A great December for kids without spending tons of money

The last day of school has finally come and I am sure your family is looking forward to lazy days of relaxing and unwinding at home, in the bush or at the beach. Although this is a very special time, the holidays can get long and keeping the children entertained without spending too much money is a HUGE CHALLENGE. Yes, we have this idea that we have to spend money in order to have fun. You may feel guilty for neglecting your kids throughout the year and want to make up for the little quality time you have spent with them, or the other side (and untold truth) is also that to put money into your child’s hand is an easy way to keep them occupied.

The one thing that you as a family must realise is that this holiday is not intended to be about expensive gifts and luxurious outings but rather about spending quality time together and creating memories.

If, through all of this you can teach your kids some financial literacy and stimulate their entrepreneurial spirits in the process, what a bonus!

Some ideas in this regard:

  • Take them outdoors. Yes, pack a picnic basket and take them as far away from a shopping mall as possible. Kids love the outdoors and getting them active is an additional bonus.
  • Put the kids to work and use a holiday commission chart for this. List all the things that should be done in and around the house and allow your kids to earn money for doing all kinds of stuff. It is a great way to get household jobs done quickly and through your incentives they are learning the concept of working for money.
  • Plan a talent evening. Invite grandparents and friends to come and support. Let the children make drinks and snacks which can be sold.
  • Instead of going out, help kids host their friends at home for a theme party, movie night or minute – to – win – it games challenge. Suggest that they ask their friends to all contribute to keep the cost down. Trust me, this is much cheaper than a night out and it is also one less evening to worry about their safety.
  • Provide children with organic resources at home to make their own Christmas gifts and cards, and then last but not least …..
  • You are less likely to overspend if you help your kids draw up a budget and to distinguish between needs and wants. Give them their pocket money up front and if their funds get exhausted they have no one to blame but themselves. Who knows, helping mom and dad around the house to get hold of that extra bit of cash might look more attractive than before.