Children's classes can be expensive and may require at least a commitment of twelve weeks. A smart way to get a free day with your kids is to take advantage of the "first class is free" offer, often found with organized toddler's mat classes, music classes, and classes hosted by the local YMCA/YWCA, dance studio, or art studio.
Having your child attend a "trial" class is a great opportunity to know if she enjoys the activity enough to make the investment for an extended session worth it. This is also a good time to take older kids out of their comfort zones, encouraging them to try something new—without losing money. If you are looking ahead to a week of rain, see if your local classes offer such a trial program and reserve your spot.
Free for You and Rewarding, Too!
Nursing homes love to have healthy children visit and bring joy into their patients' lives. Call ahead to ask if you can visit—you will likely be welcomed with open arms. Young children can turn heads in every hallway, bringing out smiles and animated conversations from even the most serious patient. It is a free way to spend an afternoon cheering up others and especially nice for children whose grandparents live far away or are deceased. The wisdom and love that is offered by older people for children is infinite.
Keep your eyes open for opportunities to teach your child ways to give such as local clothing, book, and toy drives. Children can get involved from toddlerhood by giving up some of their old possessions or even a new gift to the poor, teaching them to appreciate how fortunate they are and how to share. Before they enter their money-making entrepreneurial teen years, lend their services to an elderly or overburdened neighbor to help them out around the house or with yard work. Character building comes free of charge with their services!
As a family, join in a favorite cause by walking, running, or fundraising for charity events. From a young age a child can and wants to contribute to society. I can remember helping out a local friend's mom with her political campaign by throwing flyers on neighborhood lawns. I loved it because I was a part of something bigger than myself—I felt useful and had fun too!