Wednesday, June 24, 2009

7 Cheap Ways to Have Fun

1.     Throw a salon party. Start bathtime a little early and get everyone in the bathroom for hairdo makeovers. Use shampoo to style your children's hair into crazy looks -- then it's into the tub for a scrubdown!

2.     Have a crafty St. Patrick's day. 1) Design thumbprint shamrocks: Dip your child's thumb in green paint, and make three prints close together on white paper. Create a whole field of 'em! 2) Cut a paper plate in half and have kids finger-paint a rainbow on it. Then shape a pot of gold out of construction paper, and tape it to the end of the rainbow.

3.     Free field trip: The Home Depot. This is a toddlers' paradise: There are light switches to flip, doorknobs to lock and unlock, and other gadgets they can play with under your watch.

4.     Check out Choose from hundreds of silly poems and read some out loud to each other (then rate them with the "giggle meter"). Also cool: fill-in-the-blanks poetry and tongue-twister races.

5.     Cook up some laughs. Want a few minutes on the phone without a kid saying "Mommmmy"? Hand your toddler a pot and a ladle, and tell him to make you some different kinds of "soup": alphabet-block soup, toy-car soup, stuffed-animal soup...

6.     Build a marble roller coaster. Take strips of cardboard (cut the edges off boxes), and fold them in half into "V" shapes. Tape them together, then prop them around the living room. Release a marble and see where it goes. (Best for kids over 4.)

7.     Play frisbee golf. Got a warmish day? Pick a few targets in the backyard (bush, tree, lawn chair), and keep track of how many tries it takes for each person to hit the objects with the disc. The player who completes the course with the fewest tries wins.

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