I know you see it. The proud moms and dads who love getting a shot of themselves at their kids’ practices, or even those big wins every weekend and the glorious ceremonies to follow. It can make you feel a bit overwhelmed and undervalued as a parent if you’re not able to afford the extracurricular activities, but what if you could?
Or maybe, you just don’t have the time to get your kids there. Or, maybe you won’t be able to pick them up on time. Or maybe you work on the weekends. Whatever the case, there are so many extracurricular activities to keep your child busy after school and you, free from worry or concern.
Join A Local Team Instead Of An All-Star Team
Extra curricular activity prices have sky-rocketed and it may not be feasible for your budget to dish out thousands of dollars per season, per child. Luckily, there are organizations like the YMCA and recreational teams that charge far lower prices than the all-star teams. Most of these organizations can be found closer to home as well, making it easier to commute.
Rent An Instrument From A Music Store
Raising a musical genius can be worth the investments later on down the road, but what if you just can’t fork out the cash? Well, check out your local music store and rent an instrument. Purchasing gently used music books is cheaper than paying close to a hundred dollars an hour for one-on-one tutoring and you can even find some really cool YouTube channels that cover tutorials on a variety of instruments.
Investing in a new instrument that your child can have and develop skills with, over the years to come is definitely worth it!
Cook With Your Child As Often As Possible
Cooking is something you have to do regardless, so why not let your kids join in? Cooking can be a great alternative to scouting and clubs that costs thousands of dollars a year in travel expenses and uniform fees.
There are also free sources for your child to learn how to cook on their own (if they’re old enough). If not, grab a cook book or search ideas on the internet and watch the magic happen over time. After all, there’s nothing better than having your own little personal chef.
Host A Yard Sale
Teamwork and accountability doesn’t just come in the form of teams, it can be built at home, too. Another great alternative to scouting is hosting a weekend yard sale. Scouts and sports team alike host frequent fundraisers for uniform fees, competition costs and travel fees, so why not plan something fun of your own? The money you earn can go towards a new toy, or a small trip over the weekend – while also building communication skills you would during a team fundraiser.
Check With Your Local Library
Libraries offer an array of free activities during after school hours such as drama clubs, Lego nights, computer lessons, coding lessons and so much more. It’s a nice way for your kids to get a taste of different activities on a weekly basis and costs nothing to you.
There are so many tutorials and programs that allow your child to learn from the comfort of their home. This includes dance, music, coding, engineering and so much more. By learning from home, you don’t have to worry about the cost of gas, or even if you’ll have to get your child to and from. You can even make it fun for your child and their friends, by inviting them over while your child engages in their lesson.
Have Art Supplies On Demand
The point of involving our kids in extra curricular activities is to help them express themselves outside of the traditional classroom. Having art supplies like paint, colored pencils, crayons and markers at your child’s disposal can help them be creative as much as possible. Investing into an easel and craft paper won’t cost you much and your child can create away!
Check With Your Local Craft Store
Stores like Home Depot, Hobby Lobby and Michaels offer free (or cheap) specialty classes on a weekly basis. They even offer weekend classes geared towards children that cover topics like gardening, sewing, jewelry making, and woodworking.
These are all simple and mainly cheap, extra-curricular activity alternatives when you don’t have the time or the money. Save yourself some guilt and know that you can still give your child the best things in life by providing your time and you genuine love. Pick up an instrument and learn it with them, bake a cool dessert once a week, or go on a family hike or bike ride on the weekends and they won’t know the difference! Raising a family is teamwork within itself and there’s so much that can be learned at home.
Here’s to a successful school year!