort the laundry into piles or do a little bit of weeding? For older children, then you can obviously ask them to tackle bigger jobs, such as sorting out that pile of rubbish behind the shed or (shock horror) cleaning their bedrooms!
But before you right this off as a terrible idea, remember a couple of tips to make this activity a success; first up, give them small jobs to do, one at a time, and provide clear instructions on what you want from them, otherwise they’ll get distracted and go off topic easily. Secondly, don’t forget to make it fun, acknowledge and thank them for all their hard work and, if all else fails, offer a reward at the end. If you do it in bitesize chunks and offer a treat after each hour of work, you’ll soon have them helping you out around the house without complaint!
9.Take A Train Ride
For most children, taking a train (or a bus) ride can be an excitement just in itself, and often the destination doesn’t even matter that much. That’s why hopping on a train or a bus for a little ride out can be a great way of keeping them busy for an hour or two, especially if you make a special trip out it.
The best way to do this is to do your research first; make sure you choose a route that is not too long and that will have plenty to see along the way, and also don’t forget not to travel during peak times to keep the costs down to a minimum. If you can pick a route that will take you to a nice location for the day then do that, but otherwise choose somewhere that you can easily get to and back from in less than a couple of hours.
And again, make sure you make the train ride exciting whilst you’re doing it; play a game whilst you’re travelling, such as Eye Spy, or ask them to look out for certain landmarks or keep a tally of the things they see. To make it extra exciting, why not combine two activities and take a picnic with you too? At least then you don’t have to worry about finding somewhere dry to eat your picnic to boot!
10.Visit The Library
You’ve probably heard on the news recently about the closures that are happening to libraries up and down the country, so the old saying ‘use it or lose it’ is more relevant now than it ever has been. And your local library is more than just a place where you can get books, as they will likely have all sorts of additional activities on for children of all ages, especially during the Easter school holidays.
For example, our local library hosts groups for mothers and babies, for toddlers learning to read and they even have a Lego group for older children, so there really will be something on for everyone. You can look on your local council’s website for details of what’s on and when at your local library. Plus, of course, an afternoon at the library is free and your children can explore a whole new world of books and knowledge, use the computers or simply socialise with other children of similar ages.
So even if you’ve got loads of books at home, there’s always value in taking a trip down to your local library and having a look at what they can offer you; chances are, it’ll be more than you think.
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So there we have it, our top ten tips of how you can keep your rabble entertained these Easter holidays, however old they are and whatever kind of stuff they’re in to, and all of it will cost you practically nothing.
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