It’s time to reinvent family date night with a budget family night. It doesn’t have to be expensive — it just has to be fun but cheap!
With the economy suffering, and most people finding it harder than ever to make ends meet, keeping the kids entertained isn’t always easy.
Whether your kids are young or well into their teens, they’ll often turn to you for ways to be entertained.
And I’ll bet you aren’t getting out for as many date nights as you used to, either.
Be sure to check out our other fun family-friendly kid activities and crafts!
Budget Family Night: 6 Cheap But Fun Ideas
Games are some of the best sources of fun for the whole family.
Board games are an excellent example.
If you’ve got any board games lying around, get them out and give them a whirl.
Games like these encourage interaction between family members and help with bonding, which we often find ourselves doing too little of these days.
Apart from board games, other alternatives include card games – cards are readily available and cheap to get hold of.
If you don’t know any good card games, it’s also easy to find the rules for some on the internet) and activities like charades.
Family games are great for children of all ages – even teenagers will often take part (with a bit of resistance to begin with!)
Kids sometimes moan about board games being “boring,” but I have yet to have a night where we get the game going and we don’t all have a great time.
To make the games interesting, feel free to add in your own twist on the rules — better yet, let the kids pick a fun rule for the evening.
Be inventive! Try anytime someone roles a 6, you have to run around the table once.
Build Camps or Forts
For younger kids, something fun to do is building indoor camps.
I’m not talking about the ones you pull together in five minutes, either.
Oh no! It’s time to get the big guns out!
Get some clothes pegs, some strings and some bed sheets and you can help your kids build their own bedroom camp.
Take over a big corner of the room!
Once built, kids will often play in these for hours.
You can have story time in the fort or even have a picnic dinner there!
Many kids also love to sleep over in their own home-built camp. Why not turn it into a whole night?
Arts And Crafts
This is a classic, but it’s a great option because arts and crafts can be really cheap.
And there are so many options, it’s hard for arts and crafts to be boring.
Why not go on a walk with your kids and get them to collect interesting sticks, stones, shells, feathers etc.
Once home, you can get them to string them together to form hanging ornaments, or use them to decorate home-made picture frames and so on.
Another classic, ball games are great when the weather is good.
And it’s so easy to overlook just having a great game of catch.
Balls are cheap, and generally provide a lot of entertainment, as well as giving kids (including teenagers) a chance to blow off steam, use up energy and get some exercise all at once.
Make the game even more interesting and have the kids create their own game.
Last time, my kids designated two trees as bases and created their own version of wiffle ball.
Invite Friends Round
Turn the evening into a “double date” with another family.
But don’t let the kids run off while the grown ups chat.
Make the evening interactive with the kids.
Play a game of charades against each other — kids versus adults!
Or have a talent contest — mom against dads and let the kids be the judges.
And if you really want to make the most of the opportunity, why not let your kids plan the dinner and bring something along to eat they made themselves?
Some kids will be more resilient to this idea than others, but many kids enjoy cooking once they get started.
So why not try and teach your kids a bit about cooking?
Make it fun for them in the process, and they’ll love it.
Pizzas are a great option as kids can decorate them any way they wish with the ingredients you’re using.
We make our own pizzas at least every other week because the kids can put on their own sauce, cheese and toppings.
Then they can check the oven as their creation bakes!
Having a fun family night doesn’t have to be expensive.
With just a little forethought, you can easily pull together a budget-friendly family night that everyone enjoys.