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Encouraging learning through the Summer Holidays….

Miss Frugal’s new school have set her homework to complete throughout the Summer Holidays and whilst I don’t agree with the volume of homework she’s been given, I do agree with the principal of continuing to encourage learning through the holidays – albeit in a much less formal and structured way than they learn at school.


Encouraging Reading

There are so many ways to encourage reading but my big thing about reading is making sure that I don’t make them read when they don’t want to because I want to encourage them to love to read rather than just reading because they’re told do!  Saying that though, there’s plenty of ways to make children want to read:

  • Make a reading chart with an incentive for them when they read a certain amount.  We pop a sticker in each square for every twenty minutes reading and you’d be surprised how quickly they get filled when there’s a treat at the end.
  • Visit your local library but don’t just stick to the story books section – get some factual books out.  Master Frugal loves reading random facts and his favourite book at the minute is the Guinness Book of Records.
  • Reading anything is good so encourage reading at all times – menus, websites about places you’re visiting, note’s you’ve written, instructions for cooking things.
  • Takes books with you when you go places – we have a favourite book each in the back of the car.
  • Have plenty of books around that you know they’ll enjoy.
  • Lead by example, read with them and don’t just use their reading time to catch up on Twitter. ;-)


Encouraging Writing

Writing is something that we need to work on this Summer with Master Frugal as his writing is so neat when he wants it to be but it’s not consistent so I want to encourage him to practice his writing this Summer:

  • Keep a Summer Holiday journal to record memories from the Summer.
  • Write out the shopping lists and meal plan each week.
  • Miss Frugal loves writing stories and she has a book with a list of story titles at the front that we wrote together.  She just chooses one when she wants to write something.  Things like ‘If I ruled the world’ encourage imagination and lead to some fun stories.
  • Get them to make a treasure hunt.  We had so much fun last year making one and the prize at the end was a bar of chocolate which made it even better.
  • Get the kids to write a list of things that they want to do over the Summer Holidays – then do them!

The Other Stuff

There are so many websites out there that encourage learning – mostly in a sneaky way because your children will think they’re planing a fun game but there are educational elements to it too.  Here’s a list of our favourite sites.

The most important thing to remember is that the Summer Holidays are vital for children to relax, recharge their batteries and be children – these are just a few ideas to get some sneaky learning into their everyday fun.

Win an Organised Mum Budget Book….


I seem to have somehow acquired a spare Organised Mum budget book so I thought I’d have a little giveaway on here to give it away to one of you. ;-)

If you’ve never seen the budget book before, it’s brilliant!  It’s set out in monthly sections with sections for income and expenditure each month along with lots of space to write notes.  Each month also has a pocket for any receipts you want to save – great if you’re keeping a spending diary and want to keep your receipts all in one place.

All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning is to complete the rafflecopter form below and leave a comment telling me one thing you could cut back on to save some money.

Easy peasy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck

Five free things you can do this Summer #1….

Five new ideas #1

We all know that you don’t have to spend money to have fun but sometimes we need a quick reminder of the fun things we can do for free so here’s the first of my Summer Holiday reminders of what you can do that won’t cost you a penny….

nature walk

Go on a nature hunt – print out one of the Summer checklists from the Nature Detective website and go for a walk together. There’s all sorts of checklists ranging from bugs to plants or even a simple colours one for younger children and you’ll have a great time finding everything on your lists.  Slap on some sun tan lotion, pack a little picnic and a bottle of water and off you go

making snot

Visit a local museum – We’ve got quite a few museums near to us and lots of them have Summer Holiday activities going on at the moment.  The entry to the museums around here is free and they usually just charge a small amount (50p – £1) for the activities to cover the cost of materials although we made our very own pot of snot recently for no charge at all and we even got to take the gloopy green snot home with us.  Whoo Hoo!

homemade boats

Make a boat and see if it floats – Build some boats out of whatever materials we can find around the house and then find somewhere local to sail them – we go to the local park with ours and have lots of fun seeing whose can go the furthest down the river and whose will sink first!


Go to the park – Often we spend lots of money on taking children on expensive days out and we (by we, I mainly mean me) are in danger of forgetting the fun you can have just by going to the local park.  As much fun as children can have on a rollercoaster or a water ride, they can have much more with a football and a baseball bat.  One of my favourite Summer memories from last year was a spur of the moment family game of rounders at the park – we keep a football, a baseball bat and ball and a frisbee (along with other Summer Bag fun things) in the boot of our car so we’re always ready to go!


Bake Cupcakes and decorate them – This is one of our favourite things to do, mainly because we get all the fun of making the cakes and then we get to eat them afterwards too.


#SaveMoneyMonday – Free Fun DIY classes for kids….


Welcome to this week’s #SaveMoneyMonday!

In case you don’t know what #SaveMoneyMonday is, it’s my new weekly (ish) feature.  Every Monday, I’m planning to feature one small way to save money in one way or another – whether it’s getting something for nothing, sharing a money saving top tip or even a way to make some extra money.

This week I’m thinking about the Summer Holidays as my two break up tomorrow so I thought we’d have a #SaveMoneyMonday Summer Holiday tip!

I found this one when I was browsing for wallpaper for my kitchen wall which, despite it being something I was determined I would have done before the Summer Holidays, I still haven’t got around to doing!

free kids diy class

B&Q are offering DIY classes for kids aged 7-11 throughout the Summer and there seems to be a lot of stores participating so there should be one near-ish to where you live if you fancied joining in.  The courses at my local store include making things like a bird feeder, a bug-house, a wheelbarrow planter and a butterfly home.

The site says that the sessions last an hour but they may run over because they want everyone to be able to take home what they make and when I went to book a session I thought it was great value at £5.00 considering that it includes all materials and you get to take home what you’ve made.

But then I noticed that the sessions were free if you were a B&Q club member and guess what, the club is free to join – you just fill in a quick form and you’ll get an email with your membership number in which you can use to book your classes over the phone on 0845 600 5428.  I’m not sure what else you’ll get as a club member but it looks like there may be discount vouchers!

summer of fun

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