Hard up and happy: How to survive the summer holidays!

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There is an air of panic sweeping across the nation today.

As parents stock up on headache tablets, sugary bribes and copious amounts of alcohol, this can only mean one thing – it’s the beginning of the summer holidays.

I know this strikes the fear of dread into a lot of parents, as they wonder how they can possibly keep their children entertained without going bankrupt and keeping their sanity at the same time.

It’s not impossible to do with a little imagination.

Keep to a budget of what you can afford, don’t be spending money you haven’t got on days out that cost a fortune, just because you know that everybody else will be taking their children.

Don’t be afraid to let them get bored, in fact I encourage it, it’s when they are bored that they will show how creative they can be.

Sticks become guns, daisies become chains and that blanket becomes a fort. If you are planning a picnic then fill a day baking the food, it’s a lot cheaper that way too.

On the day of the picnic, make sure it’s a nice long walk to where you are going and while you are there, hold a treasure hunt. Give each child a list to gather up some items they might find in the surroundings you are in.

The day after, they could use the items to make some arts and crafts, then instead of using up just one day for a picnic, three have been ticked off the countdown.

Have a family sleepover one night in the living room together, the children will love it.

It doesn’t cost money to create memories.