Posts contain affiliate links, see disclosure for more details.
Child’s play isn’t all about having fun. By focusing on the right activities you can give your kids a source of entertainment and also teach them some valuable lessons.
But while you shouldn’t put a price on your children’s education, there’s no shame in working to a budget when finding ways to play that help them to grow and develop.
From baking things to making toys, these are three great, cost-effective ways that your kids can have fun and learn something at the same time.
Make and play activities
Crafts and play go hand in hand as a fun summer time activity
Creating things is a game in itself and your children can play with the things they make once they’ve assembled them. And the beauty of this is that it’s both cheaper and more valuable than simply buying toys for your children.
The act of assembly teaches your kids some great lessons, such as problem solving. This comes from asking them to turn raw materials into something new.
And once your children have made their toys then they can evolve their ability to think independently. This comes from the act of deciding how to play with them.
However, if you’re a little more strategic then you can teach your children some enduring lessons. How do you do this? Through themed make and play activities.
You could teach your kids about geography by getting them to make a globe. Or you might decide to educate them on astronomy by encouraging them to build the planets in the solar system. They still get the fun of creating something but once it’s made they’ll then continue to learn about the theme you’ve chosen each time they play.
Selecting an activity box subscription cuts out the hard work of having to make your children’s toys educational by giving them make-and-play activities with a theme. A Sago Mini Box subscription provides you with both the tools to make the toys and the themes to inform the lessons
Of course, you may be able to make this an even more budget friendly activity by using items you already have in your home. For example, you could turn empty cereal boxes into a map of the world, or something else that teaches them a valuable lesson.
People have been taking camping trips with their families for decades and with good reason.
Camping educates your children about fitness, astrology, nature and more. This not only teaches them some valuable life skills but also demonstrates that not all fun is digital.
There are many playful ways you can use camping as an educational tool for your kids this summer.
There’s the challenge of putting together tents, exhilaration of hiking, joy of outdoor swimming, and thrill of spotting animals in their natural habitats.
One of the best things about camping is that many of the big costs associated with it are one-off expenses that you can get long-term value from.
This is because once you’ve bought your tent and equipment you’ll be able to use this kit for multiple trips, perhaps getting years of use from your expense.
With coronavirus casting doubt on the prospect of foreign getaways for many families, you and your children can have a playful and educational holiday this summer at one of the UK’s best camping destinations.
And if you really want to look after your pennies then you may wish to camp in your garden, removing the pitching fee and fuel costs from your camping experience.
Baking and cookery classes
Baking and cookery classes have long been a favourite summer activity for parents to enjoy with their children.
This is because they not only give you a chance to teach your children the value of a healthy diet, but also allow you to create cost-effective meals for your family.
Making a mess is perhaps the most obvious example of how children can play while they bake and cook.
And let’s be honest, they are going to create at least a bit of clutter because part of the fun is pouring out ingredients and mixing them together, both of which could leave your kitchen looking a little untidy!
But this measuring and mixing also helps to educate your children
It does so by improving their hand-to-eye coordination, enhancing their ability to follow directions, and developing their numeracy skills. All of which are valuable lessons that have real cognitive value.
Using a cooking kit subscription is a cost-effective way of carrying out your lessons. This is because it supplies you with the equipment you need to cook and bake. Little Cooks subscription boxes come with all the ingredients, making your life a little easier but cutting out the hassle of buying ingredients from a shop while looking after your children.
Of course, you could cut costs a little more by shopping for bargains while you’re doing your weekly shop. You might even use this as a chance to teach your children about the value of money.
You may also like: 100 Delicious Budget-Friendly Pantry Meals
Baking-and-cookery classes, camping trips, and make-and-play activities are all great ways to educate your children through play this summer.
Each of these things teach your kids valuable lessons and can be done on a budget.
So, decide which one you want to do first, take the necessary steps to make it a reality, and give your kids something fun to do that also has a long term benefit.