Wednesday, January 27, 2016

List: Ten cheapskate date ideas for quality time with you and your young child.

It's no secret that my husband and I are constantly on the go trying to make a decent income.  We both work long days, my hubby starting at the crack of down and me finishing late into the evening.  I've also started the newest evil of my life:  working from home on days off.

While it is this very mindset that allows us to support our family, it requires sacrifice.  One of the many things we sacrifice is having sincere, genuine family time on a regular basis.  That being said, I try to make Saturday afternoons a fun time for my little mushy and I.  While my husband is continuing to hustle, I feel the need to make these afternoons a little special.

how to spend quality time with your kids on a budget

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Ten ideas to spend quality time with your kids.

1.  Have a home karaoke contest.
Line up their favorite dolls as the judges and bust out your karaoke machine.  Let the best man win!  Our favorite karaoke machine is currently this one because it makes you feel famous.  It's amazing how our favorite stuffed Sponge Bob never likes my take on Elsa's Let it Go!

2.  Visit local museums.
 We're fortunate enough to have many local museums that are free of charge and lots of fun for kids!  I'm all for any type of activity that stimulates my babies' brains.  It's all about intellect.  Find a local place that's filled with history and enjoy the quality time with your child as they're learning.
3.  Set up a scavenger hunt.
Print out a few pictures and hide them around your home.  Make them lead to a small surprise.  This quality time is fun for both of you and it makes things like a new toothbrush actually exciting!

4.  Bake goodies.
You add the ingredients and your toddler can mix them all together.  Then, you both can eat them!  If you're rocking healthy swaps like me, make something fun and healthy like granola bars.  

Idea:  We have this kid's cookbook that my little girl LOVES, especially when she puts on a "cooking show".  A cooking show is a great way to spend quality time, especially when you get to watch them years later.

5.  Visit your local library for free activities.
They always have fun things going on from reading time, to crafts, all the way to puppet shows.  We love to spend a date at the library when Disney princesses come to visit and read us a story.  Take a peek at their calendar and you'll be surprised with what they have to offer.

6.  Visit a dog park.
You don't need a dog to visit a dog park!  Your toddler will love to run, play, and talk to the puppies.  Our local dog park even has a trail that leads to a beach just for the pooches.  How fun is that?!

7.  Prepare a show.
Make a simple show using toys and household objects as props.  Then perform it on camera!  You'll be surprised to see how much your toddler LOVES to see themselves on video.  

Idea:  My daughter loves to use puppet show theater to put on shows for daddy when he gets home.  Like the cooking show, this quality time with your child will last forever as you replay your favorite memories.
8.  Make a homemade soup.
You cut the ingredients, your toddler puts them into the pot, and then you all eat dinner as a family.  Fun and productive sounds like a double win to me!  My mushy even made up a soup song.  

9.  Make a garden.
  This could be a simple herb plant to sit on your windowsill, or a full out, hardcore garden.  My brother and I have such great childhood memories spending quality time like this with our father.

10.  Tell camping stories.
Shut off the lights, turn on a flashlight, huddle together, and make up spooky stories.  

Idea:  For the ultimate date, light up the fire pit and make s'mores as you tell the ghostly tales.  My kid's stories are always the same "Once a upon time, there was a not nice MONKEY..."

What's your child's favorite bonding time?


  1. haha oh you should so tape the karaoke contest and put it on youtube. Playing with the pups at the dog park is always fun too.

  2. Cute ideas. I don't have any toddlers but I've done some of these things with my nephews. :)

  3. When my son was little I loved to travel with him. Since my husband was always working, Mike and I would go off on little trips by ourselves. We sang songs and laughed. Best times ever!

  4. More like SpongeSimon Cowell

  5. as long as you don't just put her in front of the telly like most parents nowadays would do :)

  6. This is super cute and full of great ideas! In fact, I would love to do a lot of this stuff even without a toddler, ha. I think the soup one is a great idea. I have the fondest memories of cooking with adults when I was really little. it's such a nice activity and with such a nice eating date after!


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