Join my email list and get FREE ACCESS to the MSM Freebie Library, including my top printables & eBooks.

Category: Free Kids Activities

IKEA: “Make Room for Celebration” Event on November 11-12, 2017

IKEA will be holding a “Make Room for Celebration” Event from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on November 11-12, 2017!

You’ll be able to enjoy exclusive savings offers and have fun with hands-on workshops and activities. Be sure to stop by early for great giveaways, too.

You can also get $25 off your purchase of $150 or more with this coupon. Valid November 11-December 24, 2017.

Frugal Family Fun… When You Can’t Afford a Vacation

Guest post from Deanna of From this Kitchen Table

Some years, the budget doesn’t allow for even a short trip let alone the vacation you’ve always dreamed of taking your kids on.

It might be easy to feel mom guilt over not being able to give your kids that trip – but there’s no reason to!!!

Instead, focus on the areas you CAN have fun as a family… on a budget!

If your children are young like mine, you can easily find lots of ways to have fun without going anywhere. In fact, if you are excited about the awesome year you are going to have staying home, it will rub off on your kids. If you are down and upset about not going on vacation, that attitude will rub off on them too.

Here are four ways you can have fun with your family on a budget this year:

1. Enjoy the Little Things

Please, don’t let the little things pass over you. Life is made up of way more small, mundane moments than it is big, fancy, elaborate ones. Take the time to slow down and enjoy what the day to day brings.

  • Celebrate small victories with your kids: make a big deal out of the first lost tooth, learning to ride a bike, finishing a list of books, memorizing school facts or Bible verses. Don’t forget you can celebrate family victories as well. When you pay off that debt or reach that savings goal, make a cake and have a little party.
  • Go on lots of evening walks and bike rides.
  • Start little traditions that don’t cost much: Saturday morning pancakes, celebration plate, last day of school ice cream, make up your own holiday, birthday streamers etc.
  • Let your kids work along with you as you cook and do chores.

2. Watch for Free Local Events

Find where your local community (and surrounding areas) posts upcoming events! I don’t live in a large town, but since I’m always on the lookout for free events, we are often finding really affordable things to do as a family.

Some ideas for where to check for events:

  • Local community Facebook groups
  • Chamber of Commerce or your city’s Facebook page
  • Local business pages
  • Flyers at the library
  • Talk to friends that have lived there longer than you

Twice a year, a children’s museum in a neighboring town has a “get in with a canned good donation day”.

One night, our local rodeo has family night and community appreciation night – kids get in free and there is a free BBQ supper.

Recently, a small local museum was celebrating their 10-year anniversary with free admission, giveaways, and refreshments.

You get the idea! I have a feeling you will be surprised how many freebie events you can find near you!

3. Watch for National Promotions

Our town is small enough we don’t have many of the places that do these things, but if you live in a larger area watch for events like:

These are a few promotions I’ve seen over the years. If you live in a well populated area, I’m sure there are many other promotions to partake in.

4. Build Community

Having friends or extended family to do life with is a great way to have fun on a budget and can make those little moments more special.

If it’s been a long week with nothing going on and your kids are going stir crazy, being able to call someone up and plan a simple get together is a great way to make a memory. My kids love spending time with their friends, grandparents, uncles, and aunts.

Here are some ideas:

  • Play dates at the park
  • Inviting someone over for spaghetti or soup (both affordable and easy meals)
  • An evening of dessert and water balloons with friends
  • Meeting up with another family at the free museum day

All easy and cheap ways to excite your kids and have fun as a family.

If you are feeling stressed about not being able to have fun with your family because of financial restraints or goals, hopefully you are able to let that pressure go.

Instead, I encourage you to embrace the season you are in and to even look forward to celebrating and having fun doing all the little things you might otherwise have overlooked.

How do you stay in the loop on free events? What are your favorite budget-friendly ways to have fun as a family?

Deanna writes about real life homemaking on less at From this Kitchen Table. She’s passionate about helping moms learn how to embrace living on less and thrive right where they are. She’s married, has 3 young children, loves dark chocolate, reading, running, & cooking, and gets excited about saving money.

photo source

DIY Valentine’s Day Slime

This DIY Valentine's Day Slime is such a fun gift idea! And it's SUPER easy for kids to make!

Looking for a fun and unique Valentine’s Day gift to give out? How about Valentine’s Day Slime?

Slime is so easy and fun to make — and there are hundreds of variations for it! Yesterday, my daughter Kaitlynn and I gave you the step-by-step instructions on how to make it. Today, we’re back with some ideas on how to package it to gift it for Valentine’s Day.

Like I said yesterday, slime is taking the grade school world by storm. But I don’t think slime is just for kids. I love playing with it, too.

Making slime and playing with it is a fun — and pretty frugal — activity that you can do with your kids. And it’s such a fun gift to give to others. Kaitlynn has given it to many friends at school in her class (4th grade).

The funny thing is, the older kids in Kathrynne’s class (6th grade) have been asking if she’d make some for them and they’d pay her for it! So she ended up starting a little “business” selling it for $2 per container — made to order!

(She’s definitely quite the little entrepreneur! She buys all of the supplies herself, prices out where to get the best deals, and then figures out the cost per container so that she makes sure she is turning a profit!)

To make the slime, refer to my post here for the step-by-step instructions and pictures (or watch the video below where Kaitlynn shows you how to make it). For Valentine’s Day slime, use red or pink food coloring. You can knead in glitter or hearts to it, too, for extra bling.

Then package it in airtight containers. You could use plastic containers shown above (we got ours from Amazon) or ziptop plastic bags.

We went to the Dollar Section at Target and found all sorts of fun decorations to package up the slime. You could also check the dollar store — one of my favorite places to get really inexpensive gift packaging, gift wrap, and gift tags.

Free Printable Slime Valentine’s Day Tags

I went and looked for some free printable Valentine’s slime tags and the internet didn’t fail me. Here are three of my favorites…

Slime Yours (free printable tag) from Twin Dragonfly Designs

Have a Gooed Valentine’s Day (free printable tag) from The Gunny Sack

Will You Be My Valen-Slime? (free printable tag) from Skip to My Lou

If you like the slime idea, but don’t want to mess with making it yourself, we found these cute Valentines in the dollar section at Target — which my kids were so excited about (they tore into them before I could get a picture for this post, as evidenced above!)

8 Free and Frugal Activities for Children

activities for children

Guest post from Aileen of Aileen Cooks

When we made the decision for me to stay home with our kids, we knew we would need to cut corners. Staying home meant more quality time for our kids and a better balance for our family. It also meant fewer funds for extras.

Not only have I learned to cut corners by making my own version of expensive items, I have learned about some great resources for free and inexpensive activities to do with your kids.

Being on a budget does not mean you have to stay at home!

1. The Library

The library is not just for books and storytime (which are great). Our local library hosts all kinds of events including live entertainment (jugglers, puppet shows, drum circles, etc.), weekly play times, a new mom’s group, crafting programs, and weekly movies.

Our library also offers the Discover & Go Program which allows us to visit museums for free or at a discounted rate.

2. Splash Pads

Splash pads are getting more popular. They are basically playgrounds that spray water so you and your children can cool off during those hot summer months. It’s worth it to ask around and see if there are any free splash pads available in your city.


Find a Mom’s Group through My mom’s group has been a lifesaver… and most events are free.

My kids and I have made some wonderful friends through our group. I get out at least once per week and get to connect with adults while my kids enjoy the company of their friends. It’s win-win!

4. $1 Summer Movies

Both Regal and Cinemark theaters offer $1 summer movie showings. They are usually the first showing of the day and are a fun outing — even for little kids.

5. Kids’ Building Workshops

Both Lowe’s and Home Depot offer free building workshops to kids. They suggest this for kids ages 5+, but I have taken my 3-year-old with no problem.

We haven’t been to the Lowe’s workshop, but the Home Depot workshop provides a free apron for each kid and pin for each project they complete.

6. Free Bowling

Kids can bowl two free games per day at select bowling centers (only during the summer). You can search for a participating bowling alley at

7. Regional & State Parks

Check to see if your local parks offer any free classes or events for kids. Ours offers free toddler hikes and nature classes.

8. The YMCA

If you have a local YMCA, I highly recommend their kid’s sports classes. I’ve found their prices to be quite affordable price — and you might even be eligible for a scholarship.

What are your favorite free and frugal kids activities? 

Aileen is a stay at home mom of two living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She blogs at Aileen Cooks where she shares family-friendly recipes, tips on cooking with kids, and money-saving tips.

photo source