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DAD.info | Fatherhood | Being Dad | How to keep your kids entertained during the Christmas holidays- for free!

How to keep your kids entertained during the Christmas holidays- for free!

Maya Griffiths

Maya Griffiths

The kids are still off school, and with the post-Christmas come down you’ll need to keep them entertained. As the cost of living crisis is hitting everyone hard we’ve rounded up some brilliant ideas that cost little or no money at all.

If you’re separated from your kids during Christmas, there are other ways to connect. Try sending your child a postcard a day, or a pack of craft supplies or a colouring book to use. It can be difficult to be apart from your kids, especially during a special time of the year. If possible, make the most of the time you have when back together with them- perhaps by trying one of the ideas below.

Geocaching

Geochaching is a free, modern treasure hunt using sat nav or a map. All you need is your mobile phone and to sign up to the geochache website. Simply choose a cache, enter the coordinates into your sat nav and follow the directions to the spot.

Fossil hunting

Kids of all ages will love scouring the beach for shark teeth and fossils. There are a number of beaches across the UK that are great for fossil hunting. You can find a handy list of locations here.

Rock pooling

There’s nothing more fun than rock pooling with kids. Just grab wellies, a cheap fishing net or bucket and head to the nearest rock pool beach. Check the tide times online before you go to ensure you arrive when the tide is out. Children will love looking for crabs, fish and starfish amongst the rocks. Just make sure you dress up warm!

Host a teddy bear’s picnic

An idea for the little ones! Spread out a picnic blanket or a sheet on the floor indoors and invite their favourite soft toys to take a seat and enjoy some finger sandwiches and cake. Your kids will love helping to serve the food to their teddies and maybe even pour them some cups of imaginary tea. If you wanted to go the extra mile, they could also help you with the sandwich preparation or making the cake!

Have a home movie afternoon- but make it special

Everyone can grab their duvets and pillows to get themselves extra comfy, and munch on some popcorn or sweets while watching a cosy Christmas film together. Don’t forget to turn the lights off for a proper cinema experience!

Have a board game tournament

Get out your board games and use each different game as a ‘heat’ of the overall tournament. Keep a scoreboard and whoever wins the most board games gets a little prize at the end. You could even do a different game a day and spread the fun over the week.

Enjoy a Just Dance session

If you don’t have the console game, you can still find hundreds of the Just Dance videos on YouTube to follow along with. It’s a great way to get some energy out on wet days and also have fun.

Start a book club

Organise a book swap every few days with some of your children’s friends. It’s a free way of getting new books to read and they will love seeing what their friends have lent them.

Build a den

Dry day? Get outdoors for a little while! If you have woods nearby the kids will have a fabulous time gathering branches and making a den together.

Go for a welly walk

Who doesn’t love a trudge through mud and puddles? Get everyone to pull on their wellies and enjoy splashing and stomping together. Kids also love gathering leaves, pinecones and sticks to make pictures with back at home.

Make a treasure hunt

Send the kids on a fun hunt through the house and garden following the clues you have left to find the ‘treasure’- which could be anything from a little present to some sweets.

Design a family board game

All you need is some card and colouring pens, a dice and something to use as counters- Lego people, perhaps. Draw a simple snakes and ladders-style board, and then cut out card rectangles that everyone must pick up when they land on certain squares as they play. You can make the game really personal to your family by writing funny things on the cards that apply to you all- e.g. ‘Jake ate the last biscuit again- go back 3 places!’

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