Sunday, 26 August 2018

Family days out that are cost effective

For many parents its always difficult to take your children on days out and not spend a lot of money.
I do feel that many parents are unaware of free or inexpensive activities that are available in your local communities.

Community centres/family and children's centres are great starting points. These centres offer so much in variety especially for families with younger children, most sessions are free, and have a great range of play and stay sessions, book/readers sessions. baby massage, advice on caring for your families teeth and so much more. Many centres also work closely with adult education colleges, schools and professional organisation like phycologist to offer courses for parents that can range from first aid, healthy cooking, identifying domestic abuse and behaviour therapy. Staff here are highly trained there is so much to learn so don't be afraid to ask questions.

Along side the sessions some family and children's centres offer a toy library where you can borrow toys for free. I can not honestly stress enough how this has helped a great deal, specially if you are a family that are living in a small space or on a budget. Children grow so quickly and, there is nothing worse than spending money on items that are expensive and, bulky when you have the option to borrow them. Toys are in excellent condition and cleaned after each use. For more information access your local council/community website.

If you live near a local library then try to head down there to see what's on offer. Libraries have evolved over the years and  not only are they free but, they offer endless information and resources. Books are free to borrow, some libraries also offer a range of board games, audio books, pc and internet access, newspapers, magazines and DVDs  however, you may find that DVDS come at an extra cost. Libraries often offer toddler play sessions that involve sensory play, arts and crafts, music and story time and as a bonus my local library also offers the children light snacks that consist of fruits and a heathy option drink. Book sales of old books where you can  purchase books for yourself and your children prices normally range between 10p-£1 a great way to add to your bedtime story collection.

Parks are a great open space that provides fun for all the family and can offer a wide range of activities and educational fun. Try and choose a park that has a lot to offer, you may find a pond, a conservation area. outdoor gym, tennis courts, ping pong table, insect garden,  interesting art and, sculptures, a relaxing garden and a play area.

Seasonal arts and crafts are an excellent way for your children to express there creative talents. You will find that these are sometimes free or at a small cost for entry and are located locally.  They normally run during kids holidays  and a great way for children to explore different colours and textures.

Take a trip to the museum, your kids will love navigating the endless technology and displays. Fun puzzles and hunts are also part of the experience, along side interactive fun with buttons and computers packed with loads of new facts and historical information,. In the UK most museums are free and if a cost is required is a very small contribute.

If you live in a city and are lucky enough to have a city farm then do go and check them out. You will find that many are run by charity organisation's and, require a very small donation, they are often smaller than other farms but, are a great way to introduce your family to farm animals and, most will  have a coffee shop and a play/ picnic area, where your children can have some fun after visiting the animals.

Go swimming although there is a cost involved this is very minimal and probably one of my favourites for families who  have children of differ ages. Bonuses Include  qualified  life guards. heated pools and you will normally have a training or children's pool  and a pool for older children and adults.  Many pools have swimming aids like floating toys, sinkers and floats/noodles are available for everyone to explore, however if in doubt you can always bring along your own for extra fun. You can add swimming into your routine by going weekly or a monthly treat, Swimming is also a great source of exercise and can be soothing if you suffer from aching muscles.

To complete your day, remember to bring plenty of light snacks and water to keep hydrated,  for the sunnier days a small amount of change for ice cream is always a must have.

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