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Have fun with your family for free


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Money can feel such a pressing issue at the moment with the ongoing recession over our heads and coming up to one of the most expensive times of the year for parents, namely Christmas! Feeling financially squeezed is a major cause of stress and if you don’t have enough to pay your bills and buy food, it is a very real concern.

If you can meet your basic needs as a family but find that the costs of activities and equipment for your children is what stretches you, consider how you can hang out together and enjoy yourselves for free. Fundamentally children want to enjoy and express themselves and none of this has to necessarily cost if you approach it creatively.


Think about how you can spend time with your children doing stuff together on low or no budget. If creativity is your thing you can spend an afternoon or evening writing stories together; create a blog about family life in the 21st century.

Make music

If you have a computer, download audacity software for free and record yourselves singing four part harmonies to songs that you’ve made up or that you love.

Get artistic

Draw together – play art games like having a strip of paper each, drawing a head on it and folding it over and passing it on to the next person to draw the body, and the next to draw the legs and so on. Make mosaics or collages from old magazines or bits of textured fabric and dried beans. With little kids make potato prints on huge sheets of paper or do finger painting. These sorts of activities often create a lovely atmosphere for all the family.

Old School games

free activitiesIf you are feeling energetic and playful, make a soft space with lots of duvets, cushions and blankets and have a pillow fight! Build a fort in your living room out of blankets and have your tea in there. Put upbeat music on and dance wildly together or play hide and seek or blindman’s buff in the dark!

Make a treasure hunt around the house with quirky clues that only your family would understand or dress up and act out your alter-ego’s for the afternoon!

And relax…

Relaxing together for free is also very satisfying. Light lots of candles and turn the lights out and share your dreams for the next three months. Fill the bath and have loads and loads of bubbles to lie back in. Perhaps you could make a huge nest out of duvets and have a reading marathon together or watch your favourite movies or catch up TV?.

Outside activities

If you want to be outside, you could all build a bonfire and write your wishes on a piece of paper and ceremoniously burn them. You could gather grasses, berries, stones and twigs and make a nature mandala or you could save seeds from this years plants and put them in envelopes ready to be planted for next spring.

Ask your children for their own ideas, make doing things for free a fun challenge and loudly acknowledge to each other all the things that you are appreciating about each activity and in hanging out in this way.



About Jenny Smith

About Jenny Smith

Jenny Smith is a freelance writer and facilitator specialising in mental health, well-being and ecotherapy. She writes for National Mind and The Working Parent and facilitates training in the Work that Reconnects and Ecotherapy. She is inspired by nature, gardening, love and non-duality teachings

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