Kids Just Wanna have FUN!
During the recent "schools out session" for the holidays. I was reminded how much the kids crave entertainment. No matter what time of year the "Kids Just Wanna Have Fun." And who could blame them? I don't think there are many of us who haven't longed for the carefree, playful days of our youth. I have four of these carefree fun hungry kids. Keeping them entertained on a tight budget is always a challenge.
I have discovered over the years that more money doesn't necessarily mean more fun. In fact, some of the simplest, age old activities, seem to feed their fun hungry souls the best. Remember, in the "old days" that is the "very old days". Family gatherings provided a great source of entertainment. Its hard to believe that in today's fast paced, high tech, world that children still enjoy this kind of interaction.
I have found that for some reason, maybe because it validates their own behaviors, kids love to hear stories of when we were young. No, not the kind that remind them of how good they have it today. I'm talking about our childhood antics, the times when we misbehaved, did something wrong, and the consequences .
Most of us have funny moments in our life that just stick with us. Sometimes they weren't so funny at the time at least from our prospective, then. My kids love to hear stories of my childhood antics, when I broke the rules, how I felt about it , and what punishment I had to endure because of it. They especially like the punishment part. Some sort of satisfaction knowing that I had to endure the cruelties of punishment also!
Of course it doesn't sound amusing to talk about times when you got in trouble. But, those memories are funny to us now that we look back at our childhood. Sure we can laugh now... We're a lot smarter and see the innocence of our ways.
This is a great way to also remind ourselves that we were once kids also. And not so different than our own kids. With much the same innocence, gullibility, and scheming potential. Ahhhh. a great tool for reminding us that at least some of the behaviors we frown on in our kids is just the normal age old process of growing up! A very reassuring thought when you're ready to pull your hair out.
In some ways this ritual of reminiscing shows our children that we love them unconditionally. That we understand. Why, because we've been there, done that. And we acted in many ways , and felt in many ways , the same way they do today. Its true that some things never change. I have a shorter list of tales to tell being one of three siblings. My husband on the other hand is one of eleven children, and he can keep them in belly busting laughter for hours, leaving them begging for more. Telling not only his own antics but those of his brothers and sisters.
So, if you ever find everyone sitting around looking bored to the gills, start up a casual conversation and work in some of your funny moments in life. You'll have them begging for more and more tales. "Tell some more, tell some more!" And the best part ... It's Free Entertainment!
With a little research..what was that?....research? If you've been to visit http://www.simpledebtfreeliving.com you know this is one of my pet peeves... If you don't know what's out there or if you don't know what you're looking for, you're doomed to spend too much of your hard earned money!
There no disputing the fact that an " Informed Consumer = More Savings! " There! I said it again. Boy did that feel good. Well now that I got that off my chest let me share some ideas on this FUN thing.
- Roller skating- went once a week when I was a kid. Loved it! Guess what? My kids love it too! And it's cheap if you do your research. Our local rink has a family night. Get this , $1 to get in $1 for skates if you need to rent.
If you make this a regular outing, invest in the skates. That's one of those birthday or Christmas gifts that will pay you back in the long run. My husband and I don't skate, those days are gone. Although I highly recommend it for a great workout. That means four kids can get in for $4. Three hours of fun for $4. You can't beat it!
I could get us in for even less . . .only $2. We have a local grocery store that prints coupons on back of the receipts, one of the most frequent coupons I get ..the local roller skating rink "buy one entrance fee, get one free" .
I prefer not to use these for family night since my oldest daughter likes to go to the rink on "teen night" The rink socks it to them at $6 an entry. They know where the money is! This is a social event that many teens in the area just can't miss! This way she can get in free if she goes with a paying friend. Sometimes, just to be fair, we share the savings with her friends and each of them only has to pay $3. This way she doesn't feel like she's taking advantage of anyone.
- Bowling: this can be a great low cost avenue for FUN if you don't get carried away. Usually you have to pay by the game, per person. So set your limits and have fun. Most lanes have bumper guards now that prevent the little ones from excessive "gutter ball blues" It helps put the fun back in it for the very young children. A great feature. Even for the fumbling adult. Who am I kidding, I love those bumper guards!
Most alleys have a discount night. So, try to plan your activities so you can enjoy the benefits of the discounts.
Just a Note: Both of the above businesses usually offer birthday party rates as well. If you're not into planning your own party at home (by far the most economical way) then consider checking out the party packages.
- Cookouts and Picnics: Cookouts don't have to be for special occasions. We have several wonderful parks in our area that sport wonderful playgrounds and scenic walking or biking trails. So take the boredom out of lunch one Saturday or Sunday afternoon and throw together a cookout or picnic at your local park. My kids just need to get out of the house sometimes. They don't really care where they go, as long as they go somewhere!
As I mention on my Family Entertainment page (www.simpledebtfreeliving.com/family-entertainment.html) , parks are a great resource for free fun! The internet is a great resource for finding new, different, and exciting parks in your area. Just do a simple search and you will probably be amazed at the numerous parks within driving distance from your home. So keep it interesting and travel a little bit to get to exciting new places!
An extra bonus . . . . You will be making great memories for your kids!:)
- Museums and Historical Landmarks: Don't think you have any near you? Bet Ya' do! Why even in the far out sticks of nowhere you might be surprised to find a museum within a reasonable distance. I am blessed to live in a highly cultural area between Washington DC and Baltimore. So museums, tourists attractions, and historic landmarks (yes many of them Free) are abundant.
But, no matter where you live, do a little research (yes, again) and I'll bet you'll find some interesting attraction or museum convenient to your home. If in a rare case you don't, then plan to visit an area on a weekend trip where you can enjoy these types of historic attractions.
- Family Game Night:- I know that many times after a hard days work we just want to sit, relax, and well, basically, do nothing! But, once you get in a habit of designating one night "Family Game Night" I guarantee you'll look forward to it.
This is a great way interact with your kids. It's fun, educational, and provides an opportunity for conversation (Now that's something those teens don't offer up much). Choose games that everyone enjoys and is capable of doing. Games that suit the family's entire age span are always more fun. And, there are many out there.
If you have a large family with some large age differences, you can opt to have two game nights so you can include games suited for the younger children that the older ones might get bored with. Of course, always provide the option for older ones to be included. Sometimes, believe it or not, they just enjoy the quality time with parents and siblings. :)
Well, that should keep you busy for now! And Remember, it doesn't have to cost alot to be alot of FUN!
About the Author
Cheryl Johnson is a mother of four helping herself and others become and remain debt free. Visit Simple Debt Free Living for more money saving tips and OneStop Internet Business Resourceto earn more money!<
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