Quality family time doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, it can be free! Consider these activities you can do with your family that can be absolutely free:
1. Visit the library. Not only is this activity free, you can help teach your children the value and fun of reading. If you haven’t been in a while, put this one on the calendar right now.
2. Go to the park. In a world of Xbox and Wii, there is no better way to show your kids what it’s like outside than to take them to the park. Your kids may be surprised at how much fun they can have without a screen.
3. Go for a walk. It doesn’t cost anything to usher the kids outside and just take a walk. Walking is great exercise and any time with your kids is quality time.
4. Visit a historical site. Not far from your home there is almost certainly a historical site—in fact, there may be many—just waiting for you to visit. Most are just landmarks with a short story. Visiting such a marker and then following it up with some simple internet research is a fun way to help your kids learn to use the Internet responsibly.
5. Go to the beach. Even if you don’t live near the ocean, a sandy beach along a river or beside a lake can be just as much fun for kids.
6. Build a snowman. This may not be an option everyday—neither is the beach. Your kids will never forget the time mom or dad helped them make the world’s biggest snowman.
7. Attend community events. Most communities have a variety of events that happen every week at no charge, from concerts to book readings. There is always something happening. Make sure you’re on the email notification list for the community centers with activities near you.
8. Play a game. It won’t matter what game you play with your kids, from Xbox to Chutes and Ladders, your kids will cherish their memories of the times their parents played with them.
9. Just listen. Be there for your kids. Really be there. If you take the time to talk to them, especially your teenagers, you’ll be surprised by what you learn. They’ll appreciate the time as much as you will.
10. Play a sport. Take your kids out for a run, play basketball, kick a soccer ball around the yard, whatever fits their taste and ability do. Not only will you burn calories and teach them to do the same, you’ll have more fun than doing your workouts alone.
This is a short list to get you thinking, but there are an endless number of things you can do for fun with your kids. Most will be more fun for them than going to the mall and they’re all better on your pocketbook.