on Small Change
FamIly EdItIon
100 top tips for saving pennies while making memories your kids will treasure

IG B Fun
Beverley Houston

‘Every money-conscious parent should read this book’ FamIly tImE maGaZInE
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Big Fun...on Small Change
100 top tips for saving pennies while making memories your kids will treasure

Beverley Houston Sparky Books

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Copyright © Beverley Houston 2009 The right of Beverley Houston to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1998 First published 2009 by Sparky Books Limited, 54 Ideal Street, Edinburgh EH1 5AB www.sparkybooks.com All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher Typeset by Qwerty Industries, Glasgow Printed and bound in Great Britain by Imagine Workshop, Edinburgh Sparky Books Limited Reg. No. 798109 ISBN 0 9553010 0 9 A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Papers used by Sparky Books are natural, renewable and recyclable products made from wood grown in sustainable forests and certified in accordance with the rules of the Forest Stewardship Council.

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3 WElComE 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 19 20 24 26 28 30 34 36 40 42 44 48 49 50 outdoor advEnturES How to use your space treasure hunt Growing together mystery day trip Schoolyard games nature quest Bark rubbings Flower pressing Seasonal secrets GEttInG CraFty Where to begin Play dough animal models Group mural trinket boxes Family collage Pasta jewellery Glass painting Greeting cards Basic papier mâché Hand and foot printing Pop up storybook 59 60 61 62 63 64 66 68 70 72 74 76 78 80 82 84 88 90 94 98 100 104 106 108 110 Flip flop pancakes Cheese and potato whirls Squishy squashy eggs Slurpy smoothies Fruit kebabs Fun and GamES Getting started dragons and dinosaurs little writers Photoshoot razzamatazz Jungle play Buzzers and bells Wacky races Party tImE Choosing a theme Witches and wizards magic show Pop stars Scary beasts Beautiful ballerinas Spies and secrets alien adventures tEmPlatES and rESourCES Featured masks Cut out decorations reward charts Example diary

KItCHEn WondErS 54 Basic pointers 57 yummy cupcakes 58 Gingerbread family

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85% of children surveyed wanted to spend more time with their families. All the accessories of modern life are expensive, but giving your time to make someone smile is free.

Recent studies show that stress in children is increasing at an alarming rate. Ways to reduce stress include spending time outdoors, getting creative and sharing time with friends and family.

In the uK today, 75% of people admit to having to make their budget stretch further than is comfortable each month.

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Do you ever feel like you deserve a medal?
Looking after children is not an easy job. Sometimes it requires bucket loads of patience just to get through the day. When finances are tight, families are put under yet more undue pressure and it can be difficult to cope with all the demands that kids place upon us. We don't want to disappoint them, but kids often seem to need the priciest things on offer. I have a secret to share with you - they don't. What they definitely do need is love, laughter and a sense of security in their lives. And the good news is, it doesn't cost a fortune to achieve! None of the activites in this book costs more than £10 to enjoy, and many cost much less than that. Take time to laugh with your kids and the rewards will be much greater than anything you can withdraw from the bank. I hope you and your family enjoy the ideas and tips in this book. Try them out together and most importantly... have fun!

Beverley x
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Growing together
Gardening is a wonderfully relaxing and educational low-cost activity you can do with your kids. Results won't be instant, so this one will take a little patience, but the rewards will be worth the wait when your flowers bloom and your veggies ripen!
These are ideal to plant with your kids as they are one of the easiest flowers to grow. They grow well in pots or window boxes so are perfect if you are short on space. Their lovely sunny yellow colour when they bloom is sure to make your kids smile. How to: Plant 3-5 inches deep with 3 inches between each bulb. It's best to plant in February for flowers in April.

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With a curious habit of facing the rising sun in the east, sunflowers provide excellent nature lessons in sun, earth and sky. The copious seeds that sunflowers produce provide a fun and nutritious snack as well. Sunflower seeds are large enough for little fingers to handle, meaning sunflowers are easy to plant. Just add water, and stand back! How to: Plant outdoors and allow plenty of room. It's best to tie your growing sunflower to a wooden rod early on to support them properly throughout the summer. Then keep your fingers crossed for lots of sun, and water them often as they rapidly grow...and grow...and GROW!

Have fun helping your child measure his growth spurts against the Sunflowers can grow up sunflower's own!

to 20 feet tall and can produce flowers up to 2 feet wide!

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Schoolyard Games
Remember all your old favourites? Well, they're having a revival! Time to dig out your trainers!
HoPSCotCH - hop for the longest to win! mInImum PlayErS: 1- no maxImum
Use chalk to draw a hopscotch pattern on the ground outside. Draw a grid with ten sections and number them. Give each player a marker that they can throw. Perhaps a stone, bottlecap, or something similar in size. The first player stands behind the starting line to toss her marker into square 1. She then hops over square 1 to square 2 and continues hopping to square 10, turns around, and hops back again. Continue by tossing your marker into square 2. You must hop on one foot only unless you are at a point in the hopscotch grid where two squares are side-by-side. Then two feet can be set down with one in each square. you are out of the game if your marker does not land in the proper square, if you step on a line, or if you lose your balance and 14 wobble over!

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15 minutes of hula hooping gives you the same health benefits as 15 minutes of running. A hula hoop should cost less than £4 and just takes a little practice to get right! Your kids will love challenging themselves to keep the hoop going longer than you! Think of all the good you're doing for your stomach muscles as you twirl your way to fitness while having fun! Have you ever laughed so much at the gym?

Prepare to get dizzy!


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You don’t need to spend a lot of money on craft It's easy to feel daunted if you're not naturally creative, but equipment for your with a little imagination and a stash of simple supplies kids. Just take a look at the most ordinary items can become extraordinary fun! what you have around you and let your Look through your old magazines and cut out and keep the imagination best pictures. They will come in handy for making an idea run wild! book. Keep a stash of old snapshots for making collages and family portraits. Old newspapers are essential for making papier mâché masks and decorations for kids' parties.

GEttInG CraFty Where to begin

Keep any spare buttons, wool or scrap material in a sewing box that everyone can dig into for making jewellery, dolls' clothes and for decorating cards. Always keep some dried pasta in the kitchen cupboard. It can be used to make a necklace, bangle, or even spray painted or covered in glitter for lots of projects. Lollipop sticks, washed and dried, can be made into many fun creations. Paper plates make great masks. Cut out holes for the eyes and attach a piece of elastic once the plates are painted or drawn on.

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Keep anything colourful, shiny or sparkly that could be used for crafts. It won't take long until you have a collection a magpie would be proud of!
think before you throw anything out. It's time to hoard old yoghurt pots and egg boxes - they can become anything from useful pencil pots to essential parts of a spaceship! A great place to find free craft materials is outdoors. In the woods, gather leaves, twigs or bark. Flowers can be picked for pressing.

Always be safety conscious with scissors, glue and any sharp or small items you use. Supervise children at all times.

The beach is another good place to gather materials. Small shells can be glued onto plain trinket boxes or picture frames to make highly individual gifts. Collect large stones and paint them. Make an interesting texture on paper by spreading glue over it and sprinkling on sand. Explore charity shops. Buy cheap glassware and crockery to paint on. Old wallpaper rolls are great for scrap paper and cutting out. Try out the projects in this book to get you started. I’m sure that you’ll soon be able to come up with lots more ideas for inxpensive crafts with your kids. Remember to help your kids when they need it, and offer your advice, but try not to take over. They may not be able to cut a perfect circle from cardboard but it's important for them to learn in their own time and to enjoy the process with you.

Enjoy yourselves!


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You can adapt this recipe to suit any occasion - birthdays, Christmas, celebrations, or even just ‘any day’ baking. There’s a world of toppings and inspiration to be found - just try asking your kids! They’re sure to come up with hundreds of reasons to get messy in the kitchen.

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Yummy Cupcakes
You will need: 125g / 4 ½oz soft butter 125g / 4 ½ oz caster sugar 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1 tsp vanilla extract 125g self-raising flour 2 tbsp milk Cupcake baking tray Paper cake cases Large mixing bowl Icing sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 190˚C/ gas mark 5. Ask your child to place the paper cases in the holes in the baking tray. 2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Let your child have a go with the wooden spoon but help out when the mixture begins to thicken. 3. Add the beaten egg, a little at a time, stirring constantly, then beat in the vanilla. 4. Add half of the flour and fold into the mixture. Add the milk and the rest of the flour and mix until well combined. 5. Your child will love spooning out sticky blobs of the mixture into the cases. Bake for 12 minutes or until risen and golden on top. 6. Allow to cool for ten minutes on a rack before removing from the tin. Get creative with icing sugar to decorate.


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Cheese and Potato Whirls
You will need: 200g potatoes ½ medium onion, finely chopped 2 tbsp milk 1 egg, beaten 100 g grated cheese 1 tbsp chopped/ dried parsley 1 pack of puff pastry 1 saucepan 1 baking tray

1. Cook the potatoes until tender (15-20 mins) then drain and mash. 2. Fry the onions in a drop of oil until soft and then add to the potatoes. 3. add the rest of the ingredients, give your child a wooden spoon and ask them to mix everything up well. 4. Have fun rolling out your pastry together, then spread your cheese and potato mix on top leaving a little space at one end. 5. roll up your pastry so you have what looks like a swiss roll, and put a little milk along the last edge to seal up the roll. 6. Cut the roll width ways into slices. 7. Place on baking tray and cook at 180˚C/ gas mark 7 for 10 minutes or until golden. 8. Serve warm and fresh from the oven.

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Squishy Squashy Eggs
You will need: 2 eggs per child A splash of milk (optional) Sealable freezer bags Boiling water 1 large saucepan Plus various fillings such as: Chopped tomato Grated cheese Ham Peppers Mushrooms

1. Start by chopping up some bits and pieces for the filling and placing them in bowls/containers. Older children can help with this. 2. Give each child a sealable freezer bag. then let each child break two eggs into their bag, taking care not to drop in any shell. 3. add a tiny splash of milk (optional), seal the bag securely and let the kids gently shake and squeeze the gooey mixture. 4. once the yolks have broken up and mixed together, let the kids add whatever fillings they like from the bowls. 5. then squeeze the bags to remove air, and seal them securely. It’s a good idea to label the bags so they don’t get mixed up. 6. Place the bags in a large pan of boiling water and cook for about 10-15 mins. you will know it's ready when all the liquid has gone. 7. open the bags carefully (mind the steam) and serve.


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Big Fun ... on Small Change: london Edition
Charles Charlie-Charles ‘Hot foot your way round the capital without burning money’ DAILY MAIL

Big Fun ... on Small Change: Holiday Special
Cara van-tentleak 'Holidays like they used to be in the good old days!' TOP TRAVEL

Big Fun ... on Small Change: retirement Focus
mayka rightfuss 'Just what's needed in today's economy' AGED TIMES

Order online now at www.sparkybooks.com/shop

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...on small change


FamIly EdItIon GMTV’s Beverley ‘a welcome return to good old-fashioned, Houston is a low-cost fun and giggles for all the family’ renowned financial MARTIN LEWIS, MONEY SAVING ExPERT guru and family health expert. With ‘I wish I’d had this book years ago!’ 12 years’ experience of helping LORRAINE KELLY, GMTV people in difficult financial circumstances to reset the ‘Houston's handy hints are set to become a part of balance of their family lives, British family life with this accessible, Houston is uniquely placed to easy to use book’ provide you with expert guidance GUARDIAN to ensure your family comes ‘Buy this book - your kids and your wallet smiling through tough times. will thank you for it’ DAILY MAIL

A compendium of fun for all the family, this is a book you will turn to again and again for inspiration on a rainy day with an empty wallet.


Sparky Books

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