Frugal Family Fun: Simple Ideas for a 'No Spend' Weekend
+ downloadable resource
Since we are a family of five, I genuinely look forward to our weekends together. The weekdays often run at a breakneck pace, especially with homework, extra curricular commitments and long work days to contend with. But with that being said, weekends can come with a pressure of their own: namely what to do when there are 5 people of differing ages and interests.
Whilst I have spoken about our Slow Sunday tradition before, this week I thought I’d focus on ‘No Spend’ Weekend ideas.
For us, family day trips can quickly get extremely expensive so it’s not realistic for us to do something that costs money every single weekend. Just this weekend, we decided to explore a new park and take a picnic along. It was heaps of fun (especially for the children who have been ill so much recently) and we didn’t have to worry about expensive entrance fees.
7 Ideas to Try for a ‘no spend’ weekend
Have a family game night
Pull out all of the board games you own and establish a regular family games night. It's a great way to spend quality time together and bond as a family. Board games also help young children learn important skills such as taking turns and being gracious in defeat - this is something that can take time!
Age appropriate games add to the enjoyment of a family game night. If you have very young children participating, look at the Orchard Toys range (usually available on Amazon). We have several of their games and they’ve been great for getting my 4 year old son involved.
Go for a family hike or bike ride
Now that the weather is warming up, take advantage of the great outdoors and go for a hike or bike ride together. It's a great way to get some exercise and fresh air, and explore your local area.
Research the local parks and nature reserves in your area and try somewhere different each time. We also love child-led walks, where the children choose the direction.
You can download a Spring themed nature treasure hunt below:
Have a picnic in the park
Sometimes even the most ‘run of the mill’ lunch (read sandwiches) can feel extra special when you go outside. Pack a lunch or some snacks and head to your local park for a picnic.
We sometimes have back yard (or roof terrace, in our case) picnics. These are such a lot of fun for my youngest children!
Host a family movie night
Pick a family-friendly movie and create a cosy atmosphere in your living room. You can make some popcorn and other snacks, and enjoy a movie night in.
This is something that we do every Sunday afternoon as a way to relax before the busy week ahead. The children take turns to pick the movie - the only rule is that it needs to be suitable enough for my youngest (aged 4). Common Sense Media is a helpful resource when deciding upon suitable movies.
Have a family craft day
Gather some supplies you already have at home and get crafting. This is a good way of reviewing the resources you have and using up extra stock. Try using items from the recycling bin (such as coffee trays, lids and egg cartons) to make a sculpture.
Do some baking or cooking together
Review the ingredients you already have at home and research recipes that you can make without having to buy more. Just like with the craft supplies, this is an excellent excuse to use up some of the ingredients you have at home.
Banana breads, muffins and cakes usually work well or if you prefer something savoury, a simple pasta bake.
When you get your child to help you, they learn many important educational and life skills too. You can read more about practical life activities here.
Go on a scavenger hunt
Create a scavenger hunt for your family around your home or in your local area. It's a fun way to explore and discover new things together.
You can download the scavenger hunt below, or create your own by taking photographs (or drawing pictures) of the items you have at home.
Your scavenger hunt can be as simple as searching for ‘all of the red toys’ in the play space - for very young children - or an elaborate scavenger hunt with riddles as clues for older children.
What would you add?
I’d love to hear from you, so please add a comment. What do you and your family enjoy doing on ‘no spend’ days?
Do you have a dedicated day (or longer) each month? Or are yours more sporadic?
Download 25 Ideas to try
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Wow, I am really reevaluating our Sundays. This is a great idea to implement.