Sunday, May 19, 2024
The Parents' Voice

Fall fun on a dime

I’m certain that no one is untouched with the rising costs we are experiencing everywhere. Food prices have sky-rocketed, gas prices are high, housing prices are through the roof and with that, so is every single thing we need to purchase. Families are experiencing stressful times, food banks are in desperate need and parents often go to bed wondering how they will continue feeding their kids.
Within all of this are our kids. How can we continue to spend time together and have fun without spending any money? I’ve been thinking about this for a while and, in case we’ve forgotten how to have fun for free, here’s a nice little list you can consult the next time you’re looking for something to do with your kiddos:

  • Visit Luskville Falls; or any other Gatineau Park trail; or any other trail you know of. Pack a picnic and spend a day looking at different views from our beautiful part of the country. Make a list of all the trails near by and challenge your family to complete as many of them as possible before winter.
  • Family Game Nights: Let everyone choose their favourite game from the game cupboard, this can also be cards. Have a few snacks ready and this can be a very fun free night. If you don’t want to play a game/person in your family write out all the options and pull one out of a hat.
  • Movie Night: Settle on the couch with blankets, popcorn (or something else you have in the pantry already) and watch a favourite movie. I also love introducing my kids to movies from my childhood. Maybe you have some old VHS’ hanging around with an old VCR.
  • Sports Day/Night: Whatever sports your child likes can work. Kick around the soccer ball, play some road hockey, have a game of baseball. Whatever the sport make a fun family game of it and your children are bound to be thrilled. Bonus – physical activity, laughs and smiles – all for free.
  • Decorate a pumpkin: There are many super creative ways to do this depending on the age of your children. Little ones can paint their pumpkin with lots of colors, add sparkles and tie it with a ribbon. If your children are older they can gut the pumpkin and carve it for Halloween. Don’t forget to save the seeds and cook them as a free treat.
  • Make a Halloween Costume: Brainstorm home made costumes and put some together for a Free Halloween idea. There are tons of simple ways to turn everyday items into a costume. If you have face paint already you can also have an evening of painting each others’ faces.
  • Jump into a pile of raked leaves: Ok this is an all time favourite. Have your family help you rake and spend some time jumping in the piles. This is a simple and so enjoyable activity. We often skip this and try and hurry through this job – take some time to enjoy this fall activity as a family.
  • Make a cozy fort and read books together: depending on the age of your children they can even take a turn reading to you. I promise if you have little ones this will be a huge highlight for them. Even my big kids still love to do this.
  • Make decorations for the fall/Halloween season: There are tons of creative ways to decorate for this season. If you google or search Pinterest you can find creative craft ideas for your kiddos to make. All ages can find fun things to make to decorate your house – just search ideas with materials you already have on hand to keep it inexpensive.

There are so many ways to spend time as a family and fill a few hours. I know that many kids are programmed to want to do the “fun” things like hit up amusement parks or indoor play areas. Right now those ideas can really add stress to our already stressful lives. Time for a thought shift. Talk to your kids (if their age allows it) about how expensive food is etc.. Come up with other ideas of things they enjoy that are also free or inexpensive and then enjoy those activities together. Everyone will be less stressed spending quality time together without a big price tag attached.
Until next week fellow parents.

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