Keep children entertained without breaking the bank

2015-12-11 06:00
Photo: supplied Don’t break your piggy bank this festive season.

Photo: supplied Don’t break your piggy bank this festive season.

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THE festive season is upon us and this is the one time of year where children are at home for an extended period of time. Planning fun activities that don’t involve the mall will help keep the children entertained without breaking the bank.

“Planning ahead for your children’s activities can take the anxiety out of entertaining them over the festive season. Planning can also allow you to budget adequately for their activities so that you aren’t spending money that can best be used for something more important,” says Eunice Sibiya, head of consumer education for FNB.

Sibiya gives a few inexpensive ways to keep your children thoroughly entertained, and leave your pocket fairly unharmed over the festive season.

Find free story-reading sessions

Find out from your local library or any book lounge in your city, if they host free story reading sessions. Some libraries and book lounges also provide additional activities for the children, allowing you some free time to enjoy a quick catch up with a friend while the children listen to fairytales for the morning.

Ride, explore or picnic in the park

A picnic in the park is the best way for you to catch up on some much needed reading while the children stretch their legs. There are plenty of very scenic parks in South Africa, so wherever you are in the country this is a good way to keep the children entertained. Most parks have jungle gyms for the children to explore or better yet, the whole family can bring their bikes along and ride through the park before finding the perfect picnic spot.

Stock up on DVDs and board games:

You won’t always have the luxury of taking the kids out of the house. On days like these it’s best to hire their favourite block busters and pop them into the DVD for their own special ‘home cinema’ day.

You could also borrow board games that will still stimulate their minds over the festive season. Encourage your children to invite their friends, and take it one step further by arranging with the other parents to rotate these sessions and host the kids one day in a week. A different environment, with different sets of movies in the company of their friends is sure to keep them entertained.

Take your children painting at the nearest art gallery:

Promote your children’s inner artist and look out for art galleries and small art studios that have workshops and short sessions particularly for children. These sessions are often extremely fun and relaxed and teach children about different painting and art techniques.

“The festive season is a wonderfully merry time – however the effects of it don’t have to cripple your pocket. With a little bit of planning you can arrange for fun, educational and affordable activities and still give your children the festive season of their lives,” says Sibiya­. - Supplied.

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