Saturday, December 3, 2016

11 Awesome Kid Activities For Less Than $5

This was a guest post written by Stephanie Lynch -- the co-founder of

Taking your children to the zoo, movies or baseball game can really add up.  Each of these activities could easily surpass the $100 mark, placing a decent dent in your monthly budget.

Who says you need to spend $100 each time you take your kids out?  If you have this mindset, it's time to stop thinking this way because there are so many great things you can do out there with your children for less than $5.

No matter where you live, I can guarantee you there arecountless things to do for less than $5.

1. The local state park

Most state parks will cost very little to enter, and if you have one nearby, you may want to see what they have to offer.  Most state parks will have a slew of activities, which may include lakes for fishing, hiking trails, nature centers and playgrounds.

2. Go bowling

Bowling doesn't have to be expensive if you know where to look.  Sign your kids up at, and they will be entitled to two free games at a local participating bowling alley.  By the time you throw in the shoe rentals, it should be less than $5 per child.

3. Learn about birds

Pick up a pair of binoculars, a bird guide and head to your local park to watch birds.  This is a fun way to educate your child about birds and even maybe help you learn about them as well.  Make it a game and create a bingo-like checklist for the birds in your area.

4. Visit the public library

If you haven't taken advantage of your public library in a while, you may want to set aside a few hours to do so.  Most public libraries have thousands of books, DVDs, computer games, and yes, even some have video games you can borrow for free.  Most libraries also hold events daily or weekly for your children such as crafting, painting or building with Lego blocks.  To find out about these activities, visit the library's official website for more information.

5. Movies in the park

During the warmer months, many local Parks and Recreation departments hold movies in the park. Churches may also offer the event as well.  Free of charge,  this is a great way to sit under the stars while watching a newly released movie.

6. Home Depot workshops

Did you know the Home Depot offers free workshops every first Saturday of the month?  Projects can range from anywhere from a toolbox to a holiday craft.  Be sure to register on the website if you want to take advantage.

7.Cheap movie theater

If you live in a larger city, you may be lucky enough to have a $1 or $2 movie theater.  Even if you don't, many of your large chains may hold free or discounted movies on certain days.  Check your local movie theater's website to see if any promotions exist.

8. Go camping in the backyard

Take advantage of your large backyard if you have room for a fire pit and tent.  Set aside a night and pretend like you're camping for the night.  This could include roasting hot dogs on the grill, followed by some tasty smores.

9. Visit the fire station

Local fire stations commonly have open houses or even let you visit if you let them know.  This is a great way to talk with your local firefighters, learn about what they do and even sit inside the fire truck.  Some stations may even take you for a spin around the block.

10. Trip to the dollar store

Chances are you have a few dollar stores in the area, and if one is within a reasonable distance, hand your kid a few dollars and let them pick out a few things.  Most dollar store chains have a range of coloring books, toys and even crafts.

11. Working farm tour

Rural areas often have lots of farms, and some allow you to come and visit with reservations.  Try to avoid the touristy farms and look for a smaller one without the touristy feel.  Generally,  these farms can be found online or by asking some local neighbors on Facebook.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Chocolate, Cookies and Krispies: No Bake Festive Fun

Flickr Credit: Carrie Stephens

There’s no getting away from it youngsters are mischievous, and the kitchen is full of items that can cause serious harm to a curious child. This holiday season forget about baking, hot ovens, and small hands and instead whip up some kid friendly sweet treats!

Your little ones will love decorating them with buttons and candies while older kids can experiment with different flavors, styles and colors and all without a dull Christmas cupcake in sight!

Soft, squidgy Rice Krispie snowmen are delicious as well as being great fun to make and then decorate. Warning, this recipe can get a little sticky so be sure to have a damp cloth on hand for getting melted marshmallow off of small fingers. To make a snowman, you’ll need lots of white mini marshmallows, butter and, of course, Rice Krispies as well as loads of yummy sweets for decoration. We’re talking tic-tacs for noses, choc chips for eyes and so on plus extra white chocolate for setting.

No one knows if they’ll have a white Christmas, but it’ll be snowing in your house thanks to these amazing white chocolate snowflakes. Artistic children will love the chance to show off their creativity by creating beautiful patterns in the chocolate. To make these impressive ornament style sweets, you’ll need white chocolate, baking paper, a piping bag edible silver balls and a pretty snowflake pattern to copy.

You’ll notice that a couple of these recipes do require a microwave or a saucepan and stove for melting chocolate. However, let the kids know that those things are ‘grown up jobs, ’ and it’s much safer than say them using the oven after learning how to bake a cake.

These marshmallow pops are a great alternative to traditional cake pops, and they look super cute too! Just grab a bag of large marshmallows, some chocolate, and mini pretzels as well as lollipop sticks and red candies. Melted chocolate becomes fur; the marshmallow is the head; the candy is the nose, and the pretzels act as adorable antlers.

These cute, Christmassy cookies are very simple to make and look gorgeous to boot. All you need is licorice, vanilla wafer cookies, and some fruit roll ups, or fruit flavor snacks and bit of sugar. Just wrap the fruit roll up around the cookie, secure the licorice string at the back and decorate with sugar - quick and tasty!

What could be more festive than peppermint candy, Oreos, and smooth white chocolate? These amazing no-bake cheesecakes are the perfect project for older children under adult supervision, there’s a food processor involved, and serve six people. These fresh, creamy individual cheesecakes are ideal for a holiday party and look incredible, especially with their colored swirled topping. For the ultimate show stopping Christmas combo why not mix green and red food color and decorate with edible gold balls?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Oh Christmas Tree 2016

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the Flanigan House!  

This year we downsized the Christmas tree as we are redoing our living space and are going to be getting a bigger couch soon.  

Thanks to Target we got this beautiful tree for only $27!  WOOT!  My favorite think on the tree is the new star on top.  I love the distressed wood look with the lights.  

Ephesians 4:2

Sometimes you just need everyone to read this... and live it! 

On The Move: Essential Things You Must Check About The Location Before Selecting A Property!

When you decide to move with your family, it can be a challenging time. You need to look at different properties until you find the right one for your family. But as well as checking out the condition of the home, you need to discover more about the area. After all, you don’t want to end up moving to somewhere that’s not appropriate for your family. Therefore, here are some essentials things you must check about the location before selecting a property!

New Home For Sale

You need to check out the crime rates

It’s so important that you check how safe the area is before your select a new home. After all, you don’t want to move somewhere that is going to put your family at risk. There are some easy ways to find out about the crime rates in the area. For one thing, you could look online; there are so many sites which inform you about crime in the location. Also, you could contact the local police in the area to discover more. By checking out how safe the area is, it will help you to make a well-researched decision on the area.

You need to look into the local schools

Unless you fancy taking your children on a long drive every morning, you need to ensure there are schools in the proximity. After all, you don’t want your kid’s education to be jeopardized because of the move. Therefore, it’s so important to look online to find out how far away the schools are from the home. Also, it would be wise to book an appointment at a few different schools. After all, you want to ensure your child has the best education possible for their future. By doing this, you get to meet the teachers and check out the classrooms. Also, it will give you the chance to see if there is any space for your child! Here is some more handy advice about choosing the best school for your kid.


You need to find out about the local dentist and doctors  

It’s so important that you choose a location which has the best facilities for your family close by. After all, you don’t want to pick somewhere which is far away from health clinics and dentists. Therefore, read up online to find out where they are situated. Even if you are moving abroad, you can find information on the net about the best 24 Hour Dentist near your new humble abode. That way, if a family member does get ill when you have just moved in, you aren’t clueless about where to take them!

Check out the local community

If your family is anything like ours, we love to get involved with the local community. After all, it’s an excellent way to meet the locals and for your kids to make friends after a big move. Therefore, before you select a property, you should read up about the community gatherings in the area. Check out what events and activities they regularly do that your child can get involved in. If there is a lack of community spirit, you should look elsewhere for a new home.

And make sure you choose somewhere which is close to shops and work. After all, you don’t want to fork out for a massive diesel bill every month.

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