Written by Guest Blogger:
Parents could spend THOUSANDS of dollars on weekend family activities with their kiddos and some might. But this budgeting momma’s pockets are not even close to being that deep, so I’m always looking for fun yet inexpensive things to do. I don’t know about you but I tend to get in the rut of doing the same things all the time. I’m always looking for new ideas to add to the list and spice things up a little. This weekend I decided to do just that. Here’s some ideas to tuck up your sleeve for those weekends you need a low budget, fun family day!
Visit your local library – Or if you’re over going to yours because you’ve been there 500 times in the past month then look into visiting one in a neighboring town. Make a morning or afternoon out of it. Most of the children’s rooms have more than just books to look at and check out. Granby Public Library has a puzzle table, coloring table, computers, and my little one’s personal favorite, a toy barn with animals!! I will say that these activities grabbed her attention so much that she had zero interest in actually picking out any books; but she’s 3 and that’s what Mommy and Daddy are for!! This was our first trip to the Granby Public Library children’s room but it certainly will not be our last. We had a blast!!!
Getting her first library card
and putting it to good use
Use resources – We are fortunate enough that my daughter’s school has a fabulous Family Liaison. Not only does he do an awesome job at bringing families together and gets everyone to work together, he also is great at getting the word out about local activities in the area, especially ones that the school is a part of and/or sponsoring. This weekend CREC teamed up with the I-84 group at the Bushnell Carousel in downtown Hartford. It was an event to bring awareness to the prospective changes they want to bring to I-84 through Hartford as well as offer information to parents about the CREC schools.
I must live in a shoe box because I had no idea there was even talk about making changes to I-84 but as a tax payer and someone who uses the highway frequently I found this information important. The plus to all of this was that because we met with them briefly we all got a FREE ride on the carousel. Yes, the rides are normally only $1 per person per ride but still. It was FREE!!!! This event brought us to a place that I forgot existed, somewhere I would have never thought to go, was educational and cost us nothing. It also gave me an idea for a future birthday party….
While there I got talking and found out that every year the school is given free passes to museums and venues all over the state for parents to use. Who knew?!?!?!? It’s worth checking out to see what your kid’s school has to offer. Some libraries also offer something similar to this if your school does not. I don’t know about you but I refuse to pay an arm and a leg just to get in somewhere, especially when the venue is geared for kids but I’m paying more for me and my boyfriend to be there. Craziness!!!!
Have a dance party – clear out the clutter, push away the furniture, crank up the toons and wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care!!! Not only is it a great feeling to just let lose but it’s such a good stress reliever!!! It also burns energy and those god awful calories that we are all trying to watch (and about to consume later in a glass, or bottle, of wine). The best part is that your three-year old won’t judge you for your two left feet or the funny face you make when you boogie.
Take it to the kitchen – I’ve recently started weekend baking with my little and we love it! Be prepared for flying flour, spilt vanilla and messy clothes, but know the tradition and memories it builds are worth it all. This weekend we made homemade Greek yogurt & honey blueberry muffins for breakfast. These muffins are THE BEST MUFFINS!!!! You don’t have to use blueberries, you can add anything you want to the recipe. Or you can have them “Abigail style” and go plain and simple. Either way they are delicious!!!
Then it was on to sugar cookies. So easy to make and such a fun family activity. I made the dough and left the cookie cutting skills to Daddy. The two of them had a blast and there’s nothing better for me than to sit back and watch some daddy-daughter bonding time. After a quick bake and cool down it was time to decorate them!! Seeing what our little one’s creative mind came up with for each of her cookies was awesome. It brought us all together for some great laughs and some awesome quality family time. I can’t wait to do this again!!
There are so many different things to do in the kitchen with kids. Cooking, baking, experiments. And none of them have to cost a ton of money. In most cases the items you need are already sitting in your pantry begging to be used.
And lastly, have a movie night! – There’s nothing like night-time snuggles and cuddles on the couch. Fill up a bowl of popcorn, grab your kiddo’s favorite movie (or a new one from the library!) and snuggle on up! Turn your living room into a fairy tale movie theatre. Create a pillow and blanket nest on the floor to curl up in. Or just lounge on the good, old-fashioned couch. Whatever your style, everyone always loves a little movie time. And if you’re lucky enough your little one may even fall asleep, ridding you of the torturous bed time battles!
Enjoy it all. Time flies by in an instant and you never know what tomorrow will bring.