Thursday, September 2, 2010
Entertaining children and grandchildren is more challenging than ever when you are on a tight budget. But there's no need for the children to feel bored and housebound. Check out this list of ideas which can help you stretch your entertainment dollars.
* Take advantage of promotional offers for free bowling, skating, water parks, etc. If you are sure you've got a winning idea, you'll save even more by investing in a pair of bowling shoes, skates or other equipment. But if their enthusiasm is likely to fade after two or three visits, you better save the cash for another entertainment option.
* Get matinee tickets for the movies and other shows. Eat beforehand and save on drinks and popcorn. Better yet, rent a movie and make your own popcorn. Invite some friends and have a party.
* Enjoy your area parks. If admission is not free, it very likely is economically priced. Year-round passes may make entry even more affordable. Use the playground equipment, take a hike along a nature trail, and bring your bike if cycling paths are available.
* Invest in home video games or equipment which can be enjoyed at home for many hours. Trade games with friends and relatives to enjoy even more games. Buy used games to keep down costs. Board games are a fun option too.
* Teach the children to cook. Since you were planning on eating anyway, you won't be spending a lot of extra money! They'll have fun planning some exotic dishes and you'll have a break from the regular menu. Teens can assume greater responsibility for menu planning, shopping and cleanup, especially if you offer a small allowance.
* Check for classes at your nearby recreation center. You may be able to choose from dance, art, swimming, gymnastics, sports and more.
* Expand their chores to include lawn mowing, laundering, gardening or household cleaning duties. Do the new job together at first, then allow them to gain experience by doing the task by themselves. It may not be the most fun, but they'll keep busy and be able to appreciate the other activities more.
Guest Blog by Kevin Andersen
Kevin Andersen is the owner of an online store that sells personalized children's books. If you would like to read future articles written by Kevin then subscribe to the Parent's Tip Blog