It’s tempting to get caught up in the idea that a family must have a substantial vacation every year, or feeling guilty that you’re not taking your kids to see the latest movie or buying them the latest gadgets. For a family of 8, summer can be an expensive time and it’s easy to get carried away, or feel that the kids need to be constantly entertained by spending tons of money. Here are some suggestions for what you could do over the summer that could help to keep costs down whilst having something fun for the whole family and without having to go far!
Plan to not have a plan
It’s ok to plan a day to have no plans. Maybe the kids just want to play with their toys or computers for a while. Give yourselves a break and schedule in a ‘nothing’ day. There’s nothing wrong with having a day at home where you can chill in the garden or catch up on TV. So many people are so busy everyday, so sometimes it’s great to just enjoy being at home.
Pack a picnic
Go to a local park or outdoor area and take a picnic so you don’t need to buy food while you’re out. You could even make everyone their favourite sandwich so they’re less likely to be tempted by other (more expensive) foods on offer. If you’re feeling generous, take some cash for an ice cream! Invest in some fun games like a children’s cricket set or a card game that everyone can play as a family.
Turn your garden or local area into a treasure hunt
Adding a bit of competition They’ll learn more about their town. You could plant treats in interesting places and give the kids clues to follow. If you’ve got kids of different ages, you might want to make separate treasure hunts for the difference in ages or arrange teams with mixed ages so the teams are more equal. You could even get one team to make a treasure hunt for the other.
Have a chores day
Regular decluttering when the whole family are together makes everything a bit easier. You can go through toys and clothes and ask whose are whose and whether they want to be kept or not. With six children, it’s easy for toys and things to start taking over the home, so it can feel great to get rid of some items, whether it’s giving to another family, donating to charity or selling on ebay to earn some money to put towards something exciting. Don’t be scared to tackle larger items too, as there are large item couriers that can help.
For other chores like general cleaning, try to share them out between the family and they’ll get done so much faster and everyone will in it together. You might need to add an incentive to keep the kids interested, so get creative and reward yourselves with homemade pizzas or a movie and popcorn night for when they’ve finished their hard work.
What do you and your family do over the summer and how do you keep costs down?