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8 wallet-friendly ways to keep kids busy over school midterm break

The kids are home for the midterm break over this second term and I can imagine your first thought was “there goes the food and entertainment budget for this month.”

While understandable that we are enduring a runaway high cost of living, we cannot ignore that our school going children do need a break from their books just because the bills will run higher because of these 7 days.

For many parents, they have more than one kid, and this could mean now buying more food to cover their lunch and afternoon snack meals, maybe some extra curricular tuition in skating, ballet or karate to get them up to par with their colleagues; and more money spent on outings such as to entertainment joints, malls and parks because “I’m bored, what can I do?” is not a song you want to hear sung about one million times in an hour.

And we commiserate. We understand you because we are in this boat together.

Having said that, here are eight ideas you can use to keep your children busy and not have to break the bank while at it…

  1. Outdoor activities – Take advantage of local parks, playgrounds, and nature trails. Organize picnics, bike rides, scavenger hunts, or nature walks. These activities allow children to engage with nature, get some exercise, and explore their surroundings. In some parks, the charges for children don’t go beyond Sh500 and if you get them out there once for more than 6 hours, you can expect them to complain of exhaustion the following day; and they would just want to be left alone to either sleep or relax.
  2. Arts and crafts – Encourage creativity by engaging children in arts and crafts projects. Use materials you already have at home, such as paper, markers, crayons, glue and recyclable items. You can find numerous DIY craft ideas online that are budget-friendly and require minimal supplies.
  3. Reading and storytelling – Encourage reading during the break by creating a cozy reading corner at home. Visit the local library together to borrow books or explore online platforms that offer free or low-cost e-books. You can also take turns telling stories or have children create their own stories using their imagination.
  4. Cooking and baking – Involve your children in meal preparation or baking projects. Let them help with simple tasks such as measuring ingredients, stirring, or decorating cookies. Cooking together not only keeps them occupied but also teaches valuable skills and encourages healthy eating habits.
  5. Science experiments – Conduct simple science experiments using household items. There are numerous resources available online with easy and inexpensive experiments that can be done at home. These experiments can be both educational and entertaining for children.
  6. Board games and puzzles – Dust off the board games and puzzles you have at home. These activities can be great for family bonding and provide hours of entertainment. You can also organize game nights with friends or neighbors where everyone brings their favorite games to share.
  7. Volunteer work – Engage children in volunteer activities within your community. Look for local organizations or initiatives that may need assistance during the break. It could involve helping at a children’s home, organizing a neighborhood cleanup or participating in charity events. This not only keeps them busy but also instills a sense of social responsibility and empathy.
  8. Free community events – Keep an eye on community calendars for free or low-cost events happening during the school break. These can include outdoor concerts, festivals, art exhibitions or workshops. Take advantage of these opportunities to expose children to new experiences and activities.

Remember, spending quality time with your children is often more valuable than spending money on expensive outings or activities.

With a little creativity and resourcefulness, you can create memorable and engaging experiences for your children during school breaks without breaking the bank.

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