Seriously, the world of expensive activities for children continues to blow my mind. I understand with both parents working, some form of entertainment needs to be found during the summer holidays, but the costs associated with that seem astronomical.
So are there hobbies, unlike horse-riding and professional go-karting, that won’t require you both to get extra jobs so as to afford them?
Music can be an expensive hobby. The part where the kid asks for a grand piano for instance. Or the bit where your child claims that the violin you bought them “isn’t their instrument” and they’d prefer to be learning the tuba. While that can happen, it is one of the most gratifying and successful of hobbies and it needn’t be too expensive. Buy a really cheap guitar or borrow one from a music school. Get a harmonica, or a melodica.
Do not, under any circumstances get a recorder, they’ll inflict that on your during school term. Save yourself for the time being.There are enough music geniuses around in local high schools, it’s not hard to find one to teach your kid some licks and they won’t charge too much money. It’s like baby-sitting, a hobby and party trick all in one.
This may or may not turn into an article about things that I like doing, but I’m going to persevere. Astronomy is a fantastic hobby, although you might end up spending hours up, late at night, staring into inky darkness. And it can get expensive. But to buy a book on stars and a cheap telescope, or binoculars, is no huge cost and can be the start of a great passion. Let’s face it, you’ll probably end up out there, getting more excited than your five year old about Venus.
Take dress-ups to the new level. For all the old clothes that no one wants to try on anymore, why not cut them up and make something new and fabulous? It costs nothing- you can print off tips or prints from the Internet and you already have materials, and for fashion-conscious kids, it can provide hours of entertainment.
Chances are it’ll be something that their grandmothers can help them with as well, and provide something to fill baby-sitting hours.
While it might take a bit of work on your behalf initially, and a small outlay for herbs and plants, a vegetable garden is the perfect hobby for boys and girls. They can plant whatever they want (within reason) and are wholly responsible for it’s upkeep. Start with easy plants like tomatoes. It gives kids a chance to get entirely muddy and play with the hose without getting on your nerves. Plus, you’ll get home-grown veggies provided they don’t kill them with too much love.
It doesn’t take anything but a pack of cards and lot of patience, and you can become a pretty classy magician. Point your child to magic tricks online, equip them with some cards, and soon enough they’ll have plenty of wild and wacky things to practice. And once they’ve conquered that, get them a juggling book from the library, three juggling balls and you won’t see them all summer.