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Fun For Kids
Kids Just Wanna Have Fun!

Low Cost Fun For Kids!

It's not hard to provide fun for kids. Generally, we expect them to require high cost entertainment and high tech toys to have a good time.

Kids really aren't as complicated as we believe them to be. And, fun for kids doesn't have to be complicated either. As a matter of fact it's sometimes right in front of us and we don't even recognize it.

During a recent “schools out session”, I was reminded how much the kids crave fun. 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. Providing fun for kids when you're on a tight budget can be 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. Here are some ideas to provide hours of fun for kids and adults! Hey! We wanna' have fun too! Right? Remember, in the “old days” that is the “very old days”. Family gatherings provided a great source of entertainment.It's hard to believe that in today’s fast paced, high tech, world that children still enjoy this kind of interaction. I can testify from personal experience that, given the right atmosphere, these family gatherings can still be fun for kids.

Fun For Kids Right in Your Own Living Room?

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.

These stories are not only fun for kids, they are a great way to 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.

I guess it's 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. 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 Fun for Kids!

With a little research...what was that?....research? 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 more low cost ideas on this FUN thing.

Low Cost Fun for Kids

Roller Skating

I went skating once a week when I was a kid. Loved it! Guess what? My kids love it too! It's great fun for kids and adults 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. We're way out of practice. Could be hazardous to our health at this point. (Although, I highly recommend it for a great workout and loads of fun if you can do it!) 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

Bowling can be a great low cost avenue for fun if you don’t get carried away. Again, great fun for kids and adults. And, it's less dangerous than skating if you're an out of practice adult! 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 or family night. So, try to plan your activities to 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



    Fun in the Park.  Have a cookout, picnic, or just take a walk. 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!

    Parks are a great resource for free fun for kids! Many offer grand playgrounds and some even offer special children's events or nature classes throughout the year. 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



    Visiting Landmarks and Museums can be lots of fun for kids! 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 or famous landmark 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.

    To the left, is a photo of the kids at Fort McHenry. Here they are pretending to be locked in an actual prisoner's cell. I was worried at first that the trip, only about 20 minutes from home, would be boring for them.

    Actually, they had great fun at this historic landmark. They were really interested in the "old" stuff and seeing how soldier's lived here at Fort McHenry. Hmmmm....... Education and fun for kids? It doesn't get better than this!

    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 for kids. 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. :)

    Try something new. Get some great ideas for fun family games at FunAttic.com. A great family fun place. The mother lode of unique outdoor games, toys for active play and innovative sporting goods. You'll love this site for lots of fun for kids. You'll find a game list to help bring some new ideas to your family game night.

    You'll also find lot's of fun for kids, children's indoor and outdoor games, crafts, and party ideas for any budget at KidsFunAndGames.com.

    Well, I'm hoping these ideas will keep you busy for now! And remember, it doesn't have to cost alot to be alot of FUN!

    Children’s Music & Stories, Kids Coloring, Games & Shopping - Quick-reference guide to a suite of web sites for children. Free & legal kids music MP3s, download free coloring printables, classic children's stories in streaming audio and free games to play online.



    OOPS! Did I Forget the Free Fun for Kids?

    By Cheryl Johnson


    Having fun just climbing a pole? I've offered some great ideas to keep your fun hungry kids happy. But, duhhhhh. . .I forgot some of the best FREE FUN FOR KIDS! Well ya’ know that’s the most important stuff. I don’t know where my mind was!

    So, now that I’ve seen the error of my ways, Let me share some more great fun for kids. Some of these activities we enjoyed as children ourselves, but have forgetten about as we got older.

    These timeless activities have been around for ages. Lots of activities that we enjoyed as kids are still fun for kids today. Even in a high tech society!

    Creative Fun for Kids!

    Coloring is contagious! If you have kids, most likely you have a box of crayons somewhere. I hate to admit it but I still love to color! Come on, give it a try no matter how old you are. I have found that it is contagious. Even if your kids think they are "too old" for coloring, you will be surprised how quickly they join in when they see you enjoying it! Go ahead, it works every time.

    Find Free Coloring Printables - Tons of links to free downloadable coloring pages. Let your kids color to their hearts' content!

    Silly putty is another fun activity that we tend to think we're "too old" for. But the older you get the more creative ideas you have and the more silly fun you can have. So come on, get your creative juices flowing.

    Don't have silly putty on hand make some Play Dough:

    3 cups flour
    1 1/2 cups salt
    6 tsp. cream of tartar
    3 cups cool water
    3 Tbsp. oil
    food coloring

    Mix dry ingredients together in a big cooking pot. Blend all liquids together in a bowl. Combine with dry ingredients and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat when dough pulls away from the sides of the pot and can be pinched without sticking (about 5 minutes). Turn onto board or counter and knead until smooth and play dough consistency. Store in air tignt container. Add food coloring with liquid ingredients or knead into dough. (The Complete Tightwad Gazette pg. 196)

    Face painting is always fun for kids. Make your own by mixing together:

  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cold cream

  • Then...
  • add food coloring drop by drop until you get your desired color. Store in small covered containers.

    Use small paint brushes, shaped sponges or stamps to apply. Remove with cold cream.

    Paper Dolls are still around after all these years. Do you remember paper dolls? I had almost forgotten they existed until one Christmas I came across a paper doll kit in a craft store. Suddenly, I remembered the hours and hours of fun I had playing with these simple toys. And, they are so much easier to dress than Barbie. Sorry Barbie.

    Crafts are always fun for kids. I don't think they ever get too old to enjoy creating something with their own hands.

    We never do get too old come to thing of it! Even as adults, we take great satisfaction in creating arts and crafts. Ceramics, painting, knitting, and embroidery are just a few things that satisfy our need to create.

    There's just a great feeling about, and special care given to, things we make with our own minds and hands. Kids are no different in this respect.

    There are literally thousands of craft ideas that can keep you busy for hours or days. Crafts come in all different levels of difficulty. So find one that suits everyone in the family and work on it together. Hmmmm, could this mean more conversation time! Take advantage of these fun times together. Get to know your kids better.

    You can also choose a variety of different level crafts to suit everyone and work on different crafts all at once. Either way, you're accomplishing several things at once…...

  • Children LEARN through creating.
  • You'll be keeping that FUN meter up, keeping them from getting bored.
  • You'll be SAVING MONEY on outings by finding creative ways to have fun at home.
  • You'll have more "QUALITY TIME" to get to really know your kids!
  • Need some ideas? Just visit your local craft stores or do a search online. Check out FamilyFun.com for some super ideas for having creative fun with the family. You’ll find arts and crafts, party and game ideas, parenting help, recipes, and even travel ideas.

    If you're into quilting, sewing, knitting, crocheting........well if you are, you know the possibilities here. It's not just for "old folks"! this can be great cretive fun for kids as well. Get the kids involved. There are kits created for these activities. Kits created specifically to get children interested and having fun doing these activities.

    Whether you are new to quilting or an experienced quilter, A Beginner's Guide to Quilting has tips and tricks to improve your sewing and quiltmaking skills. This step-by-step guide shows you exactly what to do with clear, easy-to-understand instructions. In addition, the full-color photographs illustrate each step along the way.

    For a great quilting resource and and to sign up for Penny Halgren's informative quilting newsletter visit HowToQuilt.com

    There are so many wonderful ideas for crafting the possibilities are mind blowing. One walk around your local craft store and I’ll bet you can come up with a craft idea for each week of the year, at least, if not two or three per week! Take a pen and paper. There's so much to take in!

    Crafts for painting, sewing, candle making, transfers and art supplies that personalize items (purses, shirts, bandanas, jewelry, tote bags ..etc.), drawing, knitting, quilting, doll making, puzzles, woodworking, scrap booking……..well I could go on and on. But, best thing for you to do is get on down to that craft store and get some ideas.

    Please, don’t buy everything you see! JUST GET IDEAS. Keep a notepad of ideas and then remember to look for arts and crafts supplies in your thrift stores, consignment shops, yard sales, and discount resources.

    Oh, and don’t forget to recycle items you might normally trash. Keeping a good supply of these items will help keep expenses down. Remember, fun for kids doesn't have to be expensive. Things like, scraps of fabric, ribbon, paper, egg cartons, coffee cans (all sizes), Styrofoam (packing pieces or sheets) wrapping paper scraps, buttons, toilet paper and paper towel tubes. Don’t throw away anything that you could possibly use in a craft project. Don’t get carried away though. Never keep more than you have room to store comfortably.

    Seriously people, HAVE FUN WITH YOUR KIDS!

    They won’t be kids forever, and believe it or not….You WILL miss them when they’re all grown up and out the door!

    Try some of these sites to get ideas on how to have more fun with your kids!

    Fun For Kids Resources

    Always be sure to check out the clearance, sale, and closeout items at all resources. Do your research! Buy at the best prices!

    Create More, Spend Less at www.CreateForLess.com

    Create your own personalized puzzle. Use a family photo or a paint program project created by your child and transfer to these innovative blank, already together, jigsaw puzzles to print on! . This is an exciting, unusual, fun for kids! A product that your kids will love to have create and play with.

    For tighter budgets, be sure to check out the Outlined, already together, jigsaw puzzles to color-in there, too!

    Creative fun for kids! Doing some arts and crafts? Get up to 80% off discount arts and crafts supplies at MisterArt.com

    Need to get out of the house? Get discounts on fun for kids activities outside the home. Get the Entertainment book for only $9.99! Filled with discounts on restaurants, shopping, attractions and more!

    Fun For Kids Sites

    Free Kids Music - MP3 Song Downloads - Free, legal MP3 downloads from a site exclusively dedicated to music for young children.

    Best Web Sites for Children, Recommended for Kids - Selected sites for children. The best of the web for kids!

    Melodic Pop Music for Kids - Filling the music gap between "preemie pop" (Barney, Sesame St) and the adult themes of teen pop...Chuck Brown & The Chuckleberries entertain while feeding the mind and stretching the imagination.

    Review our family entertainment ideas for more fun for kids!

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