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School’s out, the kids are restless, you’re strapped for cash, and you are wondering how on earth you are going to keep everyone entertained for the day or the weekend. Here are a few ideas on how to keep the family occupied when you are on a budget.
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1. Board Games
Dust off those old board games. This is a great time to introduce, or re-introduce, everyone to how enjoyable board games can be. For little children around the ages of five to eight, it enhances their basic social interaction skills and helps to develop abilities such as shape and letter recognition, counting, reading, and hand-eye coordination.
2. Movie Night
Why blow your budget going to watch a movie just released at the cinema? Wait a few months and get it on DVD. It’s just as good, minus the huge cost of having to go see it at the cinema. Online rentals can be a good option as well. Explore the rates on the online movie rental sites to avoid having to go out to get the DVD.
3. A Day at the Park or Beach
Pack some sandwiches, bottled water, some fruit, a blanket, sun block, and a novel or magazine for yourself and head to the park or beach. Not only can you get some time to catch up with your reading but it also lets the kids burn off most of that never ending energy. By the time you get home, the kids will be ready for bed. Then you’re free to finish your reading or spend some quality time with your partner.
Kids love to play in the kitchen. So how about channeling that energy into making an exciting dish for them like banana pancakes or a milkshake? Not only will it promote parent-child bonding, it also teaches them what to use in the kitchen, how to use it, what not to touch and why, and how to make something new, exciting and delicious. Make the cleaning up a game as well to avoid scrubbing up all that mess by yourself.
5. Story Time
Instead of the usual bedtime story, get the family together and swap made-up stories. Kids will come up with some really entertaining ones. Encourage them to expand their minds and see how far their imaginations can go. You can also try playing the one-word-story game teaching kids (and maybe even some adults) basic sentence structure.
6. Camp Out
If it’s a fine night, get some blankets and get everyone to spend the night under the stars. Get a bonfire going and some marshmallows or chicken pieces on a stick and watch the stars. You can tell your kids about the constellation, the cosmos, and astrology. Combine this with some good old ghost stories and you’ve got one fun-filled night.
7. Walking or Bathing the Dog
Another good way of getting the kids outdoors and away from the television is by taking the dog for a walk. Take your dog around the block once and if the kids feel up for it then take them around the block for another go. After the walk, ask them to bathe the dog and brush him down nicely.