Far from being over, the recession may actually be back once again, and so families everywhere are looking for ways to enjoy themselves without having to spend too much of mom and dad’s hard earned cash. The nice thing about family activities is that the ones that are the most fun are often the cheapest to do. A great day spent in the company of your favorite people usually doesn’t require much expense at all, just a little imagination.
1. Take to the Road
Pack a picnic lunch and jump on your bikes for a fun day exploring some neighboring sites. Even city dwellers can find a park to explore somewhere within biking distance.
2. Cut Back the Cable
One of the best ways to save money is to cut back on the number of channels you are paying for on cable T.V. First of all, ask yourself if you really need them all; how many complaints have we all heard about having 200 channels but having nothing to watch? Fill the evenings instead with board games, card games, charades, twister, etc.
3. Get Educated
Take your children to the zoo, the botanical garden, a museum. For a small, or sometimes no admission fee, you can all have a great day together and the kids will be getting some worth while information at the same time.
4. Find Programs
Look up organizations in your area that sponsor programs for children. Many libraries have reading programs, the YMCA in many towns have athletic programs for families, and often colleges sponsor interesting programs like exploring the night sky, by the astronomy department or forest hikes by the botany department.
5. Get Cooking
Most parents who have started involving their children in cooking have been pleasantly surprised by how involved they become, how much they love it, and how well they do. A kitchen full of budding chefs under your supervision is great fun for everyone, saves you some work, and gives the kids a real sense of pride when they put their piece de resistance on the table.
6. Get Wet
Beaches, community pools, even lakes and creeks are usually inexpensive places to visit. And everyone loves frolicking in the water on a nice hot day. Pack plenty of sandwiches and snacks and drinks, so you won’t have to be sucked into the expensive snack bar for the kids.
7. Do Good
Most children really do like to help other people, and if you encourage your children at a young age to come along with you on volunteer efforts, you will be building character and self-esteem in them. Visits to nursing homes, helping in soup kitchens or community gardens, there are so many opportunities for families to go out and volunteer together.
8. Get Together
You probably have lots of friends or siblings with children the same age as yours. Take turns organizing family days with potluck food, games such as tossing games, or chalk games on the sidewalks (adults must participate). Everyone will look forward to the next one, especially since the cooking and cleanup is all shared.
9. Share a Hobby
A shared hobby is one of the best bonding experiences any parent can have with his or her child. You can start to teach them knitting or painting at an early age, and older children can learn woodworking along Dad. Stamp collecting and butterfly collecting are wonderful shared activities for the whole family.
10. Grow a Garden
Even the smallest children will enjoy watching the seed they put into the ground grow into a plant. For very young children, start with a sunflower seed, which sprouts in days, and encourages them to watch the progress each day. Older children can be put in charge of a given vegetable, or a specified section of the flower garden.
With interesting but low-cost activities such as these, you will have fun together but you will also be teaching your children valuable lessons and perhaps skills and building their confidence and self-esteem.
It would be a great idea to look for a family site that has all kinds of fun activities to do as a family. Some even say many of them are free. Find out which are these by doing a people search on those folks who likes camping and travelling.