Posted Thursday, July 21st, 2016. Filed Under My Daily Dose

I wanted to share this great article posted in the National Post July 20, 2016 to help parents entertain their children in a less expensive yet fun time. Check out bargainmoose.ca)

Here are 15 suggested ways to do so:

1. Post a calendar: People including children love anticipation. By posting a calendar where kids can see upcoming plans and events of what to do will bring smiles.

2. Google the name of the venue and look for any discounts: Before you go to any event or outing or attraction Google it and see if there are any discount coupons. Groupon has great local offers .

3. Help The Kids Develop Their Entrepreneurial Spirit: Find what interests them. Is it setting up a lemonade stand? Helping your neighbour clean up their yard? Baking and selling your goods? Whatever is their passion make sure that you account for all costs and your time. You also want to talk to them about how they want to use the money, whether it be saving for a bike or donating to a local charity.

4. Take Advantage of free stuff: Story time at the library or local community centre, movies in the park, theatre in the park, or local festivities. Make sure to pack your own water and snacks.

5. Get the ball rolling: A summer-long (check you area) Kids Bowl Free program allows registered kids to play two free games every day. Check out kidsbowlfree.com to find an alley in your area.

6. Cultivate a little garden:Engage your kids in the activity. Get them their own mini tools, have them paint crafts or gnomes for the garden and involve them in choosing herbs and vegetables to plant. You will benefit from this fresh garden and lower grocery bills.

7. Be ready for spontaneous events: You never know when an adventure may present itself. Keep an adventure pack in the car with towels, bathing suits, fishing nets, garden shears, etc.
for you may find yourself at a splash pad, lake or field.

8. Create a “rainy day treasure chest”: for inside the home. Put in exciting items which you will open when needed – finger paints, jewelry making, Play-Doh and craft supplies to name a few.

9. Search online for craft ideas or DIY games or science experiments: There are so many things you can do — Create an obstacle course with pool noodles. Build a fort out of rolled up newspaper. Use painter’s tape to create a roads on the carpet for toy cars.

10. Camping: It is one of the cheapest vacations especially if you want to get away. You will need to pay for gas, gear, groceries and camping fees. In Ontario fees range from $17 to $51 per night, depending on the facilities and services.

11. Taking a Train: This is a great alternative to flying when exploring your home country, especially Via Rail who is offering a summer special for families. Kids aged two to 11 travel for $15. If boredom sets in reach into your “treasure chest”.

12. Consider Do-it-Yourself Camp: Get together with a few other families and have each family host a day of activities in their yard. Choose a theme and activities to go with the theme.

13. Big Box stores often offer free or low-cost activities: Some hardware stores will run workshops teaching kids to build thing such as bookends and planters. Lowe’s has a workshop to teach kids how to make a toy police car. Michael’s offer 30 minutes workshops for children three and older for $2 and $15 painting classes for teens. President’s Choice runs cooking classes at its stores ($9 for tots between two and five, $20 for older kids).

14. Lounge at a hotel pool: While mom is getting a manicure, the family can benefit and be able to use the hotel amenities for free. See if your local hotel offers an affordable day pass. Call your local tourism bureau even though you are not a tourist; they offer incentives for locals too.

15. Watch Saturday morning cartoons (and other film): You can screen family-friendly movies at Cineplex at 11 a.m. on Saturdays for $2.99 while supporting charity, as proceeds go to Free The Children.

I have suggested things for Ontario, Canada. Take time to look into your local areas. These are 15 suggestions to kick start and exciting and inexpensive summer.

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