Wow, is it still the summer holidays? Afraid so… and if your well of ideas to amuse the kids is drying up as fast as the funds in your bank account, we’re here to help. We’ve got 20 ways to amuse them, all of which cost under £10 – in fact, some of them are free! Which makes up for the fact that you could have some tidying up to do afterwards…
1. Colourful beads that don’t make a mess
Kids love making things from beads, and these ones simply bind together with water. No heat and no glue = less mess for you. Win!
2. Old shampoo bottles are more fun than you think
Here’s a simple craft project that needn’t cost you anything – with a bit of creativity, your old shampoo bottle can become a super-cute pen holder. Now that’s recycling.
3. Finally, a use for all those old crayons
Old broken crayons are a nuisance – they’re of little use, and yet it seems wrong to just throw them away. Well, guess what? They can be melted into gorgeous colourful candles. This is definitely one project the kids will need adult supervision with, but you might just enjoy it too. And they make great – cheap! – presents.
4. Seats at a hockey game for under a tenner?
OK, so the seat is your sofa, and the hockey game in question is on the tiny side… but this set is loads of fun (we bet the big kid in your life would enjoy playing with this at his desk too).
5. Whip them into a frenzy…
Here’s one to play in the kitchen - or the garden. Cake Splat is a dice game which could get very messy indeed (whipped cream not included!).
6. An oldie but a goodie…
We bet your kids have all the toys in the world but have never played with a Rubiks cube. It’s time this changed...
7. Who knew they had Play Doh in space?
If your kids loved A Force Awakens, they’ll be desperate to get their hands on this – the Play Doh version! We can never resist a squeeze of the squidgy stuff either – it’s the perfect stress-reliever which, by this point in the holidays, we’re all in need of.
8. An electronic toy with personality
These dead cute PIXL characters come in a range of colours and feature 30 different emojis and animations to play with. We want one!
9. You can never have too much Lego
10. 1000 things for a tenner?!
11. For when they’re full of beans…
If you’re desperate for your little ones to get outside, then this should do it – this bean bag game is loads of fun, and its woodland design is easy on the eye too.
12. Always losing your keys?
If you’ve got a spare tennis ball or ten festering in the garden – and who hasn’t? – believe it or not, they have other uses too. Check out this tutorial to find out how you can help the kids make key holders, letter racks and towel dispensers using the humble tennis ball.
13. Pirate fun for plastic-phobes
If you’re sick of your house being cluttered with tiny plastic things, this easy-on-the-eye wooden pirate set will ease the pain.
14. Here’s a way to make them brush their teeth…
If your toy box is littered with rubber dinosaurs (actually, any rubbery animal would do the trick), you can easily turn them into a cool toothbrush holder. In fact, we’d quite like one of these for ourselves…
15. You’re no mug….
Because if you were, you’d buy expensive slogan mugs. Instead, you can get the kids to make their own. Just drag your most boring crockery from the back of the cupboard and let them loose with a Sharpie. Better than them scribbling on the walls, eh?
16. Board games that don’t need their own cupboard
If you’re short on space AND funds, instead of buying board games that they’ll only play once, you can print out the boards online and then dispose of them when they get bored. Genius!
17. The cheapest game of table football ever
Got an old shoebox? And some pegs? Of course you have – which means you’re well on the way to making this table football set. The stadium might not be glamorous (unless the box is Louboutin…) but it’s great fun to construct and play.
18. Harry Potter merch without the price tag
Any Harry Potter obsessive will love making their own Harry-inspired magic potions using basic household items. Just watch out for them trying to turn their little brother into a toad…
19. Here’s one solution to too much screen time…
If you can’t tear your kids away from the telly, how about putting them IN the telly instead? An old cardboard box is all it takes to transform them from viewer to presenter. If only you could find the mute button.
20. A jigsaw with a twist