Do you sometimes worry as a parent, that if you don’t spend tons of money on amazing vacations your kids will be missing something? Is it possible to give your kids an amazing childhood with great memories when you don’t have the money to take big vacations each year? The answer to your question is, “YES, it is!” Summer break does not have to be filled with expensive vacations!
It’s the Simple things that Count!
We all want our kids to have amazing memories of their childhood that they will look back on when they are adults. However, if you think back to you best memories, all of them are not things that necessarily cost a lot. Some of my favorite memories as a kid were the trips to the park, giant blanket forts, going for walks or riding bikes to the top of our mountain, “movie nights” at home, swimming and wading in the river, playing board/card games that would last for days! Yes, I will always remember our trips to the beach, camping trips, amusement parks, and our big Disney world vacation. However, for my family, it didn’t take a huge vacation to be able to enjoy time together.
I was very blessed to have parents that were able to give my siblings and me everything we needed! But, most of all I was blessed with parents who gave me the most important thing of all, their TIME! Giving your child amazing memories does not have to cost a lot of money. We simply need to be willing to give them our most precious thing of all. We need to spend time with our kids. Your children’s best memories will simply come from the time you spend with them!
Today, I just wanted to encourage you as a parent. We can stop waiting for the big vacations to spend time with our kids. If your budget is tight right now, don’t be discouraged that your kids will be missing something! Simply, stop, be creative and spend time with your kids. Quality time spent with your kids is more valuable than anything else we could give them.
20 Ideas for Free Fun with your Kids!
If your struggling for ideas for what to do with your kids that doesn’t cost a lot, I’ve put together a list of simple ideas for you! Most are free and most can be done on a Saturday, or a morning, afternoon, or evening off from work!
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Build a giant pillow and blanket fort in your living room.
Take a picnic lunch to the park (sandwiches and chips, and what you already have in your pantry will do!
Go for a bike ride.
Go on a Pokemon Go adventure. (If your kids love this app as mine, take walks around an area in your community that has a lot of stops, gyms, and Pokemon! Work together to collect items catch some new Pokemon!)
Start a new book series together. Read one at a time together until you’ve read them all! (Henry and Mudge, High Rise Private Eyes, Mighty Marvel Chapter Books, Pokemon Chapter Books, and How to train a dragon, are some of the favorites in our house right now!)
A Car wash! (Some may consider it a chore, but it’s one of my boys’ favorite things to do!)
Game night! Pick a game that your whole family can play together! We love Uno, Monopoly, Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, Sorry, Battleship, Jenga, and Operation at our house!
Free Summer or $1 movies at your local theater (Regal Cinemas offers $1 movies, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays all Summer!)
Whole Family Family Squirt gun fights
Water balloon games
Find a TV series that you all enjoy and watch it together regularly.
Homemade pizza nights (It’s much cheaper than take-out and your kids can help make it!)
Roast hot dogs or smores over a fire.
Make Homemade cookies together
Art projects (Painting, paper folding (origami), and Perler Beads are some of my favorites!)
Teach them games you played as a kid. (Hopscotch, Four-square, Marbles, Pick-up-sticks, card games)
Have a Movie Night at Home! (Make popcorn and enjoy a movie with the whole family!)
Play a sport outside for fun. (Frisbee, Disc Golf, Baseball (catch), Bocce Ball, horseshoes, volleyball, kickball, flag football, or soccer can all be fun to play with your whole family.
Nerf-gun target shooting (Find all the ammo you can, and set up toys, boxes, balls, paper-towel and toilet paper tubes, or whatever you have on hand. See who can hit the most targets!)
These 20 ideas are things that my family enjoys doing together. Most of these are simply based off of things things that my husband and I or my kids are interested in! When you start thinking about the things you and your kids love to do, it is easy to come up with tons of activities you can plan for your family that you won’t regret later when you get the credit card bill!
We have made some great memories by doing some of these simple activities regularly! My kids ask to do them again and again! And the best part is, We Can!! Some of the most simple things are my kids’ favorites! They also are my favorites as well! I know every minute we spend together is precious and is a huge investment in my kids future. It’s time to stop waiting until we have $1000’s of dollars saved for that big vacation to spend time with our families! We can create amazing memorable experiences for our kids each day!
What are your favorite free, or inexpensive family activities? I would love to hear what you do to spend time with your family? Comment below!