“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
And Dad and Mom, too.
There are plenty of ways to have fun with your kids if you are short on money, without biking or swimming . . . although biking and swimming happen to be my favorite ways! I am the Queen of Frugal and I am here to tell you that even hobbies like biking can be done on the cheap. We’ve bought our share of bikes for $5, my favorite “stores” being: 1) hand-me-downs, 2) yard sales and 3) used sources: thrift stores, Craig’s List, classified, etc.
It is hard not to have enough money, but it is even worse not to have enough Mommy. Fun is an attitude, and if Mom is not engaged with the family, or short on fun, even money won’t make up for it.
When my kids were all at home, one of our favorite evening activities was playing hide and seek in the house. Boy, did we ever get creative in our hiding places . . . inside cupboards, behind curtains on a wide window sill, up on a top shelf! We often spooked each other by playing Sardines (when you find someone, you join them in their hiding place, rather than call out. Eventually only one person is left looking for the whole bunch in an eerily quiet house!)
Meal prep often can be a form of fun. Making pizza can be really fun! Set up the toppings on the table, and rotate several pizzas around, assembly line style, having one child spread the sauce, another the cheese, and then each in turn adding a topping. You’ll end up with a mess and several gourmet pizzas, some for now, and some for the freezer to make an easy dinner on a night when you or someone else needs it.
My favorite kind of fun is involving my kids in what I am already interested in. I love to sew, and design swimsuits. I’ve involved Louisa enough in my sewing and designing escapades that she is getting to be a great swimsuit designer—she’s sewn several new styles for herself! Identifying and using herbs is one of my hobbies, and Emily and I had a wonderful time gathering comfrey and learning how to make it into healing salve. My husband has enjoyed teaching my kids to star gaze by taking them with him outside to see the stars. Fun with a little accomplishment mixed in suits me fine!
If you are having trouble playing with your kids, start small and inch your way into it. One checkers game. 10 minutes jumping on the trampoline. One short bike ride to the corner and back. A little every day. We all have too much to do . . . and, if realistic, we all realize that it will never all get done. Take a break, play with your kids and see the amazing results. You’ll be hooked!
Here’s some ideas for cheap and easy fun:
. . . shall I go on?
It doesn’t take money. It just takes willingness.