It's Good Friday! Which means Spring has finally sprung and Easter is here. (Or at least it should mean that. I can see snow on the hills from where I sit so apologies if you're feeling a distinct lack of Spring in your parts!)
Anyway it's also a brilliant excuse to make hot cross buns. But if your little people aren't fans, - my little darlings refuse point-blank to eat anything containing sultanas - how do you like the sound of chocolate cinnamon hot cross buns? Ooh yum, I can hardly wait to try these out this afternoon. There's a lovely recipe here. If you try it, be sure to leave us a comment to let us know what you thought!
Now. If you are a parent, the thought of entertaining your children over the Easter holidays may fill you with dread but don’t worry – the lovely people at Serif have come up with 10 low-cost and fun ways to keep the family entertained during the holidays, come rain or shine. Here are there ideas:
1. Go swimming! You don’t have to be a member to swim at your local council-run leisure centre and it won’t cost you the earth. It usually costs around £3.00 for an adult and £1.50 for a child – with most places offering school holiday rates for children under the age of 16.
2. Visit your local library – it is not all about books. Most libraries now offer free Internet access, newspapers, DVDs, CDs magazines and books, so head on down there. Plus it’s free (as long as you’re not late getting your books back!) The library is also a great place to lose an hour or two if the weather's not great and you're looking for something to get you out of the house without having to spend a penny.
3. Go for a walk – we’re surrounded by beauty, regardless of whether you live in the country, town or city, so why not get out there and get walking. It’s a great way to get some exercise and spend quality time with the family. You can pack snacks for a long the way, take along a camera and snap whatever takes your fancy or even plan a simple nature trail or adventure walk. If you're feeling particularly adventurous you could nip out ahead of schedule and plant some chocolate eggs along the route for extra Easter fun!
4. Make a scrapbook about what you got up to on your Easter break. You can create fantastic photo-realistic scrapbooks using software like Serif’s Digital Scrapbook Artist. Visit Serif to download the software absolutely free of charge!
5. Go for a picnic – make some sandwiches, fill a flask and head down to the nearest park or river for a family picnic. Frisbees, footballs and kites are all guaranteed to add to the fun.
6. Bake a cake – or brownies, jam tarts, flapjacks or your own Easter bun(nies). We refer you to the hot cross bun recipe above.
7. Bored? Then try a board game – when was the last time you sat down as a family and played a game? Try learning games like Scrabble or Boggle, or if it’s good old-fashioned fun you want, try Twister!
8. What a photograph! Take the kids outdoors and get creative, take pictures of your local area, wildlife, Spring flowers and each other, then upload onto your PC and give them that extra magic touch with free photo editing software available at www.freeserifsoftware.com
9. Get green fingers – seeds are cheap, so get the kids out into the garden and give them their own section to grow vegetables.
10. Movie night – many sites offer DVD rentals for less than £5.00 a month. You might even be able to get a free trial. Join up and get watching!
Above all, don't forget to have fun. School holidays can be stressful and hard work, especially if the weather isn't up to much. So little indulgences like a cup of real coffee or a flick through your favourite magazine can go a long way to helping you keep your cool, even if your little ones are losing theirs!
Sometimes something as simple as a game of hide and seek can help channel all that energy into a positive direction. Other hits in our house when boredom strikes is playing with play-doh - the internet is awash with recipes for making your own - or setting ourselves a family challenge with the Lego. Most of all, enjoy your holidays and have a very Happy Easter!