We’ve passed the year mark of the pandemic and if you are Zoomed out of ways to keep your kids occupied during the day, let alone the school holidays, we hear you. With zero personal space, salary cutbacks, homeschooling, constant interruptions and the same four walls day-in-day-out, it’s safe to say patience has been tested.
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As the Easter holidays get underway and lockdown drags on, ideas for entertaining your children over the two-week break may be wearing thin after a year stuck at home. But fear not, we have just the thing to keep you and your little ones amused - and your pennies firmly in your purse.
Clare Francis, Director of Savings & Investments at Barclays, who is mum to six-year-old son Seb, shares her top tips on having fun with your kids at home whilst on a budget.
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Money-saving activity ideas for children
1. Free online resources
With interactive tours and experiences, you get the best seat in the house!
You can take your kids on interactive museum tours, experience a Barclays Digital Eagles Code Playground, or even visit a zoo and meet different animals - all from the comfort of your home and without costing you a penny! There are lots of free resources online that are sure to keep the kids entertained, whilst also being educational.
2. Make a time capsule
Pack up your best memories for a nostalgic surprise in years to come
Why not make a time capsule together so that you can remember what life was like during lockdown? You could include photos of things you got up to, get your child to draw pictures and also have them write down what they’re most looking forward to once restrictions begin to ease. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it when they’re older when they’re telling their grandchildren about living through a global pandemic!
3. Recycle and get crafty
Eco-friendly and egg-citing. Your rubbish just got a whole lot more entertaining!
Alongside solo arts and crafts, such as origami, egg painting and papier-mâché, you could save boxes, kitchen roll tubes and egg cartons for your child’s imagination to run wild with. Challenge them to build the most creative Easter-themed project they can – from bunnies in a field using cardboard to hard-boiled egg chicks. This can provide hours of fun with little to no cost and is a great way to limit your Easter holiday spending.
4. Nature trails
Nature is the best playground out there
Now that two households and up to six people can mix together outdoors, why not buddy up with another parent and arrange a walk in your favourite outdoor space with your kids. To make a game out of it, challenge your kids to look out for or collect certain Easter themed items. For example, keep your eyes peeled for tulips and daffodils, or play eye spy with anything yellow or red. Not only is it free, it’s also a great way to get off the screens and have some fun.
5. Make Easter cards
Personalised cards will make your loved ones feel even closer
Another creative project that your kids can work on independently is to get them to create personalised Easter cards for all their loved ones - especially those they haven’t seen in a while. Not only are handmade cards more economical but they’re also a lot more thoughtful than store-bought ones. You can use the spending features in your Barclays app to see where your daily expenses go and how you’ve been able to manoeuvre around your spending limits with these cheap and cheerful activities.
6. Ready, steady, cook!
Baking is a wonderfully fun pastime
Getting your kids to help out in the kitchen when you’re preparing lunch or dinner can be a great way of teaching them some basics about how to prepare and cook food as well as teach them about healthy eating. They often loved being involved, especially if you entrust them with a potato peeler or knife (under supervision, of course), and it can be a good way of getting them to try new things. If they’ve helped make it, I’ve found they’re more likely to try it. Also, baking cakes and biscuits is another good way of passing an hour or two if you’re stuck for something to do, and can cope with the inevitable mess!
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