6 Frugal Ways to Keep Kids Entertained This Fall

child-1031171_1280Now that school is back in session, some of you may think you’re off the hook in terms of finding fun and educational activities for your kids to do. On the contrary, kids like to stay busy year round and there’s nothing wrong with getting involved with some activities each week to prevent you and your kids from getting extremely bored.

With the holidays being right around the corner, it’s best to focus on frugal methods of entertainment so you can prioritize saving up for holiday expenses. Here are 6 frugal ways to keep your kids entertained this fall so they stay active and your wallet doesn’t take a huge hit.

1. Do Crafts at Home

Have you decorated your home yet for fall? Let your kids help by having a craft day together where you create fun fall crafts to put up around the house. You can make colorful leaves, carve pumpkins, paint, make homemade candles, etc. You can check Pinterest for a wide variety of ideas and stop by the dollar store or a craft store to pick up some of the materials you need.

It doesn’t really cost much to DIY the decorations in your home and by allowing your kids to contribute by doing the crafts themselves, they will feel included and have a blast.

2. Go For a Nature Walk

Nature walks are super fun this time of year. As the weather is cooling down in most areas, the environment is also changing and it’s exciting for kids to see. We have a nature center in our town that is free to visit and also hosts regular events. The nature cents is great because the trails have stopping points where more information about the environments and the animals who live there are displayed so we can all learn about it. It’s kind of like a huge outdoor museum.

If you have any walking trails by your house, going on a nature walk with the kids is a must. You can also take a family trip to a state park to do some fall hiking or even camping for cheap.

3. Sign Up for Fall Sports

If you want your kids to stay active year-round, playing a fall sport is a great option. There’s basketball, football, hockey, volleyball, and activities like ballet, karate, and more. Normally, some extracurricular activities will be on the pricier side, but you can cut costs by signing up at your local park district or YMCA. They usually offer discounts for residents and you could also volunteer to cut costs as well.

I usually sign my son up for basketball and while it only costs about $45 for 10 weeks of practices and games, one year I volunteered to coach for an added discount. Most coaches don’t get paid for coaching lower level sports, but if you volunteer your fees might be waived for your children in exchange for your time or you could receive a discount to minimize the expense.

Joining a sports team is a cost-effective way to get your child involved in an activity and allow them to meet new friends and learn new skills.

4. Join a Club at School

Does your child’s school or daycare have any clubs or groups they could join? Some school-run clubs and groups are free or very cheap. I used to participate in a trivia book club called Battle of the Books when I was in elementary school and I don’t even think my parents had to pay a dime for me to join. I just recently signed my son up for Cub Scouts this year and he is already loving it so far.

I did Girl Scouts as a child and I had a blast going camping with the troupe, attending the meetings and events, and meeting new friends. Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts (or Boy Scouts) are great organizations to have your kids join because they learn a ton of new things and will never be bored with the activities. Plus, it’s super affordable to join. I only paid $33 to enroll my son in Cub Scouts and for the rest of this year and all of 2017.

They have trips like camping, visiting museums, going to the pumpkin patch and many other events to look forward do. These groups to participate in fundraisers to raise money for their organization, but the fundraisers are a great way to teach your kids to get involved in the community and give back. Many of the field trips are free or discounted when you join Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts which makes it great for frugal fun.

5. Visit an Apple Orchard or Pumpkin Patch

Speaking of pumpkin patches, don’t forget to drop by one in your area with your kids or even an apple orchard. There are many farms all over the country to consider. Visiting your local patch can provide hours of outdoor fun and entertainment since most locations have rides, games, and activities like corn mazes and crafts. Plus, you can take a ripe pumpkin home or pick fresh apples.

Many pumpkin patches are free or very low cost during the weekdays, but if you can only make it in on the weekends, you can check sites like Living Social or Groupon for deals and discounts.

6. Attend a Free Event

Check your local library and park district to see what free events will be coming up this fall. Maybe there’s a performance, story-time event at the library, or classic movie screening that you can check out without spending any money. Some community centers may have a fall activity guide so you can mark down upcoming events that interest you.

There may be come fall festivals going on in your town, or you could even volunteer with your child in exchange for free admission to an event.

There are literally so many different things you can do with your kids to keep them entertained and involved in their communities during the fall. The best part is that you don’t need to spend a ton of money. That way, you can focus on saving up for the holiday season so you don’t overspend and get into debt.

How do you plan to keep your kids entertained and involved in their communities this fall? Have you started prioritizing holiday savings yet?

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