Inexpensive ways to have fun with your kids!

Monika Spaulding, Digital Editor

These are some of my favorite activities that my kids and I do. I’d love to hear your ideas of things your family does together and how you can have fun without spending tons of money! 

Get out and go!

Veterans Trail at Lake Salinda is a great place to take little hikers and there is always something to see. Wear shoes you can walk in the water with because when your kids see the little water paths, they are going to want to stomp in them!

Also, pack a lunch or a little snack. When you get to the end, there is a clearing with a picnic table that you can enjoy.

Also, Elk’s Creek is a great place to take kids. It’s a little more challenging trail, but it makes for a little adventure close to home.

Now that fall is quickly approaching, be sure to look for leaves and have a friendly competition to see who kind find the biggest!

Visit the local library!

If you haven’t made a trip to the library lately, do it! It was one of the most under utilized services in this community. Explore the library with your children. Make sure they know where the books are for their reading ability and their interests. If you introduce your children to the library at a young age, they will quickly learn that a library can be their best ally, especially when it comes to research.

There are programs, activities and more to enjoy throughout the year. Don’t miss out on these free events! 

Take the kids into the kitchen!

Cookies, cakes, dinner, snacks, the opportunities are endless! My oldest loves to make desserts, my middle child loves to make things like macaroni and cheese. Start with something easy and get your child in the kitchen with you. They will learn math, through measurements; reading by following the recipe; patients as they wait for the finished product; and best of all, you will get some quality. As the holidays approach, do something fun like fall cut out cookies with colors and designs to match the season. Then go one step further and share them with your friends and neighbors! Everyone enjoys a plate of homemade goodies!

Beautiful day for a picnic!

Include your kids in packing the meal -- sandwiches, chips, fruit, drinks and cookies. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just fun! And most kids love to take part in the planning and packing side of things. My girls each take on a role when we decide to have a picnic and we always end up with some interesting things to eat and drink when we reach or destination! I also let my girls rotate in choosing where we go. Sometimes they just want to stay at home and enjoy our backyard.

Watch a movie from the couch!

One of our favorite family activities is to find a good family movie, pop some popcorn and snuggle up on the couch for an evening at the movies. It’s waaaay cheaper than going to the theater, you can pause the movie for snack refills and bathroom breaks and our couch is 100 times more comfortable than the seats at the movie theater. With three kids, and four years between each of them, it’s sometimes a challenge to agree on one we usually get at least two! But everyone watches them. Movie nights have helped us make some of our favorite memories!

Bring the competition on!

I love board games, my husband does not! So this has become more of a mom night with the girls. Each girl gets to pick one game to play, so that eliminates any arguments. We laugh, we talk, we snack and it’s a great bonding time. Sometimes when you get your children’s minds off their regular day, they open up in ways you never thought. I love to see how the games bring out their competitive sides and the gentle way the older girls play with their youngest sister. It’s one of my favorite nights!

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