As the long school summer holidays are upon us it is very easy to get concerned about both how to keep your youngsters entertained and more worryingly how much the next six or seven weeks are going to cost.

Whilst undoubtedly there will be additional expenses to meet with a little forward planning and imagination these expenses can be kept to a sensible level.

A simple starting point is to visit a museum. There are many free ones around. Not only will this give your children a chance to play and explore, as many put on special exhibitions, but it will also provide the chance to learn and be educated in an informal surrounding. In London, The Natural History Museum and Science Museum are free, but a local search will likely find options nearer to home.

Staying on the educational theme, see what your local library has on offer. During the holidays, most will offer a range of craft or musical activities. Many set up reading challenges for younger children which often give recognition rewards that many a primary aged school child love to receive.

Another low-cost option is to make up a treasure hunt and map. Locally, find a good walking route and make a treasure map. Then write down a number of items that the children should find or do throughout the walk all, of course, taking into account the age of the children. A small, relatively cheap prize can then be given to those who complete all or most of the challenges.

If you want to broaden your horizons and visit other attractions, you will find that some of the major supermarket loyalty schemes allow you to use vouchers that offer a reduction in entry price.

Above all, remember, preparation pays off.

Source: Mumsnet