Those of you who are regular readers may have read my recent Family $$$ Matters series, where I showed you my 5 part money management system. At the end of the series I touched on the fact that I didn’t think I was quite finished with the $$$ Matters theme… So here is the next installment:
As a young family on 1 very irregular income there are times (ok – so pretty much all of the time!) when we find it hard to balance the incoming income and outgoing expenses and make it work. We have to plan our spending extremely well and get very creative at various times so that we can make the accounting work. Just a hunch, but I’m pretty sure that we’re not alone in finding it a struggle make ends meet in this economy!…
So – I’ve decided to launch this series, in the hope that we can all pool together our money saving ideas, and inspire and help each other in surviving this economy without racking up a bunch of new debt…
– Because I don’t know about you but I could definitely use a few new ideas to help me keep a fresh approach (for example so that I am not dishing up fried rice every night for dinner!)
Every Monday for the next wee while I will post a different $$$ saving theme on my blog. The themes will be very diverse so that hopefully there will be something for everyone (and suggestions are very welcome!)
I will then offer my idea/suggestion/option for said theme
You lovely people will then have the opportunity to offer your ideas/suggestions/options in the comment box
But here’s the catch:
The whole idea will be a great big fizzle if it’s just me talking to myself… and that will kind of suck if I’m honest – because I know you guys have a lot of wisdom and it would be great if we could all inspire each other… That’s my hope anyway
This week I’m going to make it simple, because I realize that I’ve kind of sprung this on you…
As you know, this week I’ve committed to spending more 1 on 1 time doing more focused activities with Hannah. So:
The favourites in our house are:
- Making a cubby house
- Having a “tea party”
- “Painting” our nails (which involves a small container of water and a paintbrush)
- Drawing all over the chalkboard with chalk and then “painting” it with water to see what we can pain (our less messy alternative of painting, since my daughter has been known to take to the nearest piece of furniture/wall/herself with paint as soon as I turn my back!)
So here’s how you can contribute:
- Leave a comment in the comment box with your suggestion(s)
– If you have never made a comment on my blog before then don’t be scared because it’s not hard – so I encourage you to give it a try. You don’t need a blogger account, you don’t need to jump through any hoops. All you need to do is type in your suggestion and hit post (no pesky word verification even) (just don’t forget to include your name).
- If you blog about it then please put a link under your comment so that we can go check out your lovely blog
- If you blog about it then please use my button and link back to this post
I really look forward to hearing all your great ideas!
(and just so you can get your thinking caps on for next weeks theme – next week I will be asking everybody to share their favourite low-cost meal idea…)
Glue stick + fabric scraps + paper scraps = collage fun for a little one.
eek, it has been a VERY long time since I had to entertain a toddler!! (& I didn’t have a 2nd one in tow)
But, when I did it was…
* swings & feeding the ducks
* to the beach to look for shells (& draw in the wet sand if the tide was out)
* making paper chains
* Planting (fast growing) seeds – this then allowed us to tend them every couple of days
* and the libraty – yes, even at 2 my daughter loved books.
Most young children (and older ones) love doing anything in the kitchen. To keep it cheap and make the fun last make bread or pasta. If you think your child is too young to constructively help (and you don’t mind cleaning up afterwards) give them a plastic bowl and a wooden spoon, and then a little of each of the ingredients you are baking with. Mine had hours of fun and entertainment when they were little with a bit of flour and sugar (and extra pasta dough is almost like playdough). Now they can make things with very little supervision. I have blogged my 8 year old making bread from scratch on her own –
I haven’t commented in awhile (but I have still been reading your posts), so I thought I’d throw in my 2 cents. What I learned from teaching gymnastics for many years is that you have to have a shorter attention span than them. Instead of trying to keep their focus on something for too long switch things up quickly. One minute we’d be running around the gym, the next we’d be on the bars, then the floor, then by the wall, then back to running around the gym again.
I know it’s exhausting, but it’s a lot of fun too! Read only a couple pages in a book, then go outside and run around the house, then come back and paint only your thumbs and pinky finger nails, then draw on the sidewalk. Hannah will think you’ve gone batty, but I’ll bet she’ll be having a lot of fun too.
Our cheap fun activities include:
baking, arts and crafts using recyclables, my scraps etc, homemade play doh, bubbles, we love board games (both brought and handmade), puzzles, going on nature walks and finding treasures, trips to the park and beach, playing hide n seek. I could go on and on
Button Box. I spent hours (or least alot of time) spending time playing in my button box.
Water play at the kitchen sink. All the unique measuring containers I could find or play dishes. We spent hours playing in clean water. (my kids and I)
Making crowns out of paper.
Paper puppets on popsicles sticks and we would flip the coffee table over and make up a puppet show for dad.
Rolling out cookie dough.
Well, I have a few suggestions, but depending on their interest, they will either do it for five minutes or an hour. My kids favourites are threading beads or buttons, making jelly, colouring in, cutting and gluing, and playing hide and seek. Last week I ripped up some coloured foil from some easter eggs and they glued the little pieces onto a piece of paper in the shape of an egg for their nanny and poppy’s easter card. Even though the paper has cadburys on it, the coloured foil is awesome. Look forward to some ideas from everyone else!
Debbie x says
I think a bucket of water with different containers can keep them busy, just leave them to it, you dont always have to get involved. sometimes children just like to explore themselves.
Next week im painting chicken eggs with my 2-4year olds. we are going to pin a hole at either end and blow the inside out and then paint them to hang on branches. you can use a hot glue gun to glue on ribbon to hang them up x
My niece saved (& asked her friends to save) empty milk cartons, then washed them out & folded & taped the tops down flat – making great “blocks” for building forts & stuff. They did take up more space than regular blocks, but were so light weight, that nobody got hurt when they knocked the ‘buildings’ down! Her sons loved them. 😀
Thought of something else. When it all gets on top of you and life is too much – take a bath with them. The warm water, cuddles and downtime becomes a pleasure when you are all wound up. Reconnects you to the children and if you let them wash your hair takes up a nice chunk of the day.