Growing up in a consumer society, we often associate fun with having to spend money. When posed with the question “so what should we do?” many only consider going shopping or eating out. But if you’re trying to save money, these choices can be quite limiting. Fortunately, there are many low cost and even free activities you can enjoy with your family without breaking the bank. Take a look at these suggestions if you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to have fun with the kids:
1. Go on a Trip to the Library
An outing to the library can be a great way to spend the afternoon. Going to the library with your kids can be both fun and educational. Show your children how enjoyable reading is by helping them to find books they will like. Teach them how to look up information about topics in which they are curious. The ability to self-educate will pave the way for their success for years to come. The library also has a vast collection of movies, DVDs, and music albums you can borrow, all for free! You can also go online or ask the staff about free events hosted at the library. They often have book readings, public speakers, or arts and craft activities for the whole family, free of charge.
2. Check Your Local Newspaper Listings
The classified sections of your local newspaper or online newspaper ‘event listings’ are excellent sources for free or low cost events throughout your community. There are usually free festivals, fairs, concerts and performances throughout the week; therefore, you’re bound to find something both you and the kids will enjoy. The Classifieds also list exhibits and film screenings at local museums, which are often free or by suggested donation. These events are not only cost-effective but incredibly enriching for your children.
3. Play Games
Playing games helps your children exercise their memory, concentration, and analytical skills. It’s also a great way to bond as a family. Board games can be found at discounted prices online or at yard sales and thrift shops. In addition, a simple deck of cards can also provide hours of entertainment. Start a game of Simon Says or Hide and Seek in the yard. You can even try inventing games of your own.
4. Get Active
Going outdoors or playing sports are also admirable ways to have fun without spending too much money. Not only are you saving cash but you’re encouraging your children to stay active and healthy. Play a game of basketball or kickball with your kids. Take a hike in the woods and collect flora samples. Swimming at the local pool or biking at the park can also be inexpensive ways to have fun on a budget.
5. Create Something
It seems that we are often consuming other people’s creativity; we buy their products, eat their food and watch their movies. Encourage your children to exercise their own abilities and be inventive. You and your kids can start an art project together, perhaps bake something, or write a story. Art supplies are can be very inexpensive, all you need are few sheets of paper and something to write or draw with. Often times you can recycle and reuse items around the house to make art pieces. Creative activities will be beneficial for their minds but also boost their confidence, and it will, of course, save you money.
Having a limited budget does not mean you can’t have fun with your kids. In fact, some of the best and most enriching experiences are often free. Showing your children how to entertain themselves in an affordable way is an excellent skill to teach them. You will also be cultivating their interest in healthy hobbies that will help them in countless ways for years to come.
Brett Callan is a writer for Murray Callan Swim Schools, where their Oceanside swim lessons offer customized support for children throughout San Diego. He loves to enjoy the San Diego weather whenever he can, whether from the beach or at a pool.