If your family is like most, you have to be mindful of the money you dole out on fun-related activities. After paying for the things everyone needs, there isn’t always a lot left over to do the things they want. But when summer, fall, or winter breaks roll around, there are times when you need to keep everyone occupied—in and out of the house—in order to save your sanity.
Inexpensive Activities You Can Do With Your Kids…
- Story time – Many local libraries feature scheduled story times designated for certain age groups. Oftentimes, the story is followed by a small craft. Do a little research, then hit as many as you can. Children are usually intrigued by new stories, especially when read by someone new.
- Produce picking – Local farms tend to have areas where families can pick their own produce. Not only is this a chance for some outdoorsy fun, but your family will benefit from the nourishment of fresh fruits and veggies. As an added bonus, it may just make them more adventurous eaters, as well.
- Movie fest – Rent a handful of family-friendly flicks or borrow some from a friend. Pop some popcorn and scatter blankets and pillows over the floor, then get comfy. This is the perfect activity for rainy and lazy days.
- Board games galore -If you’re burned out on movie and TV time, gather some of your kids’ favorite games and have an all-day gaming marathon. To spice things up, award a small prize to whomever wins the most games.
- Memberships – Becoming a member of local attractions such as the zoo, museums, waterparks, etc., can provide days of hassle-free fun. Sure, you’ll shell out anywhere from $50 or more per membership, but you will likely get your money’s worth within two to three visits. Plus, if you pack a lunch and snacks, you can have as many “free” days as you like.
- Nature-walk scavenger hunt – Create a “treasure” box out of an egg carton by taping or gluing pictures of acorns, rocks, etc., to the top. Then take a walk around your neighborhood and fill each compartment with its coordinating treasure. For a different spin on this popular activity, create your list with larger items, like the tallest tree or biggest letter on a sign, and snap a silly picture of your child with each item.
- Park attack – Go to a local park that you have not yet visited. Pack a picnic lunch and make an afternoon of it. Let your child climb the equipment, swing, play basketball together, etc. Afterward, discuss with your child about what they liked and disliked about the park. Do this several times per month with a different park, and you may just discover the hidden gem that gets their little imaginations revved up.
Every once in awhile, it’s fun to splurge on movie theater tickets or other special events, but these ideas can get you on your way to a summer, fall, and winter breaks filled with fun that won’t break the bank.