Tired of spending cash on entertaining the kids? Ben Fordham has some genius solutions.

“Kids aren’t always after the most exciting thing out there,” television and radio presenter Ben Fordham this week told This Glorious Mess’ podcast host, Holly Wainwright.

After being asked about how to entertain the kids towards the end of the school holidays, Fordham makes the point that many families find it harder to think of inexpensive activities at that time.

“If you spend a lot of your money leading up to December 25, getting through January can be a big challenge,” he observed. Especially as January often means back-to-school expenses, too.

But he has some ideas that have worked wonderfully with his three-ear-old son Freddie, and one-year-old daughter Pearl.


“When I was a young boy, I loved nothing more than throwing rocks in the water. If there was water, and there were rocks, I was happy.”

When Fordham introduced the activity to his son, he discovered that finding suitable rocks took up too much time.

“I got sick of finding all the rocks. So I went to Bunnings and I bought pebbles.”

The brilliant hack has meant that he always has a stash of water-skimming rocks in the boot of his car, ready to see some action. Pearl is now old enough to enjoy it, too.

“They have the time of their lives.”

Fordham makes another suggestion for play time that costs nothing:

“The other one is building things at home.”

Fordham describes how Freddie loves nothing more than making a tunnel around the couch.

“Get cushions and create a home or a bridge. Kids love building.”

LISTEN: Holly Wainwright and Ben Fordham discuss inexpensive ways to entertain the kids on This Glorious Mess.

Fordham’s last idea is sleepovers.

“This Saturday night, I’m doing a sleepover in Freddy’s room.”

Fordham describes how much his son enjoys having his father ‘sleep over’ on a mattress on the floor in his room. The event is so special to him that Fordham is able to use it as an incentive for good behaviour leading to it.

But there is one downside;

“I go to bed a few hours earlier on a Saturday night than I’d like”, laughed Fordham.