Family Fun on the Cheap

By on May 27, 2013

Family Fun on the Cheap

Since the economic recession began, it's been much harder for families to get out and enjoy the same activities as before. Because of small budgets, many moms are lamenting that their kids don't get a chance to do as many fun and exciting things as they once could. Fortunately, there's a way to make sure the whole family can have a blast without breaking the bank.

One of the biggest mistakes moms make when planning fun activities for the family is thinking that it has to be extravagant. If the day isn't spectacular, it's not good enough. But that simply isn't true! Especially if your children are still very young. Chances are that they won't remember a big expedition to Disney Land or that expensive concert.

The great thing about kids is that they find joy in life's simple pleasures. It honestly doesn't take much to get them excited and having fun. Why spend hundreds when you can have them giggling with glee for next to nothing? Here are some outstanding ideas for family activities that won't hurt your wallet.

Farmyard Fun

Almost every region has its own agriculture. Seek out the local farms in your area and ask about visiting. Fruit farms are a great option, since your children will get a chance to enjoy being out in nature and learn all about how these healthy foods are grown. They'll love hearing the farmers talk about their work and show them the cool machinery. Your kids will also get a kick out of exploring the orchards and picking their own tasty treats.

Backyard Camping

Why spend the money on gas and camping permits to go out to the woods when you can introduce your kids to camping in your own backyard? Gather some chairs, tables, boxes, and sheets to create a homemade tent. This part alone will be tons of fun for your little ones. Add some sleeping bags and pillows to make it nice and cozy. After the tent is up, grab a bag of marshmallows and roast some smores over the backyard grill. While you're snacking on these sweet morsels, you can each tell your own spooky campfire stories. This is a great way to find out if your kids are ready for real camping in the great outdoors.

Waterside Leisure

Speaking of nature, a simple drive to the nearest pond, river, or lake is another great option. You and the kids can sit by the water's edge and take in the beautiful view. Bring some bread in case there are some hungry ducks around, and search for small flat rocks that can be used for throwing. Teaching your children how to skip rocks will be fun, and an easy way to get them to be active. They'll learn to concentrate and be more aware of how they move as they aim to throw the perfect skip.

Family Movie Night

This option is perfect for helping your kids learn a bit more about their family and making everyone feel closer. Pull out your old home videos of you and their dad when you were both growing up. They'll be astonished when they see their young parents on screen! You'd be surprised just how interested your children will be when they see that you were once kids too. They'll also love watching home movies of themselves. Show them recordings of when they were first brought home, or speaking their first words.

Scavenger Hunt

This fun past time never gets old! You may remember how much fun you had as a kid, adventuring around, looking for things you could check off on the list. Pass that experience down to your little ones with no cost at all. Create a checklist full of things that can be found in the neighborhood: a dog, a blue house, a playground.

They key is to make sure that many of the "treasures" found are things that the children can have fun with. (Ex: Once they find the playground, they can follow the list's instructions to go down the slide.) The reward for completing the scavenger hunt can be easy: Mom and Dad will spend an hour playing the kid's favorite video game with them, or you can all get $1 scoops at the local ice cream shop.

Gaming Frenzy

Though they may be small, your kids have a lot to teach you as well! If you're not so savvy on how to play your kid's latest video game obsession, ask them to teach you. They'll get a kick out of being the teacher for a change, and will have plenty of laughs as they watch you get the hang of their favorite game. After you've learned the ropes, you can play together, and even make it a regular event. To really make things exciting, challenge them to a video game duel. They'll feel awesome when they triumph, securing their spot as the video game master of the house.

Bonus: Playing video games can be great, but you don't want to have your kid spend too much time plopped in front of the tv with a controller in their hand. As an alternative, you can decide to have the family create their own board game together. Get out a big sheet of poster board (Can be found at the dollar store) and have your kids help to sketch out the game symbols and make the rules.

Use their miniature toys and action figures as player markers, and if you need cards, simply cut up some paper and have the kids draw the designs. This is perfect for getting your kids to use their wits and imagination. Once you're done, you'll have unique board game the family can play together on a regular basis!

This list of family fun activities is just to get you started. As you get out and play, you'll surely have more creative ideas come to mind. It's not hard to find simple ways to make the days enjoyable and unique. There are opportunities all around your neighborhood!


 
Amanda P
Amanda P
Contributing Writer at ExcelLiving.com
Amanda P. is a professional writer who finds excitement in bringing you valuable news and information about various topics. Because she's always exploring new subjects and ideas, she's able to pass down plenty of interesting knowledge to help enrich your everyday life.

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