Fun With Kids That Won’t Break the Bank

There are some things money can’t buy, including treasured memories of family fun. You don’t need to spend the big bucks or dodge crowds when some of the best memories can be made for free. These ideas are not only fun, they help reduce stress, promote health, and strengthen family bonds. And what could be more fun than that?

  1. Take a Hike: Pull yourself away from those addictive glowing screens, go outside and get some fresh air. Walk around the neighborhood or enjoy the parks and recreation areas that are most likely less than an hour’s drive from your abode. If you must use your phone, download apps to help you identify trees, birds, and flowers. Take a picnic lunch and spend the day blowing off steam in the sun.
  2. Pedal to the Metal: Bikes are another great way to exercise, lower stress, and blow off the blues. An average person burns about 270 calories in an hour biking at less than 10 mph and the brain produces endorphins for a natural mood booster. The Internet is loaded with suggestions for scenic bike routes no matter where you live. 
  3. Make Some Noise: You can have a family “drum circle” with boxes, cans, pots, and pans. If that’s too loud, invest in a cheap karaoke machine, keyboard, or guitar. Kids who learn to play music at an early age develop skills which last a lifetime.
  4. Make Up Stories: Fill a bowl with writing prompts such as “It was the strangest thing I ever heard,” or “One day our neighbor just disappeared.” Pull a prompt then have each family member add a few sentences. Record the fun and add to the story week after week. 
  5. The Art of Art: There are dozens of art projects the whole family can enjoy from finger-painting to tie-dying clothes. Make a mess in the backyard or take watercolors into the woods. The sky’s the limit!
  6. Kitchen Capers: Those of us who learned to cook at an early age learned skills which served us well. Some foods are as much fun to make as they are to eat. Make baking fun by getting the whole family to help make cookies, cakes, pizza, or tacos.