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Lets face it, we all love our children, but with the schools closed because of Coronavirus, we are all scrambling to figure out what to do with them at home without going crazy or breaking the bank! There are plenty of things you can do at home along with their academic activities that are achievable even with social distancing and all of the other craziness we have going on right now. Just remember…this too shall pass…school will open again…you will get to go back to normal life at some point and it will all get better as long as we all make good choices now and keep ourselves separate, clean and healthy…
Trying to figure out what to do with the kids can be challenging in general but when your trying to stick to a budget, stuck in your house indefinitely, possibly trying to work from home and watch your children all at the same time, it can be even more difficult.
The best thing to do is find activities to do with them that are low budget and fun! Take a look around in your house to see what you can do inside and out. You can also look around your community to see what you can do outside, but make sure you stay in small groups and practice social distancing when in public to stay safe. There are often community websites that give information about local places to explore and if they are open for business during this time or not. If you find some thing you are interested in, that you can’t go to now, just remember, you can keep it on your list for another time when things are less uncertain! Depending on the age group of your little ones there are a variety of activities you can do to keep them busy and entertained, while staying on budget.
For the little ones:
-Messy activities with the little ones can be a scary thought, but if you approach it in a controlled way it can be a great experience for you and your little one. Get them involved in all steps of the activity from the setup to the clean up at the end. This way they not only have fun with the activity itself, but they also learn to take responsibility for the clean up of these activities as well.
-Finger Painting: This can be a great creative low budget activity to do with kids that can keep them busy and enjoying themselves for a while. You can set up for them to paint on any type of medium such as paper, plates, or clay. You can also have them paint on an easel or on a table. There are lots of ways to make finger painting fun. If you need ideas for creative activities to do with finger paints, you can look on websites such as Pinterest for projects to do with them.
-Make Play Dough: Making play dough can be a fun activity to do with your kids. You can also turn it into a learning experience that is fun as well! Once you have made the play dough, you can have them pick the colors they want and then use it to make things and save it for later and have more exploration with using the play dough for other activities. Don’t want to make playdough, but still want the fun activity? It is a budget-friendly product that you can order online or buy in stores!
-Make Slime: Making slime is another great budget safe activity that can be a fun activity to do with the kids. Not only is making the slime a fun educational activity, but it can also be a creative one as well! The kids can choose what color they want to put into it such as, glitter, color, beads, etc. You can look up what ingredients you need, or buy an inexpensive slime kit that provides everything for this activity.
-Sensory Exploration: Sensory exploration is an important activity for children at a young age. It can help them explore sensory intake and help them learn about how to play and create using new skills at an early age. This can be done with anything around the house such as a bucket of water for a water table or whipped cream to play in. You can also make bags with hair gel and glitter and anything else the kids want to add! If you don’t want to do the homemade version, you can also purchase inexpensive sensory kits that will give them the same experience, but in a slightly less messy way!
-Shaving cream: There are plenty of things children can do with shaving cream. Using their fingers to learn to write and draw. They can also find objects in it and make puff paint by mixing it with glue and food coloring.
-Water table: Water tables are great for search and find activities. Children can also play with the water and pour the water in and out of cups and bowls. These activities are great for fine motor coordination as well. You can make one at home with a bucket, water, and whatever items you want to put into it, or you can purchase a water table, but these are usually outdoor activities due to the mess the water can make.
-Sensory Sand: Sensory sand is a great low budget activity that builds coordination and fine motor skills. It is also a fun activity for kids. They can find objects in it and build with it as well.
-Bubbles: Bubbles are a great activity to do with the little ones that won’t break the budget. You can have them do a classic bubble activity, but there are also other activities such as bubble gloves and bubble wands that can be a lot of fun for kids. You can even fill a little pool in your yard with water and soap to use the large bubble wands and make it into an outdoor activity in warm weather.
-Play Outside– Playing outside can be a fun activity on a nice day! Again, make sure if you are outside, that if you are not in your own yard that you are using social distancing and staying in small groups, you can have fun, but you want to make sure to be safe and stay healthy! There are a lot of fun low budget activities to do there that are fun for the whole family. A few examples include:
-Play I Spy on a walk
-Imagination games: Imagination games are a great low budget way to not only have a good time with your children, but to also help them learn to build their imagination and ability to be creative. Some of the games they can pretend to play with you and each other include:
For Older Kids:
-Exploration and quality time together are the best way to connect with your older children while saving money and staying on budget. Do some research with them on what you can do together while enjoying each others’ company.
-Play sports together: Talk to your children and see what sports they are interested in so you can play them together. This can be a great low budget activity to keep you all happy active, you can play in the yard or outside if you are able to play at a safe distance from others.
–Go for a Walk In your Neighborhood: Take some time to go for a nice walk together and just enjoy each other’s company! It is important to try to make as much of the extra time you get to spend with your kids as you can, even if it means just going for relaxing walk around the block to get some fresh air.
–Take an online class together: Online group apps have become very popular because of this virus. Try looking up a cooking or art class you may enjoy taking with your teen or older child that you can both enjoy from home! Taking classes together can be a fun educational activity that is exciting and fun for you and your kids to do together. This will also lead to activities you can do with that new knowledge again later. Try looking into:
-Fun activities together at home: Take the time to relax and enjoy the time you have with your children doing fun things at home as well too. It is great to enjoy and relax with your kids. You can bond over the relaxing games and chill evenings you can have bonding with your family in your own home. Enjoy those moments. They not only save money, but they also become priceless when everyone is grown up and not at home anymore.
-Family game night
-BBQ and chill
-Paint Night at home
-Movie night, Netflix, and Chill!
-Make your own pizza
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