“Even though you’re growing up, you should never stop having fun” – Nina Dobrev
Kids are born party animals who know how to have a good time! All they need is a peek-a-boo or a funny song to burst into laughter. They don’t need any expensive gadget preloaded with sugar-laden games. Remember how your toddler always insisted on playing with the box, completely ignoring the expensive toy which needed 25 batteries to work?
That’s the thing about kids; they know how to have fun with whatever they have. Then they get exposed to cartoon characters and brands and lose that sense of natural fun that they were born with. But all is not lost; you can rescue them from this world of consumerism and show them that the old fashioned way still works today, and maybe even better! Keeping up with the spirit of minimalist parenting this vacation, here are 7 fun and either free or low cost things you can do with your kids. In the process, you get to follow Nina Dobrev’s advice and have some fun yourself!
7 Fun (and almost Free) Things to Do with your Kids
1. Make Goo
Kids love messy, gooey stuff; the more disgusting, the more they seem to like it! Make your own goo at home with cornflour, water and food coloring. Put enough cornflour so that what you have is neither dough nor batter, but goo! Have fun squishing it through your fingers and watch it turn from liquid to solid!
2. Play a Board Game
Your phone can have all the games in the world, but nothing can beat the charm of rolling a dice and moving counters across a board! Take your pick from simple ones like Snakes & Ladders or Ludo to the more complex Monopoly or Scrabble. And with board games, it’s always merrier with more!
3. Have a Movie Night
Have lots of kiddie favorites lying around unwatched? Why not make a movie night out of it!! Turn off the lights, get a bowl of popcorn and some cushions and make yourself comfortable. Of course, you’ll have to ensure adequate water and bathroom breaks, since the young viewers might be too engrossed in the movie to notice!
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4. Have an Indoor Picnic
It’s probably too hot for a picnic outside, but no one says you can’ t have one indoors! Do it properly; lay out a sheet, pack some disposable crockery and have traditional picnic foods like sandwiches, cupcakes and lemonade. To make it more realistic, bring in all the artificial plants and stuffed animals to make it look like a park (or jungle, as the case may be)!
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5. Make a Collage
Decide on a topic and scourge old magazines for pictures. Or better still, print some funny pictures of the family and make a scrapbook of the past year or a particular theme, like school activities. Keep lots of glue and scissors handy, things are going to get busy!
6. Build a Fort
Yes, this fort will not require any bricks but will be just as sturdy!! Use pillows, blankets, cushions and whatever you think will work for a fort. Make it a little more complicated by making an obstacle course leading to the fort. People now have to jump over hurdles, crawl under tables and swing in chairs to reach the well protected fort!
7. Make Shadow Puppets
This is probably better for older kids who aren’t afraid of the dark and can appreciate the concept behind hand shadow puppets. Turn off the lights and create a shadow with a torch, projecting your shadow on the wall, or you could use a curtain to ‘perform’ behind. Kids can try out their own shapes too, for example the bird.
8. Take Funny Face Selfies
It’s the selfie generation, and even kids know how to pose for them! So try out funny face selfies of everyone, including grandma and grandpa! You can pretend to be a character from a cartoon or TV show, and even have double selfies of both of you together!
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9. Make Boats
You can’t have a list of fun that doesn’t feature something with water in it! Fill a tub and place your handmade boats in it. You can of course make paper ones, but try something different like walnut shell boats or tiny pistachio shell ones. Then put in an inflatable monster from whom the boats have to escape. Splishy splashy fun guaranteed!
10. Blow Bubbles
There is no child on earth that won’t be delighted by the sight of a bubble floating through the air, ever so delicate and threatening to break on slightest touch. It’s also fun to see who can blow the biggest bubble! Make your own bubble solution with a cup of water, 4 tbsp dish washing liquid and 2 tbsp glycerin. Use a wire hanger or pipe cleaner to make a wand.
Of course, you could always read or color, but once in a while life calls for something a little different from the usual. As you can see, most of these require little to nothing in terms of expense. All you need is a little time and a creative spirit – the fun will follow!! And you’ll wonder why you ever bothered with those battery-guzzling toys!