Cheap Creativity- Getcha Some

19 Jan

No matter what the economy looks like from where you stand, we are always happy to save a few hard-earned dollars. 

photo from: fabandfru.com

If you have children you are always looking for ways you can easily and inexpensively educate and entertain them.  In this blog I want to suggest a few ideas that I found while surfing around and too from recalling my past childhood experiences.  You may consider using them to spark creativity and keep the little ones busy at the same time.

I have seen cardboard playhouses like the one pictured for upwards of $80.00.  Maybe you can find one for less but, the point is that you can replicate this for almost nothing and surely not pay the same price if you are wanting to save money.  A great idea can be to watch the neighborhood on recycle day for large discarded boxes and ask if they can be up-cycled for your project.  Also, a purchase at a shipping/moving store will provide the larger boxes at a fraction of the cost of the original designed cardboard home.  Children will certainly wear and tear on this item and so it would be worth it not to have to spend the higher amount for something that can and will be destroyed at some point. 

Alternatives to saving on boxes and still creating a fort of sorts is a suggestion that I recall doing as a child.  Now-a-days we do not see full length clothes lines in back yards but, when we had one more often than not a few sheets were flung over the wires and made into an instant tent to plan under.  Gone are not the days however, that one can create a tent inside the house by merely draping sheets over furniture and anchor the ends with chair cushions and pillows.  Bring in the comforts of home like a sleeping bag, snacks and a few toys and bam…instant happiness for a while.  And that is FREE!

I also used to make my own paper dolls.  I cut out a cardboard figure (doll),  designed the clothing and accessories and colored it as well.  I made sure to include the “tabs” which were cut around to be used to fold over the figure as to keep the clothing it in tact upon the figure.  I don’t think there are paper dolls in our stores anymore.  So, wow…you could be the one that seemingly invents it all over again since it is not a common activity.

Since I am on a roll with recalling childhood creative activities…I also thought of a game that my mother’s aunt played with us.  We called it  “Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button”.  Basicly, it is a hide and seek game with a button.  Everyone playing would cover their eyes  except the one person who would hide the button  They were the one also informing the others if they were “cold” (nowhere near the button location), “warm” (closer to the location of the button), “hot” and “burning hot” when you were very near finding the button.  Once the button was found, that person was the one who was allowed to hide the button for the others, and the game continued.

Collect various empty boxes from your kitchen use for a month or so to gain a great collection of grocery store items to be used as purchase at a make-believe store.  I remember making my own monies  (bills and coins) to also be used as exchange.  Make sure to save those paper bags for your little ones to fill from their imaginary shopping sprees.

Create a obstcyle course, have a dance competition, hold an olympic ceremony, set-up a mini school, make your own pages for a cookbook/colorbook,  line the bottom half of a hallway wall (chair rail height) and allow your artist to create on that paper.  I would do this and say: “Paper Only” as the directions to draw only on the paper not on the walls.  It worked with my kids they listened very well.   Cultivate Your Young Artist.

 

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