How can you have fun with your children without burning through your checking account? Having fun with your preschooler doesn't have to break the bank. You can enjoy each other on a budget. Here are five money-saving tips for preschool fun!
1. Pantry Playtime
A kitchen pantry holds a world of fun. Take common house-hold items and create your own fun together. Make these times special, however, so your preschooler doesn't simply rummage through the pantry whenever he or she wants to have a good time.
- Pasta Pictures: take pieces of pasta, glue, and a piece of paper to create fun pictures (macaroni makes great hair and linguine is great for outlining a house!)
- Can Bowling: a few water bottles set up like bowling pins outside are fun to knock down with a can of beans or soup
- Necklace Creation: raid your pantry for pasta, Cheerios, and Fruit Loops, and anything else you can string on a piece of yarn
2. Archaeological Dig
Take a few trinkets and knickknacks to the backyard and bury them in the sandbox. Next, get some little shovels ready and send your preschooler out to see what she can find hidden "underground."
You can even give her a list and see how many items she can find. For an additional twist, pretend to interview her afterwards (recording it with a cell phone) and let her explain what she found on camera.
3. Outdoor Painting
On hot summer days, give your preschooler a large bucket full of water and a large paintbrush. "Painting" with water darkens wood for a few minutes before disappearing—making painting fun and non-destructive.
4. Read and Draw
Grab an engaging children's story and read it to your preschooler. While you read, have your child draw a picture of what he sees in his mind.
If you can't take the time to read, consider downloading an audiobook and having a set half hour each day of reading and drawing.
5. Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt
Create a neighborhood scavenger hunt list of things you may find in your neighborhood—someone riding a bicycle, a cat, a white fence, an American flag, etc. Take a long walk together and check items off your list as you go. You can get some exercise in while having fun!