5 lazy and skint activities to keep the kiddies happy.

Here is my tried and tested list of 5 things to do with the kids when your feeling skint and really don’t want to leave the house… these don’t even require you getting dressed!

I don’t know about anyone else but when it comes to the half term or the (dreaded) 6 weeks holiday I want to cram it as full as possible. I don’t want my children to feel let down in anyway that we haven’t done as much as absolute possible. I also don’t want it to come September and when Oscar is asked to wrote about what he has done this summer that he can list the entire netflix shows.
But realistically we don’t want to be spending £40 a week on these trips. Don’t get me wrong they are fantastic and are worth every penny, if you manage to get some good photos and forget the tear fuelled 5 hour journey home ever happened.
So here is my tried and tested list of 5 things to do when lets be honest you just don’t want to pay!

⦁ Bin bag slide

What you need:

  1. Slide (any size will do)
  2. Bin bags
  3. Washing up liquid
  4. A fearless child
  5. Cold glass of wine (that’s for you obviously)

This one is for a nice sunny day, when the kids want to be in the garden and you want nothing more than to sit back enjoy the sun and maybe a nice cold glass of white. This was far the best day we have had in the garden, I don’t know who laughed more.
So basically it is a DIY slip and slide, the only time you are needed it to set up the bin bags, fill a bowl of water (I used the washing up bowl) and occasionally take photos and laugh at the muddy wedgies your child may be getting! Water works fine but adding washing up liquid directly onto the slide makes for an extremely fast and hilarious ride. (small print always supervise your child on a slide especially when slippy)


Science Lab

What you need:
  1. several empty plastic (or wine) bottles
  2. a jug
  3. bath bombs
  4. bi carbonate soda
  5. food colouring
  6. water
  7. doctor outfit (that’s optional)

This one doesn’t really require much adult input either, after you have set up the make shift chemistry lab you can sit back and enjoy, every so often make sure they’re not drinking the magic potions! I used old bath bombs that (lets be honest when do I ever have time to be in the bath long enough for a bath bomb) I had received at Christmas, we all have some lurking somewhere. These added to bowls of hot water filled Oscar with amazement for a long time. Let them explore what happens when you add different ingredients, we added food colouring, bi carb, vinegar, fizzy water. It was defiantly more fun then I’ve ever had in a science lesson. This game then progressed to playing doctors and Oscar pretended (I screwed the lids on tightly after the potions were poured) #noonewantsawetteddy. Lining all his teddies up and making them better. Simple free easy fun activity that he has asked to do every time he see a bath bomb!

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Cardboard box

What you need:

  1. A box
  2. A big imagination
  3. Scissors

Everyone knows that you buy the most expensive present for your child’s birthday or Christmas and the one thing that they want to play with is the box. Well this has ran true in our family too. The best yet we have had was the pram box, it was massive, but I’ve heard washing machine boxes work amazingly too. Though even if you don’t have any massive deliveries making their way to you, you can make do with smaller boxes. We have had hours of fun with box play:
⦁ A boat/ submarine/ lifeboat is Oscar’s top favourite
⦁ Castle
⦁ Prison
⦁ House
⦁ Shop
⦁ A Ball pool
Obviously the more creative can really go to town on this decorating, painting and creating real works of art like I’ve seen on pintrest. But really all we needed was the box, lots of imagination and mummy with some scissors to cut some windows and a door.

⦁ Baking/ play dough

What you need:

  1. Butter
  2. Flour
  3. Sugar
  4. Mixing bowl
  5. Licking spoon
  6. Cutters
  7. Icing and sprinkles
  8. Rolling pin
  9. Salt
  10. Flour
  11. cutters

This one obviously requires slightly more adult input than the others so may be one to leave for when your feeling less tired/ hungover. You can go crazy on Pintrest searching all sorts of weird and wonderful and lets be honest really bloody difficult recipes and bakes. I am literally the crappest baker so we stick to really simple recipe.
100g soft butter (or margarine)
50g Caster sugar
150g Flour
Then we cut them out using gingerbread man cutter and then I give Oscar free reign to decorate as he wants, this keeps him occupied for ages!

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If your not feeling like baking, or arestressing because you have no icing sugar because you made the last batch far too watery and ended up having to use the whole pack to make it thicker! (we’ve all been there). Don’t stress. Playdough bakers is just as fun, a lot less messy, only down side not so tasty!

Simple playdough recipe – 2 cups of flour, 2 cups of salt, 1 cup of hot water mix into a dough adding more flour if it is too sticky. – Set your child up at the table with a rolling pin, cookie cutters, dough and leave them too it.


⦁ Playing Christmas/ birthday

what you need:

  1. Wrapping paper
  2. Cello tape/ masking tape (is easier because the child can rip it themselves)

This one is the easiest lazy parent game ever ranking alongside logs, sleeping lions and doctors (when you’re playing the patient in a coma). Its great to play after Christmas or the few months after when you still haven’t bothered to put away the presents or stockings and have surplus wrapping paper left over.
How to play: So your child is Santa, if you have a Santa hat this makes it more enjoyable I believe but isn’t a necessity! You go to sleep on the sofa or in bed for more realism. Your child then wraps any toy they can find (if you have no masking tape and they cannot cut the cello tape I would advice to cut lots of small pieces and stick them on the edge of a table so they can use them rather than asking you every 2 minutes to cut it/find the end for them. A few hours later when they have wrapped as many presents as they could they fill a stocking or pillowcase and then wake you up saying happy Christmas. You then open the presents with a big fake smile on your face (the one you practised for the pair of socks your great aunt got you last year) and once you have carried out your best fake excited act for about 5 minutes it is over. Or they can start again and you can have another nap.
Your welcome! Happy playing!


30 thoughts on “5 lazy and skint activities to keep the kiddies happy.

  1. I’m going to try the science lab activity with my little guy this afternoon. I don’t have bath bombs, but I think some heartburn tablets will give us the fizz we’re looking for!


  2. Haha, I’m going to have to save this for when I have grandchildren! Thanks for the great suggestions.


  3. These are really great ideas! I love the science lab one. I remember doing this as a kid and loving it!


  4. These look like so much fun! I love the simplicity of all of them, because I am so not one to want to spend too long setting something up lol

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  5. Its fun! Children are programmed to question, analyze and wonder about situations. This can sometimes present itself in an argumentative manner, but this is actually a normal part of development.


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