Whether you’re a stay at home parent or simply have a nephew or granddaughter for the day, here are some cost effective options for fun! * I will note, gas is anything but cost effective and most of these options require a car and gas, but I did my best to give some options that are fun and give that change of scenery that is so needed.
1. Do a Park Hop Challenge
Parks and Playgrounds are awesome! Do a quick online search and map out 4 parks/playgrounds to conquer in a month. Small, close ones and maybe a couple of bigger ones out of your normal driving route.
Pick a day a week : for instance Wednesday , to be your new “park day” and explore some new fun you may not have known was out there.
***Abby Tip : Pack a lunch and eat at a picnic table while you are there. I’ve found the sweet spot for us (3year old and 1 year old) is about an hour. Play 11:00-11:45 // Lunch 11:45-12:00.
It‘s no secret that we are a book loving family so, for us, library trips are a weekly win!
But even if you don’t lean this way or feel your kids‘ ages or personalities may not fit the library mold, check out your local library’s website for fun events. They usually have free story times, puppet shows, or special holiday events that are an awesome way to get out!
*Abby’s Library Tip : Try a book-to-age ratio for check out.
Example : Let the child browse and select five books to read. Sit and read them. Then lay them out and if they are two, they get to take two home. My son just turned three and he was thrillled when he realized that means he now gets to bring THREE books home.
3. Store Scavenger Hunt
Write a few “clues” or items on some scrap paper. Bring it with you to a big store like Walmart or Target. Have them draw pieces of paper and then go find that item to hold and take a picture with. No purchase necessary with some discipline :
I am red and crunchy. I grow on a tree. Come and find me! (apple)
I am a a cowboy and my friend is Buzz. Find something with my picture on it. (Woody shirt/toy/card/etc)
***Abby Tip : Have the conversation BEFORE you go in. “Today is a game day, not a purchase day. We will be taking pictures of fun things we find. Tonight we can look at the pictures, and if there’s something you really liked, we’ll have the picture to remember to add it to a birthday or gift giving list.“
4. Play dates
Don’t wait for the invitation. Create a moment. Right now. Text a buddy to meet up. Their house, your house, local park, etc.
This is great all around.
***Abby Tip : Lay down any mom pride. We are all in this together. Our house may be in chaos. Our kids might not share perfectly. It’s okay! You need friends and so do your children.
5. Take A Toy Outside
You don’t have to overcomplicate. Sometimes if you have some cabin fever, simply fresh air does the trick. Take one of you child’s favorite toys outside. Usually this will help them play with that toy in new ways when in a new environment.
***Abby tip : Pick a toy that is plastic or easily cleanable. This will get wet and dirty more than likely.
With all of these, getting out of the house is a great way to let your child practice faith development and social development! Being aware of others and knowing how to pause and pray with someone is such a wonderful thing!
You Can Do This! Abby
Don‘t forget…The Cirkles are cheering you on!