Keep the kids entertained

A family having fun in the garden. Picture: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos.

A family having fun in the garden. Picture: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos.

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Entertaining the kids over the school summer holidays can seem worryingly expensive, but it doesn’t have to break the bank.

For cash-strapped families, beating the boredom with expensive day trips may be out of the question, and cheaper home-made fun could be the best option.

Research by the Nationwide Building Society suggests more than half of parents are worried about how they’ll finance entertainment for the kids and childcare during the holidays, with 25 per cent not having planned how they’ll pay for it.

Anne Longfield, chief executive of 4Children, says: “Days out can strengthen bonds and build shared family experiences and memories that we know are so important.

“But the financial pressures facing families are already deeply concerning and, when combined with the escalating costs of attractions and transport, the traditional family day out is increasingly under threat.”

However, parents worried about how they’ll afford summer entertainment should remember that kids are very good at entertaining themselves, and plenty of cheap and cheerful fun at home could be a great boredom-buster.

Instead of just leaving kids to their own devices, mums and dads looking for inspiration can get help from the new Sainsbury’s Bumper Book Of Summer. Packed with ideas for activities designed to help families have a fun summer without blowing the budget, it was written by family games author Josie Curran and features ideas from David Beckham and Ellie Simmonds, as well as Nickelodeon TV presenters Anna Williamson and Jamie Rickers.

Ideas include holding a Wacky Races competition, going on a torch treasure hunt and making pictures from pasta.

Rickers says: “Anna and I had lots of fun trying out the activities, and I’m thrilled that one of my favourite games when I was a kid, den building, made it into the book.

“It can be done indoors or outdoors with whatever you have lying around the house, and once you’ve built your own den, it’s great fun to play at being a secret agent.”

Williamson adds: “The book is full of inspiration for kids whatever their interests are. It’s about having fun, using your imagination, and making new friends and memories.”

The Bumper Book Of Summer is £5 at Sainsbury’s.