We’ve all encountered this scene: a child is presented with an elaborate present only to be more entertained with the packaging it came in. Or a child makes a “sleigh” out of a cardboard box. And mud pies aren’t known for their flashy price tag.
In short, it doesn’t take much to make a kid happy. Often we project our own needs to have lots of “stuff” by buying excessive amounts of toys and gadgets. Not only does that teach our child a certain level of “stuff gluttony” but isn’t ecologically aware (more plastic anyone?).
So here’s a quick look at some free ways to keep your kids happy. (If you have some of your own cheap and easy suggestions, send them our way!)
1. Park Play. Most of us have parks and public places that are ready and awaiting your kids at play. Not only do they get a chance to discharge excess energy in a wide-open space but also it also fosters an appreciation for the outdoors. Bring a Frisbee, a football or a kite.
2. Love your Libraries. Your local library could always stand some love and attention. Teach your children the rules of a library first (be quiet, no running around, etc.) then note the many wonders that wait among the bookshelves. Most libraries have an area especially dedicated to children who want to play and learn.
3. Rainy Day Recreation. Rainy days can be taxing on parents. Children become frustrated after being pent-up indoors for too long. Dress your children accordingly and get out there! Rain is fun for kids (and Gene Kelly. See video below). Again, it teaches them appreciate weather in all forms, not just a sunny day.
4. Walks of Wonder. Walking is a simple but effective way for a child to spend quality time with you and explore your community. (Community awareness is a key element to the safety of your child as well.) Walking is also a gentle aerobic exercise, which keeps you and your kids healthy.
Again, the biggest toy a child has is his or her imagination. The biggest gift you can give your kid is your time. During an economically difficult time, it feels genuinely rewarding to get back to the basics anyway, doesn’t it?
Does your child have a birthday coming up? We have an imaginative line of free birthday e-cards for kids. Save on paper and entertain your child with fun, animated e-cards, especially tailored especially for a child’s wide-open mind!
[Singing in the Rain video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1ZYhVpdXbQ]