Family friendly activities to do on a budgetVincent Tan
Just because your wallets are a bit thin and your expenses are a bit stretched this month, it doesn’t mean that you need to spend your weekends at home watching TV. There are a lot of things you can do on a budget or even for free during the weekends. The trick is to think beyond going to places with entrance fees or going to places with paid services. Here are some family friendly activities you can do on a budget during long weekends and even on school holidays with your children:
If you have a large backyard, simply get a tent from your local sporting goods supply store such as Sports Direct of Decathlon and pitch it in your backyard. It’s a relatively cheap way of spending the night ‘outside’ your home. There are also farms outside the city which charge a small fee to rent out their land for camping purposes these days.
Doing art works as a family is also a great way to bond. You can do it at home, go to a public park to do it or even gather a few other friends to do it together. Art supplies need not be expensive and doing artwork can occupy many hours of your time.
Gardening is a relatively simple way of learning about plants and nature with very minimal capital outlay. All you need are pots, soil and seeds which cost very little. Children in particular like gardening as they can get their hands messy and they can see things that they planted grow!
Public swimming pools are very cheap to enter. In fact, if you stay at an apartment, chances are you can utilise the common swimming pool for free. You can be more creative by getting cheap foam toys to play games and sports in the pool.
In the high-tech age of the internet, it’s easy to forget the existence of libraries and the existence of physical books. Go to the library as a family to spend a couple of hours walking through the aisles, looking through the many variety of books and simply taking in the smell of printed pages. Children can gain better appreciation of literature by holding and reading a physical book.
Visiting the museum is relatively cheap especially if you are a student or a senior citizen. Museum tours are a great way to bond as a family, to appreciate history more and as an avenue for parents to interact with children. There are many museums in Malaysia, both federal and state museums.
Follow guided tours to your local fire station, local milk factory or even to a local office to learn how real life industries work. You can get a group of children along with their parents or you can co-organise with your child’s kindergarten to visit these places.
Volunteering as a family is an incredibly strong way to foster a better relationship amongst family members. Go volunteer at the old folks home, children’s shelter or even volunteer to clean up the beach. Volunteering teaches children about service, charity and working as a team.