This is a guest post from Kate Trout of Maternity Glow
When you have disposable income as a mom, the options are endless when it comes to having things for everyone in the family to do.
But, when you are on a budget (like most of us!), you have to get a little creative in order to keep the kiddos occupied, especially during winter months, when it seems as though nothing satisfies them.
So if you are looking for some new, fun, and inexpensive activities to try with your little ones, read on for some ideas!
1. Transform a Space
This is one of my favorites. Choose to make over a large wall in your home, by applying a few coats of chalkboard paint on it.
Your toddler will not only love helping you paint the space, but will equally enjoy their new art area, where they can literally draw on the wall (and everyone knows that toddlers love doing unconventional things).
The paint itself is less than $20 per gallon, but comes in all sorts of sizes for smaller spaces. You can also pick up a big chalk container filled with multiple colors at your local dollar store or supermarket.
This is also a great and entertaining way to teach your toddlers how to not only recognize letters, but write them and practice spelling their name.
Each morning you can also tell them to draw you a new picture while you enjoy a cup of warm coffee or tea on a cold winter’s day!
2. Story Hour
Call your local library and inquire about their story hour! Many libraries offer an hour long session for children to enjoy, and often have retired volunteers that do the reading (but sometimes, you may get lucky and are able to meet an author).
The read aloud is usually free and it will be a nice change of scenery for your kids. They can also sign up for their own library card and check out books that interest them, all for free as well!
3. Dress Up Box
Repurpose your old clothes by allowing your kids to use them as dress up attire. Place the clothes in a big, cardboard box (which can be decorated) and allow them to use their imagination when wearing each item.
You can place a mirror by the items and even make different hats, aprons, and crowns to add to the box.
Encourage older children to write about their make believe experience by giving them a journal and lots of colorful pencils and erasers to use!
4. Invest in a Karaoke Machine
Believe it or not, you can get a karaoke machine for a very affordable price!
Simply scan your classifieds or visit an online site that allows people in your community to post their goods for sale. All items on these sites are also negotiable, so if you have a certain price in mind that you want to pay, speak up!
Your entire family will love a karaoke machine. It will provide them with hours of enjoyment during cold winter days when they can’t go outside.
Most machines come with a few discs and you can also play your child’s favorite songs by using the CDs that you currently have. You can have a sing off between siblings, and even between parents.
5. Snowman Building Kit
Don’t be afraid to embrace the snow! Bundle the kiddos up and send them outside with an awesome snowman building kit.
You can make a kit with your kids by scouring the fridge and pantry, as well as your closets for old articles of clothing. You can build a theme-based snowman, or even an animal snowman.
Be sure to take pictures of the snowmen that you build, and teach your children how they can upload images online so you can make a family photo book of all of your creations. Photo books can be made on a number of sites, for a very small price.
Just be sure to take advantage of a promo code that the sites are offering.
6. Build an Indoor Fort
A complete throwback to the decades before awesome tents and tee-pees could be purchased for kids’ playrooms, a fort is a fun thing to build when stuck indoors on winter days (plus it costs virtually nothing!)
I like to gather lots of pillows, some swaddle blankets, and comforters. Experiment with different ways that you can drape the blankets over chairs and other sturdy furniture.
Once the fort is built, snuggle up inside with a great book, a family movie, or even have a warm snack in there!
Your child’s imagination will run wild while in the fort, and they will be begging you to build one, even on the warmest of days!
Don’t let cold days get you down. You can keep everyone in your home from getting stir crazy by keeping them active and engaged (without breaking the bank).
Consider trying these six activities today to ensure that winter time can be a fun time.
Kate Trout is the author behind Maternity Glow, A New Mom’s Guide to Figuring it All Out. She’s a coffee addict, wine drinker, cheese lover, and is kind of obsessed with baby laundry detergent. Oh, and she’s also Mom to the two cutest little kids.
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