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A Month of Fun with Children: Making Memories on a Budget

What childhood memories do you hold dear? For me, it was all the times "life happened". The little things like playing outside, riding my bike, playing at the park, swimming in the lakes, laughing with friends. None of those moments cost a cent, yet they are some of my most treasured memories. Making memories on a budget is very easy to do. Choose any of the ideas below and you'll have a fun-filled time without breaking the bank! 1. Garden - Plant flowers, fruit trees, herbs, or vegetables.

Your child will learn science, responsibility and have fun! 2. Snip-it - Give your child some old toy catalogs or magazines and safe scissors. Watch them cut all day. Diggin' It - Send your child outside with a bucket and small shovel.

Shoveling snow, sand, dirt or rocks -- it's all good fun. Sing - Turn up the radio and sing! Teach your child the music of the 70s, 80s, or 90s. Play Catch - Throw different items (balloons, tennis balls) to your child. Roll balls to young children. Sidewalk Chalk - Lay on the sidewalk and take turns outlining each other. Decorate your flat selves. Cardboard Boxes - Make towers, play houses, airplanes, trains, forts and more! 8. Bubbles - Go outside and Blow Bubbles. Take turns chasing and popping them. Masks - Make Masks from Paper bags, paper plates, foam, or anything on hand. 10. Cards - Teach your child all the classic games -- UNO, Crazy 8, Go Fish, Old Maid, Memory Match. 11. Scavenger Hunt - Give your child a list of clues and send him out to find them. Clues can be simple (find a rock) or very advanced (find a piece of granite).

12. Throw Rocks - Go to a pond, creek, or lake and throw rocks. Try to skip them or aim for different targets. 13. Bath Time - Bring kitchen utensils into the bath tub. Bubbles and water can become a gourmet dinner. 14. Office - Give your child Junk Mail, stickers, a calculator and pen. They will play office for hours. 15.

Photography - Let your child use a disposable camera or a digital camera and witness their creativity. They may surprise you! 16. Picnic - Make some sandwiches and eat them outside. 17. Cooking - Find age-appropriate recipes and let your child help in the kitchen. 18. Tag - How many versions of tag do you remember from your childhood? Teach the oldies to your children (freeze tag, TV tag, etc.) 19. Write a Story - Younger children can write wiggle-worm sentences (much scribbling and pictures).


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