Some lovely Frugal summer fun activities to do with the kids this summer by Vicky Scowcroft:
If you’ve got any primary school age children at home, you’ll already be well aware that this is the season of the school sports day. But if you’re looking for some frugal summer fun for your preschoolers, why not get them in on the sporting action, too, by organising your own mini sports day in the garden? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Egg and spoon race: You can buy a proper set, with oversized spoons and plastic eggshells with beanbag yolks inside, from places like ELC – but it’s easy enough to put together a set of ‘eggs’ (think robust and vaguely spherical items) and spoons from the kitchen cupboard – plus you can tailor each egg and spoon combination to the child’s ability/level of clumsiness, so that you get a photo finish on your race even between children of different ages.
Skittles: I picked up some skittles at a car boot for 50p and it’s the best 50p I have ever spent. We’ve spent many happy hours lining them up and knocking them down – and of course taking it in turns to play helps to build young children’s patience and an understanding of sharing, competition and teamwork…. (Note: more accurate and stronger throwing/rolling of the bowling ball starts to happen around age three – hang on in there, frustrated parents of two year olds!)
Twister: With four coloured cans of spray paint and a devil-may-care attitude to lawn maintenance you can create an outdoor twister game that won’t crumple up and is perfectly proportioned for your preschooler! It’ll help them to learn colours and left from right, too…
Cars, cars, cars
There seem to be a lot of classic car shows around this year. If, like us, you’ve got car-obsessed toddlers or preschoolers, a trip to see a bunch of cars lined up in a park could be just the thing for a day of frugal summer fun and (mummies with car ennui please note) these things usually have some food stalls and (non-car related) gift stalls attached.
The bigger events (Tatton Park, I’m looking at you) are obviously not very frugal BUT smaller events in local parks are great – we took a picnic to one in Didsbury Park, Manchester, this month and it was not only great fun but also free entry for all! Keep an eye out for posters on trips to local parks – these things are usually well signposted locally… as are other community events like mini music festivals, fetes, etc.
Summer is the time for parties – garden parties, birthday parties (I hated my January birthday as a child: the kids with summer birthdays had such fun parties!) and of course christenings. With plenty of food and drink, and a bunch of other children to run around with, christenings can be fun for the little ones: pack some portable garden games to keep them entertained while the adults toast the little star of the show with a couple of glasses of fizz, and a pleasant afternoon can be had by all.
Of course, buying the right christening gift is difficult: they’re often either prohibitively expensive or just really, really dull – which is where our gorgeous christening and new baby prints come in! Beautiful birds and enchanting elephants in your choice of colour and frame will delight parents, add interest to the decor of any nursery, and provide the perfect memento of a child’s special day. And best of all, frugality lovers – personalisation is FREE!