Making family day “priceless”

Toronto ON – In Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan, February 20 is a statutory holiday known as Family Day. But any day can be family day; a day when parents are able to spend quality time with their children. Some people believe that to show their children how much they love them they need to spend money on activities. Perhaps there are better lessons to be learned on spending and saving.

“If you want to spend money on a family day outing make sure you have budgeted for the expense and include your children in the planning process,” says Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc. “Give them the opportunity to plan the activity and learn how much it costs for the family to go to the movies or skiing or to a restaurant for lunch.”

You can also offer them alternatives that don’t cost a cent and see if you can wet their taste buds. “Let them decide how much, if any, of the budget they want to spend and reward your children for any choices they make that save the family money,” continues Schwartz.

Here’s a list of inexpensive ways to have fun:

DIY sled
Can’t find your toboggan? Need a new use for your now-obsolete garbage can lid? Wipe off the lid and turn it into a sled; follow the directions on eHow. Safety first – don’t forget the helmets.

Build a snow fort
Remember when snow was fun? Anyone can build a snow fort, but it takes skill to build a cool one. Check out the instructions on this blog. (Or, if you’d rather stick to indoors activities or the weather isn’t working out, make that a couch fort.)

Create musical instruments – and play them
Your homemade band won’t be limited to banging on pots and pans. And who knows, you may have a budding Beethoven or Ringo Star on your hands. Just follow the instructions here.

Bake something
The goal: To make something with what you’ve already got, without burning down the house. Keep it simple, like sugar cookies or brownies. Look for easy recipes on sites like www.recipezaar.com, which lets you filter by ingredients and level of difficulty.

For an extensive list of crafts, games and activities, visit FamilyFun.

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