I’m a savvy mum & money coach – 9 ways to beat the cost of living crisis and have fun with your kids on a budget | The Sun

MANY families have been feeling the pressure amidst the cost of living crisis, so you might be looking for new ways to entertain the kids on a budget. 

Luckily, there are plenty of fun things to do that don’t require much money, and in many cases, very little planning or effort is necessary.

Don’t let the cooler weather deter you either because there’s actually more to do in the Autumn months, says mum and money coach Kel Galavan. 

Now that the leaves are changing colours and Autumn is truly in the air, it's time to start planning fun activities to enjoy with your kids.

"It's the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy all the fun activities with cooler weather,” she tells Fabulous.

From pumpkin carving to outdoor picnicking, there's something for everyone to love about this season. 

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Here, Kel, the founder of Mrs Smart Money, reveals nine fun things to do with the kids that are purse-friendly and achievable. 

Head to the local Library

Reading is always a good way to kill time, particularly on a cool or wet day. 

But rather than staying indoors, you can make a day of it and head to your local library.

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“Not only will you save a bundle on books and video games, but libraries have many other free activities like workshops,” Kel says. 

“It is a great place to keep them entertained while you save money.”

Leaf wreaths

Don't spend a fortune on pre-made wreaths for your autumnal front door. Instead, get creative and have some fun with these handmade beauties. 

Kel explains: “First, weave branches and twigs together to form a circle. Then let their creative minds build a beautiful wreath with pine cones, ivy, acorns and other autumn treasures.”

Conkers at the ready

Another fun thing to do is to host a conker match, and you need little more than a chestnut and some string. 

To get started, pierce a hole in the middle of the chestnut and thread an old shoelace through it,” explains Kel. 

“Then, take turns banging your conker against the other raised one – the first conker to break is the loser. Kids of all ages (and adults) love this annual game.”

Have a sound scavenger hunt

A sound scavenger hunt is a fun twist on the traditional scavenger hunt. However, this fun game does not have to be confined to forest walks.

“Whether you live in the city, in town or on a farm, this game can be played anywhere, and the crisp autumn air will carry the sounds crisply and clearly,” Kel explains. 

Simply listen out for specific sounds such as a bird twittering or a twig snapping and see how many you can name. 

Leaf Art

One of the best ways to enjoy autumn foliage is to walk and take some photographs, Kel says.

But you can take it one step further and create an Autumn-filled scrapbook. 

Now that the leaves are changing colours and Autumn is truly in the air, it's time to start planning fun activities to enjoy with your kids.

“You can then help your kids make a scrapbook by glueing the leaves into it and trying to identify each type of leaf,” Kel suggests. 

“This is also an excellent activity for painting patterns, as the leaves will be perfect for printing and decorating.”

Pine cone bird feeder

This activity is perfect for kids because it's easy, fun, and will keep the little ones occupied for some time. 

Kel says: “Pine cone bird feeders are a great way to teach children the importance of caring for our feathered friends. 

“To make one, tie a bit of string around a pine cone, then cover it in peanut butter and birdseed. 

“Hang it outside; soon enough, you'll have a flock of feathered visitors. Who knows, you might even be able to entice a few squirrels too.”

Jump in a pile of leaves

There's something about a pile of leaves that screams "fun."

Maybe it's the fact that they've been raked up into a neat mound, just begging to be messed up. 

"Or perhaps it's the way they're so light and airy, making them ideal for jumping into," Kel says. 

So on your regular walk make a game of it and see how many piles your kids can find. 

Kel says: “ If you're competitive, see who can kick the most leaves into the air. No autumn would be complete without this one. “

Get baking

While not exclusive to Autumn months, baking is a great activity with kids, and it's even more fun when you can use seasonal produce.

“Apples, pears, and pumpkin are all great ingredients to bake with, and cinnamon is the perfect spice to add some warmth and flavour, Kel says. 

So why not take advantage of the seasonal produce available and bake up some delicious treats? Your family will love them and get a healthy dose of fruit too.

Chalk leaf murals

Allow your children’s imaginations to run wild and have them decorate your driveway or back pavement with chalk. 

There’s no shortage of leaves at the moment so you can try leaf murals, Kel suggests. 

“First, place a leaf on the ground and trace around it using chalk. Then remove the leaf and colour in your outline,” she explains. 

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“You could even make a pattern of leaves along the footpath to resemble footprints.” 

Not only will the kids have a blast, but you'll also have a beautiful display of autumn leaves. So get out there and start decorating.

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