Budget Friendly Summer Activities
School Holidays are looming and panic is setting in on how we are going to keep our families entertained for two whole months. In theory it should be easy – there are many play centres, farms and summer camps nearby however, all of these come at a cost. We’ve compiled a list of family friendly activities that won’t break the bank!
Biking can be a fun activity for all ages and all levels of fitness. It’s a great way of getting outside, keeping fit and enjoying the fresh air with your little ones. Perhaps your little one is too young to be able to cycle on their own but there are many ways of bringing them with you – if you don’t own a bike with a child’s seat – they are available for daily rental for a low price all over the country. As well as this, we have access to some amazing off road cycle paths in Ireland which takes away the worry that is oncoming cars.
Bring plenty water and snacks
Cycle Paths Include:
Waterford Greenway, Waterford
Great Western Greenway Cycle, Mayo
Bohernabreena, Glenasmole, Dublin
Phoenix Park, Dublin
Killarney National Park Loop, Kerry
Lough Boora Parklands, County Offaly
Curragh Chase Forest Park, Limerick
Portumna Forest Park, Galway
Castle Archdale Country Park, County Fermanagh
Lough Key Forest & Activity Park, Co. Roscommon
Clontarf Seafront and St. Anne’s Park, Dublin
Fruit picking is as fun as it is educational – your little one will be able to see first-hand where their favourite fruits come from. You could always head to your local fruit farm to educate your little one on a large variety of fruits and vegetables and where they come from. In Ireland, Blackberries begin to ripen in mid-August. Grab a basket and head towards your local woods.
Go to the Beach
Whilst some of us here in Ireland have greater access to beaches than others, it is defiantly worth taking a trip or two to the beach this summer. Pack up the car with a picnic and head towards the sea. There is no need to pack lots of toys, throw in a bucket and spade and off you go. Supervise your little ones as they search for fish in rock pools or simply help them build a sandcastle – whatever it is they get up to, they will be fascinated. Remember, they’re exploring new textures and will be continuously amused by the waves that never stop chasing them. The sand that you dump from a bucket over and over is a source of fascination as are the holes that can be dug to be filled in, and dug again.
Pack up a picnic and head to your local beach/park/woods/mountain. A fantastic way to pass a few hours. Check out our recent blog for picnic basket inspiration!
Fly a Kite
Sometimes it’s about taking things back to basic. For this activity, you will have to buy a kite however, they can be picked up very cheaply in the likes of Dealz and Euro2 and can be reused all summer! Why not add to the build up by purchasing a build your own kite – older kids will be fascinated. When finished, take it to the park/beach/garden and teach your little one how to make the kite fly. This is an educational activity that will not only teach your little one about psychics and the weather, it was also improve their hand to eye coordination.
Camping in the Backyard
Camping in the back garden is just as fun with little ones (if not more) than camping without having to spend a penny or pack up the car! It’s the perfect solution to see how much the kids enjoy the outdoors whilst having the comfort of being able to return inside if things to awry.
Camping is a fantastic way to spend time as a family, sitting around a little campfire (doesn’t have to be real), telling stories and eating smores. Get your kids involved in the pitching of the tent and making food (even if it is a ham sandwich). It will get the kiddies to love the great outdoors and remove them from all things technological. You’ll have a great time with your little ones and create memories to last a lifetime.
Whilst this may seem like an obvious free activity, bringing your child to play in the local park/playground is very important for your little one’s development. Remember when you were little, playgrounds used to be the best place in the world. Children not only learn through playing outdoors at the playground but also benefit both physically and emotionally. Not only this but the playground is the perfect distraction from screen time and allows your little ones to immerse with other children which will help develop their personnel by learning about social norms and interaction with others.