Happy Kids for Less Part 2Posted on February 28th, 2011 under Wealth of Advice
By Francisco J. Colayco
We continue what Irene Abara shared with me from last week’s issue.
“Painting – I spent less than P100.00 on one trip to the bookstore to get a set of 6 primary color paints and a few brushes. Apart from painting pictures, together we learned to mix the colors we had at hand to produce secondary colors (red mixed with white make pink, etc.). Combining colors and experimenting with them alone is an educational and fun activity in itself which you can do over and over again for a measly amount.
Arts and Crafts – For those who go to the internet, it has a wealth of arts and crafts ideas that are age appropriate and developmentally appropriate. Favor the craft ideas that use recyclable materials and other odds and ends around the house. This will help you three-fold. First to de clutter, teach your kids to care for the environment and to save money on craft supplies. Egg trays make nice caterpillars and milk/juice cartons can be made into trains when connected together.
Music Time – You can download for free several children’s songs from the internet. You’ll be surprised that while some of them are heartwarming and educational, others are silly tunes that will guarantee laughing and unforgettable moments! Just make sure that you are not infringing on any copyrighted material when downloading. Or you can buy some CDs that are on sale frequently.
Reading – You don’t have to be creative to read to your child but good books can be pricey and sourcing them is where you could use some patience and resourcefulness. We enjoy reading and there is a long list of great books for kids. I frequent discount bookstores (Books for Less, Book Sale, etc) and am usually able to find popular books as well as Caldecott Honor books at one fifth the cost when purchased at regular bookstores. Fun character workbooks are also available for school age children beginning to read and write. And guess what’s even better? I wait for them to go on sale, often at 50% off and get the books for one tenth the original retail price. Though, some of them may need some dusting and wiping but who cares? That won’t cost you anything.
Outdoor Play – Several indoor play rooms charge between P170 to P350 an hour and are often located inside the malls. Check for nearby parks that allow your kids to experience “real outdoor” fun instead of inevitably turning them into little mall rats. The sun, wind, trees and birds (which they could feed while there) are free gifts of nature which educate the kids as well.
Along the way, you’ll find that by carrying out these activities, not only do our kids grow and make meaningful discoveries, but we parents are also able to reconnect with our creative side. And who knows? A clever idea might just be born like that of the “happy hermits.” Not only are we saving money, we may just learn how to make it too.”
We have exciting seminars in March to choose from: 1) How to make your Personal Financial Plan, 2) how to Invest and Analyze the Stock Market and 3) Insurance Protection. Check out www.colaycofoundation.com or call 6373731 or 6373741.