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10 free family activities
Creating magic moments with your family doesn’t need to break the bank. Take advantage of these free things that will bring your family together while keeping your budget on track. The path to financial freedom can still be fun!
1. Play games
Board games, card games, video games, sports – the options are endless. Playing games with your kids will teach them fine motor skills, counting, strategy and more; plus, it will teach you so much about your kids! For younger children, games like Duck Duck Goose, freeze tag or a simple game of catch is interactive and fun. If your kids are older, they might enjoy games like Capture the Flag and Ultimate Frisbee. On rainy or too-hot days consider classic card games such as Old Maid, Go Fish, Uno and Memory. If you’ve forgotten the rules, look them up online – or make up your own!
2. Keep on learning
Just because the kids are out of school doesn’t mean the learning stops. Take the opportunity this summer to teach your kids and learn along with them. Utilize local libraries for books, leverage YouTube to learn to tie knots, read aloud a classic series, conduct experiments using household supplies or find free audio books and listen to them together (also perfect for a road trip).
￼3. Nurture your budding entrepreneurs
Yard sales, lemonade stands, car washes, bake sales or a lawn-mowing service are great ways to teach your kids about profit & loss and the value of hard work.
￼4. Dance breaks
Turn up YouTube or Pandora for free dance tunes and either learn a new dance or break out your favorite moves. Socks on tile or hardwood floors provide extra slide factor for the older kids.
￼5. Give back
Teach your kids the power of giving by donating old books or toys, volunteering together or reading at a nursing home.
￼6. Encourage healthy habits
Studies show that kids that are involved in food preparation eat more veggies! Make healthy food fun by eating outside one night, going to the farmer’s market together, picking fruit at a U-pick farm, making lemonade from scratch together and teaching your children how to make their favorite meals.
￼7. Challenge accepted
Kids love to rise to a challenge! Have a building challenge (i.e. use ALL the Lincoln logs, Legos, etc.) to encourage creative thinking and problem solving.
Play fight, of course! It’s been shown that appropriate rough-and-tumble play may promote frontal lobe maturation and increases spacial and social awareness. Establish rules with your children about what is and is not acceptable during play so that no one gets hurt and play remains fun. Some ideas include: outdoor food fights, water pistol duals, gentle pillow fights, or “sword fights” with pool noodles and Nerf wars.
￼9. Make new friends – expand their peer group (and yours!)
Summer is a wonderful time to make new friends. Help your little ones at the playground, organize a playgroup, or invite your children’s friends to join in on your family fun.
￼10. Enjoy nature together
Go camping (borrow gear from friends), visit a national or local park, go to the beach or the lake – just enjoy this beautiful world! Lie on a blanket under the open sky and make up stories about constellations or cloud formations. And when weather keeps you inside, throw a sheet or blanket over dining rooms chairs and “camp” in the comfort of your home.
In-article images © Szasz-Fabian Jozsef, oliveromg, wavebreakmedia, Rob Marmion, Air IMages, asilyev Alexandr, Tania Kolinko, CroMary, Claudia Paulussen (shutterstock)