By Rachel | Monday, January 1, 0001 Family and Social

Let’s jump straight to it. Kids plus holidays equals “I’m bored”, “I’m hungry” and generally lots of expense. How can we survive the holidays without breaking the budget? Here are our top 5 tips to keep the little munchkins entertained!

1. Child Swap

Sounds a bit strange, but please hear us out. Before boredom sets in, establish which friends of your child/children are home with parents during the holidays and who are willing to have structured weekly/fortnightly play dates. By locking in the days where you have the lot, you can be prepared with things like board games, park activities, DVD’s etc. and by having the extra kid/kids means you are hopefully left alone, other than when they need to be fed! Then you get the days where you don’t have any kids as yours are now over on their play date, giving you time to catch up on any personal activities you want to do.

2. Search for free kids activities online

You will be amazed at how many free activities there are available in your area. Aside from all the wonderful parks and beaches we have, (which should always be included somewhere in the holidays) searching the web for ideas will open your eyes to incredible events you wish were around when you were a kid! (Could we direct them to kidspot as they list free activities?) There are markets, fetes, free shows, displays and if you can afford an outing or two, you will find zoos, farms, sea life, museums and more that wont break the bank but will break the boredom of staying at home.

3. Go Camping

Every family should try camping at least once! Firstly, the beauty of camping is it is not expensive. Secondly, you can go somewhere an hour from home, or four hours; there are just so many wonderful campsites around Australia. If you don’t have any equipment just ask around. So many people have the equipment and are more than willing to lend it out, because ironically they are just glad to see it being used rather than in the shed! The other great things about camping are:

  • You can go just for one night or many – and can change it at any time!
  • It’s a great way of getting the kids off the electronic equipment and see nature without interruption

4. Set a goal with the kids and thank them for helping!

This one may cost a little bit – but you are in control as to what the reward will be. All kids love rewards. At the very start of the holidays determine what reward would be particularly suitable for your child/children. It could be going to a water/theme park, a show/concert, mini golf, a train/boat/day trip, etc. Print out a calendar and for each day nominate something your child must do and mark the day the reward will happen. Things like, helping with dishes, cleaning, washing the car, helping with dinner etc. This really will help your kids stay focused, and if the holiday whinging really does bother you, include this in the task list – i.e. every time they say they are bored they will get a cross marked on their calendar. If they get more than 10, the reward will get pushed back or cancelled (your choice!)

5. Help the community

A quality we all want our kids to have is compassion. We also want them to understand that there are kids who are very sick, disabled or less fortunate and so we really need them to be thankful for what they have blessed with. By finding a charity/hospital/fundraising event that you and your kids can help with or participate in is something very worthwhile for the kids and us as parents. For example, have your kids sort through their toys, books and clothes and explain to them about the hospital/charity/event you are going to so they understand how they are helping. It is a wonderful thing to do, and they will always remember it.   We hope you find some or all of these ideas beneficial over the school holidays and we wish you and your family a very safe and happy 2015!

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