Parenting is hard. But even harder than that is trying to keep your kids engaged and interested when you don’t have a huge amount of money to spend. Let’s face it, most of the things that we can do with our kids, from taking them to the pool, to trips, to the movies are going to cost money. When you’re working on a pretty tight household budget, that can be kind of demoralizing. However, that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing you can do.
Here are just a few things that you can do to keep your kids engaged on a tight budget.
One of the best ways to keep your kids happy and engaged is to get creative with them. Kids love making things and being able to set them up with some crafts, some paints, or even just some paper and crayons is a wonderful way to pass the time. The great thing about crafting is that, once you’ve bought the supplies that you need, you rarely need to spend money any more. From finger paints to momento ink to fuzzy felt, you can get a lot of supplies very cheap and they often last for a lot longer than you expect. And the best part is that your kids have something to show for it and be proud of at the end.
Get out and about
Do you know what’s both wonderful and completely free? Sunshine. There is nothing like just getting out and about with your kids and enjoying time away from the house. Whether you head off to run around in the park or a walk through the forest, there are so many wonderful ways that your kids can enjoy in the great outdoors. And the best part is – most kids need little more than a ball or a stick and their imagination to create wonderful games.
Have a movie night
Most of the time having your kids parked in front of the TV for ages isn’t a great idea but one brilliant exception is a movie night. Have everyone pick out their favorite movies, which is great because you don’t have to spend money getting any new ones, make a big bowl of popcorn, turn off all the lights, get under a big blanket, and enjoy a movie marathon of classics that you all have and really love.
One of the worst things about having a small budget for things like activities with your kids is that it can often make you feel like a failure as a parent. After all, your kids don’t understand why they can’t go to the movies or why they don’t have the toys their friends have. Which in turn makes you feel all the more guilty. The most important thing to remember is that this is not true. You are not a failure because you’re on a budget. The effort that you’re putting into making your kids happy despite that fact is worth more than anything else in the world. Stay present!