Family LIfe

Frugal Springtime Fun With Kids!
by Cyndi Roberts

Spring is here, and that means the kids are going to be ready to play outdoors more. But the time always comes when every mom hears "I'm bored!" Be prepared with these ideas to beat boredom before it begins!

1. Plan and plant a garden a bucket. Children love to watch things grow. Plant several different plants together in one container. You might choose to plant a tomato in with basil or oregano for an Italian themed garden. Or plant marigolds around a tomato plant, and the children will have a pretty flowering plant plus tomatoes to pick.

Take pictures of your 'mini-garden' at different stages of growth. Older children might enjoy writing a gardening journal or making a scrapbook page.

2. Make something fun in the kitchen for lunch and eat outdoors. I doesn't have to be an elaborate meal to be fun. The following recipe is quick and easy and the kids can help!

Quick Grilled Cheese Sandwich
 • 2 slices bread
 • Velveeta or Cheddar cheese (2 slices)
 • Margarine (optional)
Toast bread in toaster. Spread bread with margarine. Place cheese between slices. Microwave on high power 30 to 40 seconds until cheese is melted.

Spread a blanket on the grass and enjoy nature while you enjoy!

3. Fly a kite -- a simple, old-fashioned way to have fun! Older children might even like to make their own kite. Look at: http://www.blueskylark.org/zoo/class.html for tons of info about kites.

Then all you need is a breezy day -- I don't know about other places, but if you live in Texas, that won't be a problem!

4. Blowing bubbles is fun for children of all ages. This recipe for homemade bubbles is all you need to liven up a "ho-hum" afternoon.

Giant Soap Bubbles
 • Cold, clear water
 • Wire coat hanger
 • Glycerin (available at drugstores)
 • Joy or Dawn detergent (these work the best)
 • Bend a coat hanger into a loop.
 • Mix 1/2 cup of Joy or Dawn detergent with 5 cups water.
 • Measure carefully, as this makes a big difference. Stir well.
 • Add two tablespoons of glycerin. This makes more durable bubbles.
Now dip your coat hanger loop into the solution then wave it into the air. (Don't throw away any solution you didn't use - store it for next time. As it "ages", it gets even better!)

5. Have a "Backward Day". All day long, do everything backwards. Wear your clothes backward or inside out, walk backwards, say good night when you get up, eat dessert first.

6. On those days when the children are stuck playing indoors, use this recipe and make homemade stickers:

Mix 2 parts white glue and 1 part vinegar together. Put the kids at the table with old magazines, cards, etc. Let them cut out pictures they like. Then just brush the sticker solution on the back of their pictures, let dry and they're ready to lick and stick!

7. Remember to set aside, everyday, a little quiet time for reading to your children or letting them read their own books. Teaching them to love books and reading is a wonderful gift to give your children.

Cyndi Roberts is the editor of the "1 Frugal Friend 2 Another" bi-weekly newsletter, featuring creative ideas and tips to help you "live the good life...on a budget!" Visit http://www.cynroberts.com to download a free "Recipe Sampler". Subscribe to the newsletter and receive the free e-course "Taming the Monster Grocery Bill".

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