Friday, 17 August 2012

The best things in life are free...

Well derrr….you don’t say?  There are moments in life when I wonder about the value of research – and I say this as a researcher!  Do Sainsbury’s need to spend a vast amount of money to realise that children prefer the simple things in life? 
Sainsbury’s have created a ‘pleasure per penny index’ by asking children aged 5 to 11 to rank their favourite holiday activities according to how happy they make them feel and how special and memorable they are….and guess what? -  playing in the garden or park, water fights or building a den come out on top, while expensive day trips out are way down the list. 

Contrary to popular belief, children value time spent with friends and family over material entertainment. Intuitively this is something we parents already know, but the problem is that we're conditioned to feel guilty that we aren’t doing enough for our children if we don’t take them out to theme parks and fast food restaurants.

Newsflash!…if left to their own devices children don’t get bored! They might have a few moments of whingeing, but they very quickly find something to do and can entertain themselves for hours.  A little  boredom is actually good for kids as it helps them develop their creative skills.  If we constantly force-feed them entertainment, we're denying them the chance to learn to enjoy being alone and find ways to entertain themselves. 

Even on a rainy day there are plenty of things to do.  Give them paper and paints, or salt-dough, or let them build a den and they'll be happy for hours.

So back away from the theme park, keep your hand away from your wallet and give your kids a summer holiday they'll remember!

We've got lots more ideas to keep the kids happy over the holidays

 >> Great ways to entertain the kids in the holidays  
 >> Recycled crafts for kids
  >> Get the best from your holiday

Hilary B


  1. Couldnt agree more. Most of our days out have been parks and woods - my kids love nothing better than a tree to climb and a river to paddle in. Its been raining today and we have had an afternoon with boxes and sellotape building all manner of creations. Throughout the holidays, dens have also been built, flags painted with water, picnics eaten, and all manner of other "free" activities. Sometimes we forget how creative kids can be when they are "bored". Doesnt take long for them to think of something.
    Sharon xx

    1. Absolutely Sharon. Can't understand why the words "I'm bored" send so many parents into a frenzy of spending!

  2. It is a reality that kids go creative if they are been given some space for themselves and if they are alone.There creativity will do magic which will be something new to you.

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