As the weekend approaches I’m often found scrambling for ways to entertain our family. The choices are simple if we have expendable cash; movies, skiing, bowling….the list is vast when the coffers are full. It’s when the budget is tight that my creativity often escapes me.
As a child my family didn’t spend much in the way of outings, my sister and I were often found making forts, snow huts and other imaginative activities…but most of these were with the adults and not always a good idea…cough. Using the toboggans to slide down the stairs sounded like FUN at first…
Nowadays I keep a list ideas for my family to have fun for free; this is my arsenal for times when my daughters whine about being “Booorrreeeddd”
- Check the local newspaper for free events – Towns, cities, libraries, schools, recreation centers and the like often have free events. Check your local museums, parks, and the like for special Open House days or other events that offer free admission.
- Family scavenger hunt walks – Sit with the children and map a route for a family walk. Have the kids think of what may be in the surroundings and identify things you all have to try to find and take photos of. On the walk, have the list handy and tick off each item as you find it.
- Family Photo Night – Dress up in your finest clothes and set up a pretty back drop for the perfect family photo. Allow each person to choose a pose and snap away, the results will have you in stitches.
- Glow Stick Adventures – There is nothing like riding the hill on a toboggan with a glow stick in hand after dark, or in the summer go for a family swim at a local beach or pool with glow sticks.
- Collage – Print off favorite photos and cut and paste into collages. Then allow the children to decide where they want to hang these works of art.
- Backwards day – Wearing clothes backwards, yes means no and use utensils in opposite hands….the possibilities are endless and oh so confusing! This entertains the kids to no end and can last a whole day!
- Dance Party – Invite over some friends and make a list of favorite songs. Have the kids draw out a dance floor and stage and take turns being a STAR!
- Craft Time – Check out what craft supplies you have in the house and get creative! There are so many ideas on blogs and websites you’ll never been lost for ideas.
- Cooking Blindly – Choose a dish as a family, such as pizza, then allow the children get to choose which ingredients they are going to use to make their masterpieces. One parent assists in the kitchen and when ready the other has to taste test while blindfolded, prepare your taste buds!!
- Video Fun – set up your camcorder or computer camera and let the children have fun taping a message for a loved one. Encourage them to make a script, use props and include them in the editing and sending process.
- Child Labor – Lemonade stand, car wash…need I say more?
- Fort Fabulous – Using furniture and bedding make a fort in your home. Bring the TV or radio into the fort and have the family use it as their living room for the evening.
These are just some ideas for Family Fun when you’re on a budget, I’d love to hear your ideas!