Your Kids-Don’t Spend Your Money, Spend Your Time

March 11, 2009 by  
Filed under On Family Entertainment

You think you are being kind by slipping you kid a $20 note and they are off out with their friends. Did you ever think that they would actually rather forfeit the cash and spend the time with their parents.

Many moms and dads go through the same thought process where as long as they are providing for their kids on a monetary level, that is sufficient. The fact is, many kids want family time but are maybe too proud to mention it, they would rather hold it in rather than say they want your time.

Maybe you are both extremely busy with your careers which pay for the family to survive, but there is no point in running your self into the ground without being able to enjoy your kids while they are still young. Many family members are like passing ships in the night with different mealtimes and even sleeping patterns.

To remedy this does not have to mean a complete turn around of structure to the family life. A little tweak here and there can make all the difference. Make a point of having one day or evening in the week where the family is together and are able to sit down and have a meal together. The sooner you do this the easier, it is for everyone to get used to it and actually really enjoy the time spent together

Make the most out of the day/evening, talk and get to know what is happening in everybody’s lives. What are your kids doing at school, what are their favorite subjects? You’ll be amazed at how much they want to tell you (and like being asked).

One of the best ways to create camaraderie and fun within the family is games such as board games and quizzes. This is a great fun, low cost way of interacting with your loved ones and having a sense of togetherness. A great way to cement the family bond is to invite a neighboring family to come round for a game each family being the competing teams.

This kind of night in, even though there are other non-family members involved, is a prevailing method of family solidarity. You will probably want to make this a regular evening in.

Another way to unite family members is to create or build something. If you have a spare room that could be converted into a games or family room, each member could have a role in helping the construction. This type of team effort is subtle but every bit as effective as the competition night and with something to show at the end of it. These memories of family life will last for ever and are irreplaceable.

Try to show interest in your children’s activities and likes and dislikes, your child needs to witness confirmation that you care. It is also important to actively encourage and be positive when they need it most, and a kiss and a hug doesn’t go amiss either, tactility in a family is important for your child’s development in social skills and a sign that they are loved.

Giving your time to your children outweighs an extra bit of pocket-money on every level, they will thank you for it and the value of a close knit family lasts forever.

How To Save Money And Still Get To The Movies

March 10, 2009 by  
Filed under On Family Entertainment

Movies really are a little bit of magic on a reel. For as long as records began, going to the movies was one of the top entertainment choices. For family entertainment there is a wealth of films to choose from with the increasing number of Disney animations to old favorites such as stars wars and other epic movies.

It is a shame that the price of going to the movies has gone up considerably and at a disproportionate level to standard inflation, however there a ways and means of seeing your favourite movie at a discount price.

A good time to go to the a movie theatre is for the matinee or even in some places morning showing of your film. The prices are much lower, and some days offer an even cheaper price than others due to a lower customer intake. It is worth keeping an eye out for these offers if the whole family is going.

Some of the cheaper movie theaters which show the same movies later on in the year are worth considering, after all it doesn’t matter if you don’t see your film the moment it gets released. These less expensive theaters also offer cheaper snacks and drinks (this is an important feature when the cost of snacks is usually more expensive than the admission fee). The seating is perhaps not as comfortable, but with a short family movie, it is more than adequate.

It is worth thinking about taking your own refreshments with you. This is probably frowned on by the theater staff but unless it is actually forbidden, then there is no reason for you not to take advantage of this money saving technique.

If you are avid movie goers, many theaters offer a monthly pass at a hugely reduced price. Prices vary from theater to theater but the money saving is generally quite significant. Ask at your local theater for details. If they don’t offer any monthly deals, most box office tellers are quite happy to send you in the direction of some that do.

Look out for drive-in movies theatres, they are still available in many cities. You can really save money with this method of movie watching with many theatres allowing the full vehicle to go through as one admission fee. You can bring your own refreshments, again, saving a packet.

There is always the good old rented movie for perusal in the comfort of your own home. Turn your living room into a home cinema and pop some popcorn and other light snacks for the show. You can create the perfect ambience with the lights turned off and the sound turned up. For the $5 movie you can have the entire family watching and washroom breaks when you need it, (no missing a chunk of the film).

Going to the movies is an excellent form of entertainment for the whole family and there are always money saving ideas for any fun activities. Getting to the movies is by no means an exception to the rule.

Save Money While You Entertain And Educate Your Kids

March 9, 2009 by  
Filed under On Family Entertainment

Kids love learning new things. Things that are “boring” are purely what society or sometimes more appropriately the entertainment industry tells them is boring. Most children have a desire to learn and there are many fun, informative and inexpensive activities that will keep them enthralled for hours.

Museums are a great place to learn about history in a very visual and sometimes interactive way. Yes, there are some dusty old museums that might not be of much interest to kids, but many are well maintained and even aimed at children such as the Natural History museums and others like it.

Aquariums are another excellent place to take your kids to learn about marine life and have a great time yourself. Many children are so taken with and experience a magic in these outings that stays with them throughout their lives. Many go on to make a career within these subjects, purely as such an impression was made. Children are not children for long so it is important to take advantage of this special and magical part of life.

These days, with the accessibility of information on the internet, many people forget that libraries still exist. Nothing can replace going into a library (especially for children) and having every type of book at your disposal. The quietness and serenity of a library is a good environment for children to learn how to behave in public. For younger children , libraries usually offer facilities such as toys and visual activities.

Letting you child attend art and craft classes is great for bringing out the creative side in them, not that children need much cajoling in this area. However, with the right materials and facilities they can really stretch their imagination and who knows, maybe there is an artist or sculptor in the family. With a bit of research you can find classes within community centres and colleges tariff free or a very low cost to help you save money.

Country fairs and morning fairs are a great place to bring your kids for free informative entertainment and the refreshments are usually very cheap. Emphasis are often on educational topics such as wildlife or cookery and can be interactive giving your child the chance to experience and learn about new subjects.

You can make up your own games and entertainment including quizzes with the use of an encyclopaedia. Allow your kids an allocated time to learn one particular subject, then write some questions on that topic. Make the quiz more exciting with a prize for the winner.

Education can be fun and children have the ability to take in information like a sponge, this is a perfect time in their lives to be learning and learning. There really is a whole host of ideas for opportunities to give your children educational and fun activities that will save money on expensive trips and that they will remember for the rest of their lives.

Valuable Money Saving Tips For Family Entertainment

March 8, 2009 by  
Filed under On Family Entertainment

Many popular places of entertainment for kids these days is notoriously expensive. Establishments which focus on fun for kids seem to be just as, if not more costly than adult entertainment. During the school breaks can be a particularly difficult time for family outings when money is in short supply, however there are plenty of ways to keep your family amused and save money.

You may feel the pinch all year round and not just at holidays. In this case it may be a good idea to invest in a yearly pass for kids entertainment establishments with lots of outlets to peruse. Doing this can significantly save money in the long run even though you have to pay up initially.

This can be said for all types of leisure places such as water parks, bowling alleys (which are particularly costly) and other multiplex organizations.

When planning an outing, it is beneficial to think holistically. How long is your chosen activity going to take – will it account for the full day. Outings such as a visit to the zoo can be great for encompassing a whole day out. Ok, there is a admission fee but that will more than pay for itself with the facilities provided and you can also take advantage of seasonal passes here. Always take a packed lunch/picnic, there is no point in forking out for meals out when your kids will be perfectly happy to eat a picnic outdoors.

Museums are always a great money saving option. There are many museums which are great for an education but fun such as, natural history or railway museums that will be of interest to the kids. Museums are completely free of charge allowing you to give the family an additional treat such as an ice-cream or hotdog for later.

Other completely free options are standard play parks. It is amazing how much fun kids will have on the basic facilities provided. Children have an amazing sense of imagination, it doesn’t always have to be served on a silver platter.

Everyone loves a day out to the beach (providing you live in agreeable climates). A trip to the beach is a fun, energizing and sometimes an educational day out for everyone. Again it is totally free allowing for some extra treats and it is possible to bring you own picnic.

Fortunately, there are still many, many ways to entertain the family for free. Yes, there will be times when a day out requires money to be spent, but with a little research and pre-planning you can intersperse these with free days out to help you save your money for a rainy day. Taking advantage of seasonal and annual passes is a fantastic way to have days out with your kids on tap and no need to shell out each and every time.

7 Excellent Money Saving Ideas For Family Outings

March 7, 2009 by  
Filed under On Family Entertainment

Family outings that will keep both the kids and parents entertained can easily be achieved on a budget. Contrary to popular belief, kids can be easily amused and it doesn’t have to take bank account crippling trips to the movies or fun-fare. A little pre-thought and creativity can have you on your way to really saving money for a rainy day.

Following are a few effective ideas for entertaining your loved ones.

1. A fantastic way to have a great day in/out with the kids is to organize a yard sale. Not just the sale day itself but the preparation can provide fun and laughs for all the family finding all the unwanted hilarious items from the past to sell. Each family member can be in charge of a particular stall (but keep an eye out), kids love getting a little bit of responsibility as it makes them feel important and grown up. The money taken can go towards the next few outings.

2. A day out at the beach. This is totally free (with the exception of the odd ice-cream) and is a great outing which includes plenty of exercise and fresh air for the kids. There is plenty of fun to be had for all, and creates real solidarity within the family.

3. Visiting specially structured gardens such as botanical gardens can be a fun but educational trip out. Often, these establishments will have a little section for small animals for additional interest. Bringing a picnic can reduce costs on meals out and are every bit as fun.

4. Go a bit wacky and make up holiday celebrations that do not really exist such as cookie making day and enjoy a culinary day in with the kids. You could choose a healthy option as well, if the kids see it as a celebration it doesn’t matter the subject matter. Include some competitive games with little prizes to be had.

5. Kite flying is always a firm favorite among kids. You could even spend a day making the kite then later go fly it. There is something inspirational and invigorating about flying a kite that brings everyone together.

6. Visit a museum. This might sound a bit boring to the kids at first, but if you do a little research first about the museum, you could help to keep them interested and again, it is totally free. It only takes a little nudge in the right direction and the kids will become enthralled. A promise of a little treat afterwards such as an inexpensive, tasty snack doesn’t hurt either.

7. Go camping. This might take a bit or prior preparation, but it is well worth it. This could be in place of a short holiday and is a great money saving idea. The kids will love the idea of sleeping outdoors, and many campsites have night-time entertainment which is either free or almost free. If allowed on the campsite, you could build a campfire and toast marshmallows and sausages.

Kids love creativity and being creative, they don’t measure fun in terms of cost. The old anecdote about the child having more fun with the box rather than the toy inside holds a lot of weight. Get your thinking cap on because the ideas for family entertainment on a budget are truly endless.