These days spending time together as a family of four can cost us a chunk of change at the movie theater or at an amusement park. Over the years I have come up with some free or really cheap things to do as a family.
Go for a Walk or have the kids ride their bikes around the neighborhood while you walk. This is a great way to get in some exercise while spending time with your family. It fun to walk around the neighborhood and say “Hi” to our neighbors, you might even meet some new neighbors and potential playmates for your kiddos. When you are walking around the neighborhood you can also play a fun game of I Spy.
Family Meeting – Even though having a meeting doesn’t sound like to much fun this is a time when we all give each other uninterrupted time to talk and bring up any issues, family ideas and we also review our weekend activities. We do the meeting on Friday night after dinner. Even though Abby is 4, it is great to hear the things that she comes up with at the meeting. Last week she told us “I’m really excited about a new friend that starting school this week”.
Family Game Night is a lot of fun at our house because we really like to play Apples to Apples, Jr edition. We also like to do puzzles together and play on teams for certain games like Guess Who? or Monopoly. The one thing we really like to do is play cards. We like Uno, Rat-a-tat-cat, War, Monopoly Deal and Go Fish and Memory games.
The Library is a fantastic place to take advantage of free entertainment for the kiddos and of course check out oodles of books. Many local libraries offer story time during the weekday and on the weekends and some libraries even host a movie night. Be sure to check with your local library to see what children’s programs they are currently offering.
We go to the Dollar Store & have a Art Party. My daughters have a blast when I give them a few dollars and let them decide what they wants to buy in the store. I also pick up art supplies at the Dollar Store such as Popsicle sticks, glitter glue, google eyes, construction paper, markers and color books and then have an Art Party when we get home.
Lakeshore Learning is a wonderful store that I like to shop at to buy educational toys and workbooks for my girls. Every Saturday from 11:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m they have a free craft for kids 3 and up. We have made some great crafts there, even some for gift giving. You can learn more about the Lakeshore Learning craft program here.
Doing chores together as a family seems like a total drag but you will be surprised at how much kids really do like to help. My girls tend to fight over the swifter duster so they each get to pick two rooms that they want to dust. Lily loves to use the vacuum and Abby likes to help change the sheets on the beds. Having a team of little minions to help with the chores makes the work go by a lot faster and we usually have a good time doing it.
Not only does she like to dust, but she enjoys yard work as well.
Laundry seems to always be going on at my house. The one thing I don’t like doing is putting it all away. Kids like to be helpful and mine are usually eager to help out with the laundry. I don’t like matching and putting socks away, luckily my girls find this to be a fun challenge and they are happy to do it. Younger children can also help out doing the laundry by helping you sort items by color or type.
Take advantage of free or 1/2 priced admission to Museums and Zoo’s in your town. I live in Northern California and we have free Museum day every year, usually the first week in February. You can learn more about it here but just be aware that on these types of days the venues will be crowded. There are even some museums that offer a discounted admission during specific hours, check your favorite Museum’s website to see if they offer any discounts.
I would love to hear what you do as a family that doesn’t cost a lot of money.