Engaged and Educated: Affordable Hobby Ideas for Children

Engaged and Educated: Affordable Hobby Ideas for Children by guest blogger  Emily Graham  of  Mighty Moms. 

It can be hard to find fun, affordable, and beneficial ways to keep your child engaged. Video games, chat rooms, and cartoons are fun, but they don’t promise much in the way of learning or developing wholesome interests. Consider getting your child started in a hobby that could lead to an abiding interest, an activity that can provide an engaging cognitive challenge and produce a strong sense of accomplishment and self-pride. Sometimes, a hobby can be a heaven-sent means of keeping a young person out of trouble. Whatever the reason for starting one, a hobby can even change a young person’s life for the better. Here are some suggestions.

Starter Kits

If you’re unsure of where to start in your search for a hobby, check online retailers for starter kits and hobby essentials. When you’re operating on a budget, you can save money by doing extensive online research and watching for sales and discounts from retailers like Walmart.

Knitting/Crocheting

This is one of the most affordable and enjoyable hobbies for any child, and it can be a great way for young and old to spend time and learn together. All you need is a crochet hook and some yarn to get started. Look for savings and promo codes from Target as you gather materials. No need to spend money on patterns, many of which can be found for free on the internet. Your child will enjoy making items that can be given as birthday or Christmas gifts to friends and family.

Solve a Puzzle

Puzzles are just the thing to keep a young person occupied and learn problem-solving strategies, particularly through crossword puzzles or Sudoku, collections of which can be purchased for no more than $3. Jigsaw puzzles (which usually run around $20) provide tangible evidence of a child’s skill and determination. Once it’s put together, simply apply a little puzzle glue, mount your child’s handiwork and have it framed as a trophy that will elicit proud memories.

Painting and Drawing

Children love to express themselves creatively by drawing and painting, both of which are excellent ways for youngsters to pass their time. It can be a therapeutic means of self-expression, a medium for working out frustrations and anxieties, and an enjoyable way for a child to develop hand-eye and fine motor skills. And it’s an inexpensive hobby — pencils, brushes, paints, and paper are generally inexpensive materials. Check for daily offers and coupons for stores like Amazon on paint supplies and other items that can help a child get started with a hobby.

Music

Musical ability can open up a new world of creative endeavor for a child. Learning to play an instrument is an excellent hobby that boosts cognitive functioning, improves mathematical abilities, and sharpens motor skills. Finding an instrument at affordable prices can be difficult, so watch for online savings options through websites like Honey.

Experimentation

Most children enjoy hobbies that show them how to create things like “edible glass.” What’s more, all your child requires is vegetable oil, food coloring, salt, and water to create globs of lava that move up and down in a glass beaker. Beginner science is an educational and inexpensive hobby, especially if you can use items that you already have lying around the house.

Hobbies are healthy ways for children to use their time and discover fascinating new worlds of discovery. The best part: They don’t need to be expensive endeavors; indeed, many can be enjoyed for under $20. You never know — you might set your child on a life-changing path.

Thanks to Emily for sharing her ideas!

How to Throw Your Child a Fun, Budget-Friendly Birthday Party

How to Throw Your Child a Fun, Budget-Friendly Birthday Party  It’s something children always look forward to — a day all their own! Most children clamor for a birthday party each year to celebrate their big day, but sometimes a party can be hard to pull off without spending a lot. If you want to reserve the bulk of your budget for presents, or money is simply tight, you can still give your little one the party she deserves. Check out these ideas for throwing an easy and fun birthday party at home — all without breaking the bank!

Spend Wisely  While we may want to shoot for the moon when it comes to our children, we also need to be sensible. If planning ahead is your thing, try to to buy supplies well in advance of the party; this can help spread out costs throughout the year. For example, you can usually find discounted party supplies after major holidays, some of which may be themed, though many will be multipurpose. Also, work with what you have on hand. If your child loves soccer, have a soccer-themed party and encourage other children to dress in uniform. Don’t forget to check out bargain stores either. Dollar stores are a great resource for inexpensive party supplies. You can also save a little extra money by emailing your invites rather than sending physical invitations.

Get Creative with Food When it comes to the food, you can save money by supplying it yourself. Schedule the party after lunch but before dinner to avoid having to feed everyone a meal. Instead, get creative with colorful snacks like fruit skewers, homemade dips with pretzels or chips and simple sliced sandwiches. If you’re inviting lots of guests, you may want to skip buying the cake and make it yourself. If you are not the best baker, a few boxes of cake mix can go a long way toward cutting costs, especially when paired with pre-made frosting. Ask a friend who may be better at decorating for help if you’re really worried about presentation, but kids will probably be more excited about eating cake rather than what it looks like.

Plan Your Games If your child’s birthday is during a warmer season, hosting a party at home is a cinch. There are plenty of games kids can play outside and often they will take care of the fun themselves. It’s good, however, to have a few ideas in mind to get the ball rolling. Freeze tag followed by Simon Says can be a fun way for kids to run around. You could even set up your own basic obstacle course using items you already have in the house. If it’s warm enough, you could have a water balloon toss coupled with a sprinkler to give kids a blast while keeping them cool. If there is a little wiggle room in the budget, you can even set up a crafting space outside for kids to make bird houses out of popsicle sticks and glue, or make puppets with lunch bags, markers and some yarn.

In Case of Bad Weather It’s always a good idea to have a plan b in the event of bad weather. Come up with a list of indoor activities that could keep kids occupied and having fun. For example, you could have a scavenger hunt and leave clues around the house with a prize at the end. You can tell stories as a group, having each child take turns to build a tale together. Or you can come up with a craft activity to keep the kids occupied. It only takes a little extra preparation to be ready in case of rain ruining an outdoor party.

With a little planning, and a lot of DIY, you can throw a fun, inexpensive birthday party she’ll remember. Just remember to keep a few contingency plans in mind in case circumstances require a quick birthday party shuffle. The work will be worth it when you see her face light up on the big day.

Thanks to Emily Graham for sharing her great party planning tips with us! Find her at emily@mightymoms.net Mighty Moms

Image Courtesy of Pixabay.com

Holiday Sweets and Treats

It’s the season for celebrating and sharing so we’ve been looking far and wide for the best holiday crafts and sweet treats that everyone will love to make – and eat. We think you’ll love what we found and we’re excited to share with you!  So, we created several holiday-themed Pinterest Boards to organize our favorite ideas and make it easy for you to find creative inspiration for celebrating with style and ease.

Find great ideas for Christmas sweets and treats,  Christmas ornaments, and Christmas crafts for kids and Hannukah sweets and crafts. Enjoy!