Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Guest Post: Keeping the kids happy on those rainy summer days

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Yes, we’ve had our heat wave: the summer of 2013 can now be declared a success! For three glorious weeks in July, the UK was basked in unwavering sunshine and I’m sure everybody took advantage of it as best they could. However we are British, lest we not forget, and we love a good moan. Did anyone else notice how, as soon as the school holidays had started, the temperature dropped a good 5-10 degrees and those big white things in the sky suddenly dominated our skies once again? Inevitably, the sun wasn’t going to be here all summer; this nifty guide will help to keep the children happy when the rain once again sets in and they begin to get restless stuck inside their living rooms. What’s even better about this guide is that we’ll also tell you how to do it on a budget. Aren’t you lucky?

Get the toys out!

Now as you will be aware, this blog is predominantly based on toys, so we’ll start with them. You have read all the wonderful reviews from Damian and his children’s toys and hopefully this will give you a good basis to choose the toy perfect for your kids (or even you!). Usually, you’ll look for a bargain. The cost of toys really does add up after a while. One site often touted as the most reliable and the one that most likely to be the first port of call, particularly if you want something in a rush, is Amazon. But is it the cheapest? Well the simple answer to that is a resounding ‘no’. In fact, I can now say with 100% conviction, Amazon is never the cheapest option. Whilst ebay may often win out, if you’re ever going to buy something off Amazon then Flubit might be a better place to visit first. This is an online business that promises to beat the price of any product now sold on Amazon by up to 12%. You’ll struggle to find a cheaper price on the web to buy those toys that can be used on those days when going outside is not an option.

Video games are always an option

Admittedly, video games aren’t always top of the list for parents trying to entertain their offspring, and few of them will ever invoke the same levels of nostalgia that the toys Damian mentions do. However, if you have already purchased an Xbox 360 or PS3, you will probably know more than anybody that these are a sure fire way keeping the kids happy and, best of all, out of your hair! It must be advised that you ensure they don’t get hold of games outside their age range as there are now a vast number of incredibly violent games around. If your children have friends round and love football, FIFA 13 is perfect. It is a sociable game, anybody can play it, and it should hopefully encourage them to go out and play properly when the rain dies down. There are also many titles available that are as educational and informative, as they are fun. Don’t forget to check HotUKDeals for any voucher codes that can often crop up if you’re hoping for a discount. 

Board Games

They seem to have been forgotten in the midst of 21st century technology. When I was young, there was almost an air of excitement when a day of thunder and lightning came along. Without doubt, the likes of Monopoly, Scrabble and Cluedo were placed on the kitchen table and were played for hours on end...until I won. As time has moved on, these games have adapted. Monopoly have brought out local versions on their game so you can play with locations your children may be familiar with and understand. If you’d like to get them at cut prices, they can often be found at a charity shop or a nearby car boot sale. Alternatively, you can pay that little bit extra, to get a brand new version that can be found on Amazon, and more importantly, through Flubit. For something a little out of the ordinary, try different titles such as Munchkin, Settlers of Catan or Zombies, all of which can add a little extra pizazz to those wet afternoons.

Arts and crafts

Finally, this one is for those of you that are well prepared for the bad weather. Getting creative is great for your kids. It gives them skills they can use as they get older and help them think outside the box. It is great for all ages and an excellent way of spending time with your children. There really all sorts of activities – think cooking, painting, modelling and drawing. Whether you have a boy or a girl, they will fall in love with the Moshi Beads set, whilst the John Adams Kitchen Chemistry set is both entertaining and educational – music to a parent’s ears!

Whatever you plan to do with the kids on those unavoidable rainy days, don’t spend more money than necessary on keeping them cheerful at home. Whenever you’re shopping, be wary of whether you really have found the best price, or whether you can find it cheaper elsewhere. Think discount codes, daily deals sites, as well as car boots and charity shops, but certainly don’t forget who will beat Amazon’s price on any product you can find.

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