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4 Weeks of Frugal Family Fun: Green Smoothies, Sidewalk Chalk, Snow Treasure, and a game of Old Maid (Day 6)

We had a very laid back Friday full of lots of frugal family fun. Here’s a little peek into our day:

We made our favorite Green Monster Smoothies.

So good and refreshing — especially after my daily run!

We went outside and played with sidewalk chalk on the deck.

We were hoping that maybe we could make the Fizzy Sidewalk Chalk by spraying the drawings with vinegar as outlined here. But apparently it only fizzes if you make Homemade Sidewalk Chalk Paint with baking soda. So we’ll have to try that idea again sometime soon!

But everyone had fun drawing and spraying, regardless!

While the children played, I read a few chapters of one of our current read-alouds — Snow Treasure. We are loving this book, by the way!

After playing outside, we came in and Kathrynne and I played a rousing game of Old Maid together.

Did you do something fun and frugal as a family today? If you blogged about it, I’d love for you to leave a link to your blog post below. Or, you can just tell us what you did in the comments.

Note: Since the purpose of this series is to encourage you to be intentional about fun in your home this summer, please only link up posts showing pictures/sharing details of fun things you did as a family today (or within the last few days). Posts that do not adhere to these guidelines will be deleted in order to make it fair for those who are putting forth a lot of effort to participate in this challenge.

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  • Sarah says:

    No blog, so thought I’d comment. 🙂 Today me and my 11 month old went to the library for storytime amd to pick up a movie and a book for mommy. We ran into a friend and her toddler and went to the park! Then back at home we filled a little tub with water and toys for sensory. There was a free puppet show at the high school, but forgot it was today…oh well baby had a busy day and konked out when we put her to bed! Love summertime. 🙂

  • Becky says:

    The green monster smoothie looks awesome. I’ve never had it, but my friends LOVE it!

    • Angie says:

      I tried this smoothie and really liked it. I was a little disappointed that my husband didn’t like it. I asked if it was because he could taste the spinach. I tasted a faint bit of spinach on the first sip, but didn’t notice it after that. He said he couldn’t really taste the spinach. He decided the predominate flavor was the peanut butter, and he likes peanut butter, but thinks the idea of drinking it is strange. Anyway, I don’ t have that weird hangup and really liked it.

  • Busy Mom says:

    Out of desperation, we tried to come up with a creative way to make laundry “fun” in order to try to cut down on the piles before the weekend!! It turned out great! Here are the 3 activities we did today… They were very frugal (completely free) and entertained my daughter for a long time!!

  • Jody Susan says:

    That book is amazing.

  • Meredith says:

    We made homemade play-doh. It was a mess but we had fun!

  • Leah says:

    I canNOT believe you’re reading Snow Treasure! I saw the picture and knew it even before you wrote out the title. My favorite childhood book! My older son just found it on the shelf today and I told him we’d start reading it this weekend. Good choice Crystal! 🙂

  • Anne says:

    I have been looking for Snow Treasure my entire adult life. My third grade teacher read it aloud to us twice but I didn’t remember the name. I remembered the book but not the title about 25 years ago and have been searching for it ever since. Thank you!

  • Looks like a lovely day. I’m going to have to try that green monster smoothie!

  • Evie says:

    I have been doing the green monster smoothie as part of my diet routine.. but how do you get your kids to eat it??? My kids look at me like I am the green monster… I replaced the banana’s w. berries today and it took out the green color.. so I may try that. I cannot convince them (or my husband) that it actually taste good!!

    • Crystal says:

      My kids LOVE it, actually. They think it’s cool to eat green — maybe the “monster” in the name helps?

      I made a big deal of it being this really cool smoothie the first time I made it, so I guess that may have helped?!? 🙂

    • Johnlyn says:

      If you don’t add very much spinach to it, it doesn’t actually turn green…maybe slowly start adding it?

      Of course I add blueberries with mine so maybe that’s why? Honestly I had to sneak it in there at first, but I didn’t have the cool “Monster” name!

  • Anna says:

    Snow Treasure is a great book!

  • I have seen a lot of bloggers talk about the green monster smoothie. I have not been brave enough to try it. I love spinach salads, but just can’t seem to take the leap to thinking that it would be good smoothie material.

    • Crystal says:

      You totally should try it! That particular green smoothie recipe is my favorite of all the green smoothie recipes I’ve tried. Doesn’t taste spinach-y at all to me. And my whole family likes it!

  • So glad you mentioned the green smoothies! My husband and I have been drinking them for awhile now. We have even started giving a small amount to the kids when we make it. They seem to really like them so far. Especially with a banana and berries in it.

    • Crystal says:

      We’ve become big green smoothie fans this year — it’s my favorite way to eat spinach! I want to try experimenting with other dark leafy greens soon, too. Do you use the recipe I linked or do you have another favorite recipe?

      • This was actually the first time seeing your recipe. I am anxious to try it soon. We don’t follow a specific recipe but we do use a dark green lettuce, banana and yogurt every time. We also add in other fruit – strawberries, blueberries, peaches, or mixed fruit. For lettuce, our favorites are spinach, green leaf, or romaine. Tried kale but really didn’t care for it.

        • lyss says:

          I guess it’s all about personal taste preference. I actually prefer kale over spinach in smoothies. Gonna try beets and beet greens in a smoothie this week… we’ll see how that goes! : )

  • Sarah says:

    Is snow treasure the book about that boy (Peter) and his friends during WW2? I remember a read aloud book by the same name from a few years ago for my home school curriculum. And boy, you really pack in the spinach for your smoothie!

  • I love the idea of the fizzing sidewalk chalk. Little bit loves his sidewalk chalk (and often paints Daisy blue with it). We had kind of a laid back Friday, too. I’m really glad we haven’t topped 100 degrees yet, but the forecasters say that next week we will!

  • Tara G. says:

    We like Snow Treasure, too! 🙂 My youngest calls Old Maid the Granny game! ha!

  • Mary Ellen says:

    We made homemade playdough outside.
    1/2 cup salt
    1 cup flour
    1/2 cup water. Mix and play!

  • Looks like you had a very fun day Crystal!

  • We made some bouncy balls. The kids had fun mixing them up.

    We also made some rhubarb jam. This is our first time making it but it is really good. Next year we may have to grow more rhubarb.

    We want to make some sidewalk chalk paint soon. I will have to get the Snow Treasure book. We need a new read aloud for my son. Looks like everyone had fun at your house.

  • Lisa says:

    My kids and I went geocaching today! Has anyone tried this before? It’s so much fun and even my 3 year old has gotten excited about the “treasure hunt”! I have an app on my phone that shows how to get to each place making the cost of this fun adventure $10 plus gas for the whole summer! There are enough within walking distance to keep us busy for awhile!

  • Lee Ann says:

    Thank you so much for the book suggestions! I just ordered this from the library. Sounds like a real classic that I somehow missed out on! Looking forward to sharing it with my girls.

  • Vanessa says:

    We played musical chairs,hotpotato and ring around the rosie.Later we played with playdough and biscuit dough.We had a blast.

  • Kate says:

    We pulled out the two slip & slides, put them end-to-end and the kids (10 and 13) had a great time.

  • I am so glad you mentioned the book – I read it as a child and LOVED it, but couldn’t remember the title, just the story. Now I can get it so I can read it to my children (eventually). Thank you!

  • tiffany says:

    Crystal, what’s the red stuff in the jar in the smoothie picture?

  • Jammie says:

    Love the smoothies, I make them a little different, but they are Hulk smoothies at out house. We add protien powder and no peanut butter. They are so good.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I loved Old Maid when I was a kid! 🙂 I was wondering, how do you teach your children to play fair during games? I am a nanny and I have a hard time with the oldest child I care for, who prefers to cheat and will throw a tantrum if he is not allowed to win.

    • Crystal says:

      Well, I’m not sure that I have any brilliant suggestions for you, but we do try to start teaching character and life lessons from the time they are young… but we’re still a work in progress here.

      Maybe some other more experienced moms have some great suggestions?

    • Alicia says:


      What we normally try to focus on at our home is logical consequences. They really seem to work well for us but maybe not for everyone.

      If one of my kids cheated whenever we played a game or threw a tantrum if he lost, then he would not be allowed to play games anymore for awhile. Later if he can show that he can play fairly, then he would be allowed to play games with the family again. It is not fair to the other kids who are playing nice and respectfully.

      We belive that real life consequences should start young, and that it saves the child from experiencing bigger “real life” consequences later as adults.

      My husband and I have learned mostly from the many mistakes we have made and are still learning!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Crystal and Alicia! I do have to work within the children’s parents’ discipline parameters, but the more I think about it, there is nothing stopping me from talking with this boy about being a good sport, teaching him how to shake hands with his brother and say “good game,” and letting him know it is NOT okay to move his piece to whatever square he chooses.

  • heather says:

    love your photos in this one. esp. the perspective of the one of you reading the book!

  • Robin says:

    I recently cleaned out our overflowing game cupboard. We decided it would be fun to play a different game every day or two. We just started, but we’ve played Yahtzee, Monopoly, Dominoes, Upwords, Sorry!, and Life. It’s been tons of fun and absolutely free! Our autistic son who hardly ever plays games joined us for Dominoes and we all had a fabulous time.

  • Amie says:

    My oldest son just turned four so I decided he was old enough to play Old Maid and Go Fish. I had a hard time locating the cards, but eventually found them at Kmart marked down to 95 cents each. He had a blast and his little brother who just turned 2 wants to play, too. I told my oldest it was okay to make up his own rules so his little brother can play. They love it. We also do story time at the library, play in the kiddie pool, t-ball, play doh, lots of read alouds, bubbles, water fights, and the list goes on. There are just so many fun, frugal things that can be done. We were planning a back yard picnic, but my four year-old had to go to the pediatrician today 🙁 . We got home too late to go outside and he suggested we have the picnic inside. I brought out a blanket and we had a picnic in the living room. They loved it.

  • Mary says:

    The fizzy chalk is such a neat idea. I’m going to try this soon by just dipping the sidewalk chalk into baking soda before (and while) the kids draw with it. Soda is so reactive, I’m thinking that might be enough to cause it to fizz when sprayed with the vinegar?!?

  • Jody says:

    We had a week of frugal and fun activities!
    Monday night, the husband and son went hiking with their Scout troop–other than initial registration fee paid last fall–FREE.
    Tuesday morning, our local library hosted a clown/magic act for kids. FREE–followed by checking out books at the library. The son even scored some free prizes with the library’s summer reading program–free lunch at Sonic, free personal pan pizza at Pizza Hut, free pass to the Zoo, etc.
    Wednesday night–the local Municipal Band played a free concert in the park. We take advantage of these concerts throughout the month of June and July.
    Friday night–we crewed a hot air balloon for our community’s hot air balloon races. A whole evening of fun for FREE. Here’s the story:

  • We had a fun family day visiting good friends and swimming in their pool – really a great, relaxing weekend!

  • Alicia says:

    My home helper that comes to help out once a week was gracious enough to make Flubber with my kids last Tuesday. They have been playing with it EVERY DAY since. They love that stuff and even argue over it.
    Thanks for that great idea. I have to admit that I have actually not sat down and played with the flubber with them. I have that on my agenda today!
    We bought toothpicks and marshmallows and can’t wait to try that activity as well.

  • Amy Hull says:

    Looks like fun! And, do I see Shaklee bottles? Have you tried their products and do you like them? My aunt sells it so she is always giving us stuff for birthdays and holidays and wanting me to sell it! :O)

    • Crystal says:

      We got some Basic H a few years ago — and we still have some of the concentrate. It’s a great deal, especially if you don’t like to mess with making your own cleaners.

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