The following is a guest post from the British site Think Money.
With the holidays fast approaching and the nights drawing in, you may be running out of ideas about how you could entertain the kids for free.
Well fear not, this short guide should provide you with some fresh ideas to help you keep the kids happy over the winter months without sending you into debt.
Believe it or not, you can throw a children’s Christmas party for next to nothing. Print off some invites asking the children to dress up and include a small note to the parents kindly asking for a contribution, things like chips, soda and candy go down really well. Then it’s just a case of organizing some free games which isn’t that hard, put a spin on musical chairs and pass the parcel as a start.
Visit Santa’s Workshop
You may do this year in year out, but your kids will never tire of it (well, that is until they grow older!). You might go to the same one every year, if you do, then why not visit a different one, or if the kids behave well, take them to a few over the course of several weekends.
The kids could even write Santa a letter, this would keep them occupied for a while, and if you have time to spare, why not write them a response signed ‘From Santa’ – it will make their day!
Also find out when your town is switching on theirand make sure you attend. Providing you don’t go spending money on extras when you’re out this is a really cheap way to entertain the kids.
Make Christmas decorations
When I was a kid, I simply couldn’t wait to get the Christmas decorations up and the earlier the better. I also made some of my own which took days, it was well worth it when I got to hang them up though. Like me, kids would be over the moon to see their own decorations hung up around the home. Let them loose with coloured pieces of card, old Christmas cards and tinsel. You could use last year’s cards (if you still have them) and cut out the letters to spell Merry Christmas, using 1 letter per card. Then punch a whole in the top, feed through some red tape and hang it up!
Another idea would be to buy a bag of cheap cotton wool balls (ok, this one isn’t free), and let them create their own ‘cotton wool snowmen.’
It would be easier to catch Santa himself than witness any snowfall in my area. However, if you are lucky enough to get snow over the simply instruct your kids to go and build the biggest snowman they possible can. It’s simply the most fun you can have and its free, not to mention it would take most of the afternoon to do a good job. The best part of this idea comes once the kids are bathed and changed watching a Christmas film, they are usually so tired they fall asleep, bliss!
The possibilities are endless, and there are so many more things you can do for free with the kids this winter. Check your local paper for a list of free shows/events coming up – there should be plenty over the coming months!