Here at FAB® we have long been coming up with ideas to help Mums keep the family entertained without breaking the bank. Working with parents, we’ve come up with the following affordable ideas for keeping the family happy.
Why not have a go at creating, drawing, building or even sculpting your own dream den.
Stage running races, create obstacle courses using soft household items – a huge cardboard box to crawl through, a football which has to be kicked around markers, tins to jump over.
Hula hoop, limbo and skipping competitions, bean-bag throwing and egg and spoon races are all popular pursuits to add to the events list. Print homemade winners’ certificates or make medals using ribbon or string and card, so the day can culminate in an awards ceremony.
Make an ‘old’ map using the time-honoured tea bag trick (wiping a wet tea bag over a piece of paper or painting it with a strong brew). Then simply leave a trail of clues and some party bag type goodies with each one, or only at the end in a ‘treasure box’.
There are plenty available online for under £10 or search the web to find 'how to make your own kite' for a DIY version.
There are endless possibilities for this as long as the weather obliges: running through a rotating garden sprinkler on a hot day, water pistols and soakers, or a paddling pool and all sorts of containers for pouring and measuring.
Get a group of friends together and head to the park for a game of rounders. It’s a family favourite and if you don’t have a rounders bat, a cricket bat and tennis ball will do.
If you’ve got a group of families around, how about some favourite games like Stuck in The Mud or Hide and Seek. Do a bit of internet searching to find rules for some variations and different ideas too.
It’s very good for the whole family to get used to helping with chores, such as weeding part of the garden or washing the car.
’Let’s go for a walk’ isn’t a phrase met with glee by many family members, so liven things up with a nature trail and a list of things to find – dandelions, daisies, oak tree leaves, stones of a particular shape or colour. Even if you live in a city there are usually walking routes through green belt areas close by.
Junk modeling is popular for good reason, it’s free and everyone loves it. Decide on a construction theme together – space rockets, or a royal castle perhaps, then grab glue, cereal boxes, egg boxes, silver foil, and loo roll/ kitchen paper and see what they can come up with.
Indoors or out, it could be based around a favourite book, or simply made up. Raid the charity shop for costumes and props.
Worms are strangely fascinating so the whole family (unless you are squeamish!), will love creating and monitoring your own wormery. Again a quick internet search will bring up plenty of sites explaining how to create one.
This can be a surprisingly big draw for families. Give everyone a small budget – just £1 will fund something ‘new’ – to see what they can find and maybe you could even set a competition to find the most interesting object.
Grab some wallpaper lining paper plus paints or crayons, lie down whilst someone draws your outline, creating a life-size portrait! Finish off by taking a photo lying next to it so you compare their real person to the arty version.
Get hold of a magnifying glass and find creepy crawlies in the great outdoors. Grab a bug identifying book from the library and insect investigations can be educational as well as fun.
A pick-your-own farm will cost a few pounds but can be a good value activity given you’ll literally walk away with the fruits of your labour. Towards the end of the summer look out for blackberries to pick for free.
If it rains, hold a board game bonanza. Keep a tally of who has won what through the morning/ afternoon. If you’ve got dominoes, create a domino run, or use playing cards to make a card house – compete to see who can manage the biggest/ tallest/ longest.
Get the paints and crayons out to paint the planes’ liveries and see whose engineering skills result in the longest flight. If you are struggling for inspiration take a look online for some help with potential designs.
Find a favourite DVD, then task your family with producing tickets and film posters, and close the curtains!