If you’re searching for ways to keep the kids occupied over the upcoming Easter holidays and are keen to keep costs down, take a look at our five free (or cheap) suggestions.

Please share any other ideas with us on social media – just search for ‘Christians Against Poverty UK’.

A world of stories

Visit your local library and see what events they have going on over the Easter holidays.

You might want to challenge the kids to dress up as their favourite story character too – a perfect opportunity to prepare for World Book Day on March 7 (or get a second use out of the costume).

Easter Egg Hunt

Did you ever do this when you were a child?

Get a packet of chocolate eggs and go round the garden or local park (making sure the children are kept occupied or have their eyes closed), and place the eggs in suitable places where they can be easily found.

Remember that what might seem easy for an adult could be more difficult for those with short legs!

Then watch the excitement as they are released to find them.

The only problem is that if you are like me and keep a note of how many eggs should be found, you will probably find there are some ‘permanently missing’ at the end of the hunt!

Perfect pebbles

Go for a walk with the kids and collect a selection of pebbles (ideally ones that are big enough to paint or draw on).

Design and paint them when you get home, then use them for an Easter egg-style hunt, or to create a beautiful display.

Fun at church

Many churches organise fun activities and events for children around Easter. Many also run regular mums and tots groups, kids clubs and youth groups all year round.

Check out your local church’s website or notice board to find out more.

Scavenger hunt

Get out and about, perhaps at a park or lake near you, and challenge the kids to spot everything on the list below. Feel free to add more!

● A ladybird

● A caterpillar

● A butterfly

● A woodlouse

● A bird

● A person wearing a hat

● A person wearing something of a certain colour

● A person wearing trainers

● A small dog

● A big dog

● An ice cream van

● A funny-shaped leaf

● A funny-shaped pebble

● A purple petal (don’t pick any, just point)

● A daisy

● A daffodil

● A curvy twig

● A brown leaf

● A signpost

● Something to sit on

Indoor picnic

Rainy day? Put up a tent in the living room, or create a den with blankets and cushions, and have your own indoor picnic.

This is also a great opportunity to teach children about budgeting: give them a certain amount of money (e.g. £5) and challenge them to buy all the picnic items you need without going over budget.

Jonathan Hayward is the manager of the West NI Debt Centre operated by the Enniskillen Presbyterian Church in partnership with Christians Against Poverty (CAP) which is a UK charity with over 580 services across the UK delivering free Debt Counselling, Life Skills and Money Management courses. ALL these services are freely available to everyone in Fermanagh and South Tyrone. Visit capuk.org to find out more.