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Friday, March 4, 2011

10 Ideas for Family Fun Under $20

  Our budget seems to grow smaller with each passing week and with all that shrinkage comes a load of stress. That stress spread through my family like a virus and I realized what everyone needed was fun mixed with some relaxation. We were so busy worrying about paying the bills everything else just vanished off the radar. 

   Finally my daughter's teacher gave me a call and informed me that my daughter had been extra tired the past week and that's when it hit me, stress had punctured the invisible barrier I thought I had in place and had spread to my children. That's when I knew we needed to let loose, within our mean. 

   It took some creativity to come up with activities that were inexpensive, and what I managed to plan made the faces of my children light up. 

1. Build a popsicle stick birdhouse. 
Go to a craft store, popsicle sticks are pretty cheap. You will also need glue and paint. 

Always check the clearance aisle first!

If you can't find any waterproof craft paint on sale or cheap only buy one color. Choose a day when everyone can pitch in and get the entire family involved. You could build an original birdhouse, or get creative! 

2. Take your kids to the park,
only this time play with them. Dedicate at least half of the time you spend there to actually playing. Relax and let yourself be a kid again, if only for a little while.
Play games such as
Red Rover
the possibilities are endless. 

3. Build a wonderland. 
You don't have to leave your home to have a good time. Grab some blankets and chairs and build tents. Draw or paint pictures with your children then hang them inside your fantasy world. Turn out the lights and use flashlights to explore the world you have created. All you really have to do is build it, your children will dictate how they want you to play. 

4. Hang out movie style
It may be to expensive to take everyone to the theater, so instead you can transform your living room into a cinematic adventure. Rent the newest release you are all anticipating, buy some popcorn and candy, turn out the lights and enjoy a fun movie night! 

Check your local movie theater, some have free or discounted movie nights. 

5. The Zoo. 
There are many free zoo's from petting zoo's to animal farms to big zoo's. If you don't live close to a zoo you could visit your local puppy pound, or pet shop and play with the animals there. 

Fun Fact: Did you know petting an animal reduces your stress level!

6. Build a Box World.
Did you know most grocery stores have tons of boxes lying around and if you ask they will give them to you? Go get some big boxes, little boxes, and medium sized ones. They are very versatile... build a box city, cars people. Use them for smashing (a great stress reliever.) Slide down hills, build forts, make costumes, use your imagination! Better yet let your children use theirs! 

7. Catch Lightning Bugs
Wait until just before dark and go to an open field where you can run wild and see them light up. You don't even need a net, you can catch them with your hands. 

8. Take Pictures.
Everyone has fun at a photo shoot and you don't have to be a professional to take good photos. Have everyone put on their favorite outfit and grab their favorite toy or thing and head out to your favorite spot. It could be a field, river, stream, mountain, or even your backyard just don't forget your camera!

9. Visit your local nature center. 
Most are free or have nominal fees. If you go during the week chances are there will be less people and you'll be able to take full advantage of enjoying your trip.

10. Every loves a ball game, 
and local little league games are free or very cheap. Head out to your local ball field and support the children that live in your area.

Three Things to Remember

You don't have to leave home to have fun.

Fun doesn't have to cost a lot of money.

Just being together and letting loose can lead to entertainment.


  1. Aw this makes me even more excited to have kids to do this with :) I remember building wonderlands with my mom when I was young, and of course, I dictated lol. Awesome post!

  2. Really great ideas! Found you through Just us parents!


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