Once the excitement and sparkle of Christmas is over, attention frequently turns to the need to provide entertainment for kids who are still on school holidays. However, since Christmas can be an expensive affair, many adults find that they have to tighten the purse strings as the new year starts. With this in mind, we’ve gathered together a few ideas for activities that kids can do for free. Which will you add to your to-do list?
1) Explore winter wonderlands with the Woodland Trust
All Woodland Trust sites are free to visit, so if you’re willing to wrap up warm you should be able to explore a woodland near you. You can find your nearest Woodland Trust spot with this helpful map. Take some packed lunches and warm flasks and embark on a little exploring and perhaps a little learning too.
You’ll find lots of ideas for activities on the Woodland Trust website, including downloadable guides for winter crafts for kids including how to make ice lanterns or paper snowflakes. If you’re keen to get outdoors after many days spent cooped up watching TV, you could try out geocaching. It is one of many free children’s activities that runs all year round and all you need to take part is an app on your smartphone or a GPRS.
2) Have a board game marathon
When the weather outside is uninviting, cosy up inside with mugs of hot chocolate, leftover Christmas sweets and a stack of family board games to play. Make sure there’s a mix for all ages among your collection so that everyone gets to play something they enjoy. You could also have blankets or duvets on hand for when little ones need to take nap breaks. Why not make your board game marathon an annual event and crown an ultimate board game champion every year?
3) Grab a free bite to eat
Eating out may be an expense you think you can’t manage this month, but both local independent restaurants and big chains will be looking to entice you into their dining rooms with some great offers. Look out for deals in your local paper and check online for discount vouchers too. Some big-name chains even offer ‘kids eat free’ deals during the Christmas holidays, providing they are accompanied by a paying adult. Currently offering this type of deal are La Tasca, Flaming Grill Pubs and Crown Carveries. Make sure you check the terms and conditions for each deal as the ages of children that can be included do differ. Is it time you took a day off from cooking?
4) Book a workshop
Retailers are fast realising that they need to go the extra mile to win loyalty from customers. Many are now regularly providing free workshops and activities for children. Often, all you need to do is book online and turn up. What’s more, there’s a niche to fit a range of interests with Lego, Pets at Home, Hobbycraft, and Dobbies Garden Centres all offering workshops to keep little ones entertained. Check individual websites for more information and look out for upcoming activities in 2017.
5) Have a fancy dress day
Playing dress up is a fun and creative activity that can fuel little ones’ imaginations. Make use of outgrown clothes and new toys to create fun fancy dress costumes for all the family. Take inspiration from the best films or books you’ve watched and read over the festive period and become someone else for the day.
All of the team here at NFA wish you and your families all the very best for 2017. Why not start the year by exploring your fostering options by speaking to one of our team?