Family activities are fun, but they can be hard to plan or expensive. Usually this means spending a bunch of money, or letting the kids run around the house playing on their electronics so you don't have to go anywhere and spend. Luckily, family bonding time doesn't always have to cost you an arm and a leg. There are plenty of family filled fun activities you can do at home or around town that don't require money. And if you are fortunate enough to bike to these destinations, you don't even have to spend on gas!
Don't let the weekend slip away. Have fun with the family and try one of these free activities.
1. Arts and Crafts
Crayons, color pencils, twigs and glue -- whatever medium you choose for your arts n' crafts day, get the creative juices flowing. You can show the kids how to turn a pinecone into an owl, or even use a toilet paper roll!. They can make gifts for loved ones, or turn their masterpieces into refrigerator art. Arts and crafts is beneficial too: it teaches kids motor skills, boosts their self esteem, and is a fun family bonding activity. Utilize what resources you have at home and let their minds go wild!
2. Scavenger Hunt
What kid doesn't love a scavenger hunt? Scavenger hunts are engaging, promote problem-solving skills, and can be as exciting as Christmas morning. You can pick a theme the kids will like – their favorite cartoon, nature, sugary treats – and place as many clues as you like to keep them running around in excitement. The best part is, scavenger hunts can be done indoors or outdoors, so some rainy weather won't ruin the fun. You can even turn the scavenger hunt into a treasure hunt!
3. Get Cooking
Some of the fondest family memories are born in the kitchen. Baking cookies, making French toast, and learning how your parents cook are simple activities we often forget about. This weekend, make a meal with the kids. Let them do the measuring, mixing, and if old enough, slicing. Pick out a recipe according to what ingredients you already have and get cooking. The family has to eat some time, so make it an activity everyone can enjoy. Who knows, you might even inspire a future chef.
4. Visit the Local Library
The library is a resource we often forget about. With computer access and Amazon Prime shipping, we tend to forget about this amazing local resource of fun and education. From story time to painting, the library has free workshops for kids – just check the events calendar. And if events conflict with your schedule, you have the obvious free resource of books, DVDs, and music. It's nice to know you and the kids can enjoy a popcorn filled evening without having to pay for a Redbox or Netflix account.
5. Picnic in the Park
Picnics don't have to be a lavish spread of meats and cheese. PB&J, last night's leftovers, or whatever you can find in the kitchen will do. After all, the point is to avoid spending money. Pack up a picnic and visit the local park. The smaller kids can play on the playground, while you can bring a frisbee or soccer ball for the older kids.
6. Go Hiking
Possibly the best family bonding activity -- for free – is hitting the trails. Pack lunches, grab the hiking shoes, and get hiking. Bring a few guidebooks and teach the kids about nature. You can make a list of items to identify and give it to the kids to see how many they find. You can discuss survival skills, like wild plant foraging and how to find your way when you get lost. Or, you can just have fun and let the kids explore!
Whichever activity you choose, make it a family one.