Hello, my name is Stacy and I am a city girl. You know…the Starbucks-drinking, never-fried-a-chicken kind of city girl. So, imagine my surprise when God moved my family to the middle of the country miles (and miles) from the nearest mall, coffee shop or bouncy house.
I will admit to a couple weeks of wandering aimlessly around the house and taking the occasional nap to pass the time. But, then, I found something blooming in the country. You want to know what you can find growing wild in the country? Creativity.
That’s right. When you have four children and no Chuck E. Cheese in sight, you. will. get. creative.
So, here are a few fun and frugal ways your family can spend time together wherever you may live.
- Mary, Mary, quite contrary…When my husband announced that he was going to take up gardening, I
loudly and obnoxiouslyever so respectfully protested. In my defense, please see opening sentence. Much to my surprise, however, a few containers, some seeds and some water have brought my girls weeks and weeks of fun. Now, we aren’t talking about tilling up the land here. Just get some simple, cheap black containers. My girls planted the seeds, helped water them, checked on their growth and, soon enough, harvested a few veggies of their very own. This can be as big or as little as your heart desires. Go ahead. Plant one little pot of squash. This city girl dares you.
- Walk on the wild side…Now, depending on where you live, maybe a little walk around the ‘hood isn’t so wild. It can be, however, loads of fun. Here is what you need: comfy shoes, a little notebook and a pencil for each kiddo, and time. You know what you don’t need? Your smart phone! I know, I know. Hello, kettle? Pot here. Just open up the door and take one step…and then another…and then another. You can do it. Then, you just explore. You will be amazed at what the children will find interesting. They will become mesmerized by the colors of leaves, the shapes of rocks, that pile of dog…well, you get the picture.
- Where in the world is…This one took me by surprise. A couple laminated maps and a Dollar Store inflatable globe bought for homeschooling have turned into a daily game of Let’s find that on a map. From television shows to people we meet to Bible stories, every day brings a new opportunity to bring out the globe or U.S. map and find a location. And, if you want to entertain the older kiddos on a road trip, pick up a map at the welcome center for every state you enter. They’re free. You can’t get any more frugal than that.
- Talk…Did you know that, if you turn off the television and spend time with your children, they will talk to you? I know! Who knew? Consider yourself warned. They will talk a lot. Are you making supper? Talk to them. Are you cleaning the house? Talk to them. Do you just want to sit and relax and not have to referee the latest fighting match over whose turn it is to have the brown stuffed dog? Talk. to. them. You will be amazed at how much they have been wanting to tell you.
So there you go. Four fun and frugal family activities! Our family has since moved back into
civilization the city and, would you believe, we have brought these activities with us? Turns out, frugal fun can be had anywhere.
Now, go have some fun with your kids!
Stacy Edwards (@sjedwards) is a trucker’s daughter and a pastor’s wife. She is a freelance writer and a homeschooling mom to four fabulous little girls. Stacy blogs at Servant’s Life where she uses her words to point others to the hope and encouragement found in Christ. If you need her, she’s probably hiding in the bathroom.