With a trip to the cinema for my son and I costing a minimum of £20, no snacks included; a day out to our favourite theme park leaving my pocket at least £150 lighter and a trip to the local pool costing £15, it is easy to confuse “fun” things with things that cost lots of money, but that’s not the case, I promise.
When I was in full time study to be a dietitian, money was tight, like beans on toast every night tight, but we found ways to have fun that we still love doing now.
Here are our 10 top fun things to do … for under a tenner
1. Fake away
We all know that take away food is not overly nutritious for us, but it also isn’t cheap either. We love making pizza’s from scratch using 2 cups wholegrain flour, 1tsbp. oil, ¾ cup warm water, seasoning and 1 package of quick rise yeast, or sometimes we “cheat” a little and use this ready rolled dough from Waitrose or a super simple option is to use wholegrain wraps.
We top with tomato puree, garlic and basil, then add shredded mozzarella and mixed roasted vegetables. My little one loves tuna on top too.
Or if you are having one of the days just pop to Tesco and grab a couple of these sourdough pizzas. Sourdough is a lower GI than standard pizza bases which means they kiddies won’t go quite so wild after eating it!
2. Nerf gun wars
I have to admit; I love love love nerf gun wars – it makes me feel like I am in MI5 against a mini Ninja – who always beats me!! These little nerf guns from Tesco are a £5 each. They look small but do not under estimate them, they are powerful and create endless hours of fun.
I love toys that get kids away from screens and outside in the fresh air, it is great for us as parents too. That is one thing I hugely advocate in The Fit Club Journal, to get outside for 60 minutes a day for its monumental benefits to physical and emotional wellness – these nerf guns make it easy!
3. Family movie nights
Family movie nights are a weekly regular in my household, my partner and I love animated movies just as much as my son. We pop some popcorn in the pan and snuggle under blankets; at least one of us normally ends up asleep by the end of it but it is special family time.
4. Feeding the ducks
No matter how old you are I don’t think there is anything quiet to refreshing and grounding as grabbing an old loaf of bread and taking a walk along the river to feed the ducks.
We walk or scoot home from school every day and are lucky to pass a river along the way so every day my son takes his lunch and a separate “duck lunch” because he is a kind little soul!
5. Nature drawing
My son has always been a sensitive and kind little man, but as soon as he started art he became even more caring and compassionate; as if it unlocked part of his soul. We buy sketch books £2 and pencils £3 from The Works and take them to the park to drawer the river or the trees or walk or a beautiful building, or on rainy days we drawer his super heroes. There is something magical about putting pencil to paper and just letting your hand lead.
6. Treasure hunt
I have to admit this is a bit of work, it normally takes me about two hours to think of the clues and then ten minutes for my son to find them all; but he loves them and we do Easter hunts, birthday hunts, summer hunts, Halloween hunts, Christmas hunts, hunts when friends come round etc etc. I have found a good website to get some clues off which saves me getting a headache racking my brain for clues I haven’t used before!!
7. Penalty shoot out
We can grab a football for a couple of pounds from the local sports shop, map out some goals posts with jumpers and off we go.
8. London day out
Depending where you live getting to London may not be quite in budget, but once you are there you can spend an entire day adventuring without spending a penny. We try and visit the National History Museum , Science Museum and a trip along the South Bank to take a look at all the amazing performers.
9. Pack a picnic
These are obviously beautiful on a summers day, but inside picnics in dens can be super fun too. Get the kids to help make the sandwiches and cut them into fun shapes. Chop up some fruit and roll out the picnic blanket. Bring a joke book too!!
10. Explore the book store
Something I am a huge encourager of is reading, I think it opens you up to another part of the world and allows kids to explore their imaginations. My son is so lucky to have a huge choice of books at his school but in holidays we spend a lot of time in our local library or we head to Waterstones, grab a drink from their café and explore their books and choose our favourites to take home. He currently loves The Beast Quest series and you can get the entire series for £10 from the works.
I hope you enjoy our favourite activities as much as we do!!