The average parent will spend an extra £166 in an attempt to entertain their children during half term according to a new study. 63 per cent will fork out the money for extra food, while 26 per cent will feel pressured to pay for their children to take part in expensive activities such as holiday camps or childcare.
Around 46 per cent spend extra money on transport while 59 per cent of parents will be taking their children to theme parks and 42 per cent will fork out for cinema tickets. Meanwhile nearly a fifth (19 per cent) of parents simply hand over an extra allowance to their children, the study by The Brave Bones Club from Cheestrings & Yollies found.
It also reveals that 22 per cent of parents dread half term because it is expensive keeping their children entertained.
And it seems mothers and fathers begin to struggle coming up with original and entertaining activities for their children to enjoy. A third of parents (31 per cent) admit by 11am on Wednesday they run out of ideas and can’t think of anything else for their children to do.
Meanwhile a quarter (26 per cent) say they run out of inspiration as soon as half-term starts, the study of 2,000 parents found.
This added pressure results in 3 per cent of them spending as much as £500 trying to please their children during half-term.
But parents seem to be taking advantage of free events too, with many choosing to play outside.
Going to the park (60 per cent), throwing a ball together (48 per cent) and kicking a ball (47 per cent) topped the list of ‘low costing’ outdoor activities.
To help inspire parents to spend more time having adventures with their children, Cheestrings & Yollies are partnering with adventurer Steve Backshall to encourage children to join The Brave Bones Club. Developed to help grow kids’ confidence with essential life skills through play, Steve is launching a new campaign to bring ‘Playspiration’ in bundles in a bid to help parents out – and for those who are worried about cost Steve has lots of tips that cost absolutely nothing.
Backshall says: “I’m really proud to be working with The Brave Bones Club to encourage kids and parents to play more. My own experiences of exploring my environment and creating adventure with family and friends played a huge part in my formative years, helping to build my skill set and confidence. That’s why I feel so passionately about bringing out the inner-adventurer in adults and kids alike.”
Dr. Amanda Gummer, psychologist and founder of Fundamentally Children, adds: “Children really benefit from having both male and female role models engaging with them regularly and even more so when they are encouraging healthy, active play and giving their children a balanced play diet. Being adventurous from an early age helps children develop important skills that will last them throughout childhood and set them up for a healthy and successful adulthood. Skills such as risk assessment, communication, cooperation, problem solving, strategic thinking, negotiation, reliability, perseverance, and curiosity all compliment a sense of adventure and boost confidence, helping children face challenges and overcome them as they mature.
The results from the Brave Bones study highlight that parents across the country are forking out a significant amount of money, solely to keep their children entertained during the half-term period. However, there are many free and local adventures that your kids can embark on. Parents can encourage children’s adventurous outdoor spirit with activities such as; wildlife treasure hunts, building dens and having fun in adventure playgrounds, allowing your children’s imaginations to run wild and help with their creative development.”