Sunday, February 20, 2011

Frugal Family Time 101

It is important to teach children to be frugal from a young age. One way to do so is to keep your family fun activities simple. You can enjoy quality time together without spending a lot of money (or perhaps by spending nothing at all).

Family game or movie night. Make it a tradition and bring on the snacks. Let each family member take turns choosing the activity to keep everyone happy. Some may prefer a family challenge in Scrabble while others will be more excited to see the Toy Story trilogy.

Picnic at a park. You can always feed the ducks while you're there. All it takes is a few pieces of bread or some popcorn. Or why not picnic in your own backyard? Take a blanket, picnic lunch, and frisbee or a book for some real homegrown fun.    

Attend a local high school or college sporting event. Local educational facilities such as these feature fun and inspiring sporting events, as well as recitals and musicals or plays. These young local performers provide quality entertainment at a fraction of the cost you would spend elsewhere. And as a plus, this experience can inspire your young ones toward bigger and better accomplishments. 

Visit a Museum. Some museums offer special discounts or even free admission on certain days of the month. Kids will not only be intrigued by this experience, but their lives will be infused with a little culture, too. 

Take a Hike or a Bike Ride. Many areas have local nature walks and trails with stunning scenic views. And children always love to bike, so even taking an afternoon to bike through your neighborhood can prove to be an exciting form of exercise. 

S'mores Under the Stars. What could be more delightful than these ooey-gooey sweet treats? Enjoying s'mores under the stars just might top the idea off. 

There is something magical about sitting under the stars, and parents can make it more memorable with the addition of such a simple treat.  If you don't have a fire pit, consider making one together as a fun and valuable learning experience.

Watergun Fight in the Backyard. These days, everyone is into paintball fights. And while these are fun, they are expensive. Waterguns on the other hand, are a refreshing and affordable way to engage in a little good-natured family rivalry.

Host a Treasure or Scavenger Hunt. Create a game plan with special prizes and let the kids invite some friends. Nothing will light up your child's eyes more than the mere thought of such a hunt. If the weather is not cooperative, consider an indoor version that can be just as exciting. 

Visit a Farmer's Market or Pick Your Own Produce at a Local Farm. Teach your children to appreciate where their food comes from and engage them in the process of picking and preparing fruits and veggies. Better yet, have your own little garden plot in the backyard or flower bed. 


Jocelyn said...

Have you ever heard of geocaching? Its a great activity to do with kids!

Alexandra said...

I've always wanted to do geocaching! Considering a GPS system is a one time buy that isn't too expensive it would be a better value than many other frequent cost activities.

I have a blog that promotes local free or low-cost family activities. I love sharing activities like these! I've thought about starting to go to local football games with the family since they are so cheap but never thought to promote them on that blog until now- thanks for the inspiration!

J Rodney said...

Great tips, and I agree teaching children that frugality can be fun is a very valuable lesson.

Anonymous said...

Proof that you don't have to have (or spend) a lot of money to have a lot of fun and make memories with your children!