Keeping kids entertained during the long Summer break. Tips from Goodfellas

With most schools closing in just over 2 weeks, many parents will be dreading the sound of “I’m bored” or “There’s nothing to do” during the long six weeks of no school.

Research by Goodfellas shows that the average parents will spend a staggering £2,602 keeping their children entertained during the course of one year.

Researchers commissioned by frozen pizza brand Goodfella’s found days out, food and drink and visits to soft play centres mean mums and dads part with over £50 a week to keep kids happy and entertained.

Of this, £409 will be spent occupying the kids with trips to soft play centres or play parks, and an incredible £609 a year will go on meals out, according to the poll of 2,000 parents.

During the six week summer holiday, the total cost rises to an average of £127 a week as parents find ways to stop their offspring becoming bored.

Having 3 kids means I actually probably spend more than what the research suggests. I certainly pay out for television, game console subscriptions. My older 2 kids both have mobile contract sims too. Then the pocket money, snacks, swim sessions, toys, clothes and trips during the school holidays certainly all adds up and that’s before I even consider buying new uniforms and new school supplies.

A spokesperson for Goodfella’s, who commissioned the study, said: “Keeping children entertained needn’t be a costly business, but sometimes there’s no choice but to open the wallet.

“After a while, all the made-up games and free entertainment in the world will take second place to something with a price tag attached.

“Heading out for a family meal can be a good way to make a summer holiday evening feel special, though it can take its toll on your finances over time.

“Plus, getting everyone organised, deciding where to eat and making sure the outing goes without a hitch can be a hassle for parents already exhausted from a day entertaining the kids.”

To help parents save money throughout the Summer, Goodfella’s has launched the Romano range of premium frozen pizzas – developed with a stonebaked base and generous quality toppings, available for just £2.50.

It is quite a shock to see how much is being spent on things that would previously have been luxuries when we were children. Things such as technology, eating out, video games and TV subscriptions. These items are often purchased unconsciously because people are not budgeting.

Using a budget planner would ensure that families were spending more carefully which often leads to changes in behaviour and means funds are more usefully spent or saved for bigger things.

Easy changes such as enjoying a restaurant-quality meal in the home rather than dining out can make big changes to the purse.

Each month, adults will fork out up to £60 on TV and movie entertainment, and a further £35 on toys, books and magazines for their kids.

As the six-week summer holiday from school looms, parents will be doing their best to keep their kids’ days as full as possible.

Over a third of respondents believe their kids are likely to complain about being bored over the break. I am certainly in that third!

And on average, parents will only get eight days of respite before the first “I’m bored…” emanates from their child’s lips. Mine will be much sooner I can almost guarantee it.

Just under two thirds of the population have a TV subscription, with half of those saying they keep it just to make sure their kids have things to watch.

And hard-up parents say that they lose a whole quarter of their household’s disposable monthly income to entertaining the children.

But six in 10 are happy to shell out to make sure the kids are content, with 13 per cent believing they spend ‘too much’.

A day at a theme park was picked as kids’ ultimate form of entertainment by 23 per cent of respondents, followed by TV and movies, a day at the zoo, a park trip and eating out.

My own tips and advice for saving money during the school holidays are:

picnics during the hot weather, either in the garden or at the park

• Invest in a pool, these can be purchased for less than £20 in most supermarkets

• go to parks, the majority are free entry and can take up half a day

• go to free museums, google free events/attractions in the area

•plan bigger trips in advance, look for online discounts, 2 for 1 ticket offers etc.

•Booking train tickets in advance can save the pounds as can purchasing a family railcard.

• Visit those relatives that you’ve been promising to for age. It gets you out and to a new place.

The new range of Romano pizzas which we have been testing out means that parents can serve up restaurant quality pizzas straight from the freezer, giving a fuss-free and wallet-friendly option to heading out to the local restaurant.”

Goodfella’s new Romano range boasts a delicious thin stonebaked base generously topped with premium ingredients, from flavour-packed chargrilled vegetables to spicy ‘nduja sausage. Available for just £2.50 in supermarkets nationwide, varieties include:

Calabrese Salami and Spicy ‘Nduja Sausage with Chilli and Black Pepper

Four Cheese with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil Pesto

Chicken, Roquito Pepper, and Red Onion with Garlic Oil Drizzle

Pepperoni and Chorizo

Chargrilled Vegetable and Pesto

We all loved the new pizza flavours and often ate them outside like a picnic style lunch. Ryan loved the Pepperoni and Chorizo (as above).

This Chargrill vegetable and Pesto went down well too which I was quite surprised about as it does have a lot of vegetables on top

They make such an easy meal as all my kids love pizza and they are ready in the oven in just 20 minutes. Can be eaten anywhere, outside or in and can be a stand alone meal or eaten with some fries or a salad.

THE COST OF ENTERTAINING KIDS PER MONTH

Toys, books and magazines – £35.31
TV and movie entertainment – £37.31
Meals out – £50.81
Other entertainment e.g. days out, parties etc – £58.95
Soft play centres and play parks – £34.11

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