Stephanie is the Rotorua Daily Post's head of news

School holiday fun doesn't have to be pricey

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Rotorua mum Lisa Watts says there are plenty of ways to make school holidays memorable for your kids without having to break the bank.

The mother of four has been taking her children on 'adventures' every school holidays for the last three years and said it was something both she and her children looked forward to.

Armed with a camera, a packed lunch and a sturdy pair of shoes, the group visits different locations and spends the day exploring their surroundings and taking pictures.

When they return home the cameras are connected to the television and each child talks about what they saw, experienced and found. Mrs Watts, whose children range in age from 4 to 11, said there were a number of reasons she started these adventures.

"When I was a kid, my parents would take us places and let us loose to explore nature. I always had so much fun and wanted to raise my kids like that so they had real memories to treasure.

"A lot of activities are quite expensive but even when you do pay for them, the kids have fun for a couple of hours but then it is forgotten. By taking them on adventures, they are making lasting memories. I hope it becomes a tradition they continue with their own kids."

Despite their enthusiasm now, Mrs Watts said her children did not warm to the idea immediately.

"It did take a little time to get them into it but now they absolutely love it - it's a highlight for them.

"I also wanted to get them off their devices and playing outside. During the school term they are often using the computer for class and I didn't want them doing that during the holidays as well."

She said when it was wet outside she planned craft days for her kids. "When we see cool things to make on Facebook we save it and try to recreate it when it's too wet to go outside.

"It's not too expensive because we can often use things we've picked up during our adventures - I usually just have to buy the odd glue stick or minor supplies from the $2 shop.

"For me the school holidays are a time you can do fun family things together - it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg to do it either."

- Rotorua Daily Post

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