Friday, October 14, 2011

Frugal Friday: 10 Wallet Friendly Ways to Beat Boredom In the Fall

Hi! Today I have a special guest blogger! Kathleen Thomas, of Primrose Schools, is sharing with us some great, frugal, family fun, Fall activities! Thank you, Kathleen!

My 6 year old's Jack-O-Lantern Drawing
10 Wallet Friendly Ways to Beat Boredom In the Fall
Article submitted by Kathleen Thomas on behalf of Primrose Schools

As summer gives way to the blustery days of autumn, children can find themselves bereft of fun activities. The pool is too cold, the community programs have come to an end, and there is little in the way of mental stimulation to prepare them for the coming day care or school year.

It is critical to keep your child's mind re-focused as they recover from a long and exhausting summer. One good method is to use the calendar to your advantage. As autumn approaches, so do events that cater to fun and creativity such as Halloween.

With a little creativity, Halloween can provide fun and enjoyment beyond the usual candy hording. Even better, many of these ideas can be done a tight budget, giving you more leeway for the more expensive winter holidays. The following are ten wallet friendly ways to beat boredom in the fall:

1. Make Halloween Art - With just some basic art supplies such as glue, construction paper, and child safe scissors, you can create fun Halloween art to energize their creative juices. To add a little spontaneity, you can put the names of various monsters into a jar, and whatever name they pull out is what they have to create.

2. Spooky Stories - Halloween provides the perfect atmosphere to tell scary but age appropriate stories to children. Reading them stories about various ghosts and goblins could give them inspiration for choosing a costume. Having knowledge about the monster they wish to portray will add and extra layer of depth to their Halloween experience.

3. Halloween theater - Sometimes reading a story isn't enough to properly bring it to life. If there's a spooky story the children enjoy, try acting it out. Scour through your old clothing and bedsheets to fashion out suitable costumes for the performance. Sound effects can be done with old pots and wooden spoons, or simply playing a spooky track off the internet. Remember to record the event for later prosperity and teenage embarrassment.

4. House Decorations - Christmas isn't the only time of the year for decorations. Halloween allows families to use their house as a canvas for some ghoulish and haunting art. Let children swath the fireplace with fake cobwebs and their plastic, eight-legged spinners, or tape ominous bats to the window.

5. Halloween cookies - Baking and cooking is always more exciting when you have a theme. Make a batch of Halloween cookies or pumpkin pie in honor of the day. The children will be motivated by the promise of sweets while they inadvertently learn how to measure, follow directions, and use basic math.

6. Design a Jack-o'Lantern - As small children should not be allowed near cutting tools, another way to keep them involved in the pumpkin carving process is to have them design the look of the Jack-o'-Lantern. Seeing their artistic blueprint come to life will delight them considerably.

7. Halloween Scrapbook - A fun way to tie together past and present Halloweens is to keep a scrapbook. Have everyone in the family contribute a small memento, photograph, or drawing that encapsulates the moment. Children of all ages enjoy the nostalgia of looking back through old memories and re-piecing the stories behind each item.

8. Camping Out - Telling scary stories are even more exhilarating when done by a campfire. Moreover, since the family will be sleeping in the same tent, there are no worries about any nightmares or carryover. Pitch a tent in the backyard and set up a campsite.

9. Halloween Scavenger Hunt - Halloween doesn't have to be regulated to just a nighttime activity. Prior to trick-or-treating, you can organize a fun scavenger hunt for a cornucopia of Halloween themed items. Adding variety to the staid Halloween routine can keep their imagination occupied throughout the day.

10. Plan an Event - Many families like to enhance old Halloween traditions by providing a little entertainment for the neighborhood children. Putting together a Haunted House can be a great way to involve the kids in the creative process. Decide on a theme and assign roles for each family member.

The most important thing to remember when organizing various Halloween activities is the age of your children. Boredom sets in with children when activities are either too simple or too advanced to maintain their attention. While it's important to provide them with a challenge to prepare them for the year ahead, difficult tasks can be frustrating. However, if activities are centered around individual creativity and imagination, a child will be free to express themselves without fear of making a mistake. Using these tips as an example, you can plan a fun and creative Halloween for the whole family.

Tootsie Pop Ghosts that my 4 year old, 6 year old, and I made.


Lindsay said...

These are great Fall activities! Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm following you back now.

Jenna said...

I never thought of having kids make cookies and decor for Halloween. You're right, it's not just for Christmas! My parents used to do a junk food dinner once a year around this time. We could eat whatever we wanted. We always picked ice cream and candy. They always picked veggies :) Then we ate it picnic style on a blanket on the floor!


Smart Cents Review said...

Lindsay, Thanks for stopping by & following!

Smart Cents Review said...

Jenna, that sounds like so much fun! My kids would LOVE a junk food dinner! :-)

Elizabeth Owens said...

I am glad I found you in a blog hop :) I love the cookie one (maybe because I LOVE sweets?)
Hopefully you have time to follow me back? Thanks

Krissy said...

I love the Halloween and fall seasons because there is so much to do! We do crafts, decorate, bake and it's just so much fun :)

I'm your newest follower from Social Parade on Friday. :) Hopefully you can visit back and follow as well! Have a great weekend!

Krissy @ Mommy Miscellaneous

Smart Cents Review said...

Hi Krissy! Thanks for stopping by and following! I love Halloween, too! I think making the kids' costumes & seeing them all dressed up is my favorite part! :-)

Smart Cents Review said...

Elizabeth, I'm so sorry I missed your post! I don't know how that happened!
Thanks for stopping by and following.
And I'm with you! I LOVE sweets! :-)

Bargain GAB said...

What great ideas! I'm always looking for frugal ideas to do with two preschoolers - thanks! I'm a new follower from MBC - I'd love a follow back.

Smart Cents Review said...

Bargin Gab, thanks for stopping by and following! I will return the follow! :-)

Judy said...

I love decorating for's so easy to make your own decor without breaking the bank! Thanks for stopping by my blog and following. I am now following you back and hope you have a great week :)

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