Archive for January 30, 2020

Ten Cheap Valentine Date Ideas for New or Long-Term Couples

Valentine’s Day will be here soon, which is one of the reasons why so many people are already in a panic over the holiday. Many people are trying to rush to buy gifts, make reservations, and so much more before the holiday sneaks upon them. There really is no need to make Valentine’s Day a hassle for you and your partner. This holiday is all about sharing the love, which doesn’t mean you have to put a fortune into the holiday. These ten ideas will help you to find a heartfelt way to celebrate the day of love while still making your partner feel special. So, get ready to change the way you celebrate the holiday, as these ten ideas will allow you to change the way you spend money on Valentine’s Day.

1. Binge Together
Rather than spending a lot of money to go out, make it a point to stay in. Purchase or make some snacks that the two of you love, then take a seat in front of the TV. If you already have an established relationship, then you might want to take some time to catch up on the shows you like to binge-watch together. This can also be a great time to try something new if you’re looking to spice things up. Perhaps, you might want to try a romantic comedy if you tend to watch other genres. Newer couples might want to share some of their favorite movies or TV shows in order to gain a better understanding of each other. You can also dive right in and try something new together in hopes of calling it your own in the future. Either way, you’re spending quality time together that won’t cost you much of anything.

2. Cook Together
Instead of wasting time looking for a reservation and then spending a fortune on a meal, you might simply choose to cook something together. The money you would have put toward the meal can be used for groceries that will allow you to purchase something luxurious or romantic for dinner. Then, you can put the leftover money back for a special treat on another day. Once you get your groceries ready, try setting up a romantic environment for the two of you to cook together. This will allow you the time and environment to slowly work as you create something as a couple. Teamwork can be a great way to embrace romance. Of course, sitting down and eating a nice meal together will also help you out. By cooking for yourselves you allow even more time to talk, collaborate, and have some fun.

3. Fresh Air
Instead of choosing a date that will keep you indoors, you might want to consider planning something that gets you out of the house with your partner. This doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on your date though. Some of the best things in life are actually free, so make sure to take advantage of them. For instance, if you live by the beach then go for a romantic walk. Even if it is still cold, there will be lots of beautiful things to take in. A hike is another great option, especially since it will help you get your body moving while embracing the beautiful landscape around you. If you have an afternoon free, then a picnic in the park might be one of your best options. You won’t have to deal with crowds either since most people will be indoors. Finally, if you only have the evening and night to work with then find a romantic spot to watch the sunset and do some stargazing.

4. Explore Food Trucks
Instead of hanging out inside of a restaurant all evening, you might consider exploring the food trucks in your region. This can be a great way for you to enjoy some of the best sights and sounds in the city while finding adventurous food that you won’t want to pass up. Going from one food truck to the next will allow you to experience a variety of cultures, ideas, and so much more. This, in itself, opens up a conversation so you can truly enjoy one another’s company. You never know what you might find as you explore either. If you’re having trouble finding food trucks in your area, then you might consider downloading an app that can help you pinpoint some of the best options near you.

5. Smell the Flowers
Flowers have become a big part of Valentine’s Day, but they’re also incredibly expensive. Instead of just purchasing flowers, you might want to just stop and smell them. This will not only save you some big money but will also allow you to enjoy the experience of having flowers around you. One great way to smell the flowers is to take your partner to the botanical garden. This will allow you to see some exotic flowers that might not be on your agenda every day. Of course, if there isn’t a botanical garden near you, then you might just go to a regular park as this will help with your budget as well. Another option is to check out a greenhouse in your community or anywhere that sells flowers. You might end up leaving with a few items for your own garden, but in most cases, it will still wind up being cheaper than a bouquet.

6. Game Night
Another fun way to spice up your relationship is to add a game night to the mix. A little healthy competition can truly add to your fun while improving your relationship. There are many ways you can enjoy a game night. Trivia, for starters, can be a lot of fun for two players. However, if you’re double-dating or enjoying the day with many couples then you might be in for even more fun. This is especially true if you aim for games like Newly Weds. Board games can also add to some fun, especially if you have stories behind your nostalgia for them. Poker and other card games can add to the magic too and can even be transformed to suit the romantic vibes. Of course, there are romantic games you can purchase which can truly change the course of your date if you so choose to.

7. Create Valentine’s Together
Valentine’s Day really pulls at the heartstrings when it comes to consumerism. Many people feel it is mandatory to purchase their partner something special. However, this isn’t the case at all. You can easily celebrate Valentine’s Day without spending a penny on a gift or a date. One way to do this is to sit down with your partner and make one another a gift while you talk. You can learn how to make paper roses together for a special bouquet that will stand the tests of time. You can also channel your childhood and make classic valentines for one another. All you need is a few craft supplies that you can probably easily find around the home or office. Apart from that, you might consider writing poetry or a song for one another. This can truly bring some magic to the holiday.

8. Local Music
Music is another great bonding experience, but most of your classic Valentine’s Day restaurants won’t feature local music unless it is soothing. So, you might make it your game plan to find a place to listen to some local music for your date. You might end up lucky and find a free performance in a park, which will help save you quite a bit of money. However, your best option might just be to go to a local café. You should be able to grab a cheap meal, as well as a nice cup of coffee or a drink while enjoying the music. Although this might be one of the pricier dates on the list, it won’t leave you feeling like you’ve wasted a lot of money.

9. Escape Room
If you’re looking for an exciting date that neither of you will forget, then you might consider an escape room. This is an exceptional date if you want to go out with a group because it will allow you to split the fee of the game room. However, if you don’t want to share the date then the price won’t set you back as much as an expensive dinner. An escape room will keep you busy for some time too, which makes it a great date idea for older couples or those just getting to know each other. In short, this date will have you follow a series of clues so that you can escape a certain space. This requires teamwork and quick thinking, which will add to the fun of the evening.

10. Be Early Birds
Of course, if you really do love the traditional dinner and movie date for Valentine’s Day then you might consider being an early bird. Instead of waiting for peak hours, grab an afternoon movie and then catch an early bird special at a restaurant. This will allow you to save some money and hassle while you’re on your date. You can even go out for ice cream or something later to extend the date. Another great option is to consider going bowling or skating in the afternoon, as most people will still be at work. You should be able to enjoy a peaceful date that will certainly make you feel satisfied with the holiday.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to add to your holiday debt. Instead, treat it like a light holiday that can be celebrated on a dime. These ten ideas should help you embrace your holiday fun while showing your date a good time. So, get ready to embrace some fun as you show off your love.

Fun Ways to Make Groundhog Day Amazing

Groundhog Day is on its way, which might make you wonder how you can celebrate this unique holiday. There aren’t as many community celebrations for this fun day, so people are mostly left to their own devices when it comes to finding fun for the holiday. There are many ways to embrace the day while allowing to have some fun as you prepare for a long winter or the early signs of spring. These ten ideas will allow you to save some money while you celebrate and won’t require you to spend the entire day on the celebration either, which is perfect for busy schedules.

1. Make a Prediction
Without a doubt, one of the first things you might consider doing for the holiday is making a prediction. You can do this before the actual holiday, but if you choose to wait until the day of the holiday to make your prediction then you will need to do so early in the morning. You can make a prediction based on your gut feeling, current weather trends, or the temperature of the day. Once you’ve made your prediction, write it down so everyone will know where you stand. To add even more fun to the prediction, you might offer a prize to the people that guess correctly. This could be a planned activity for whichever season comes out on top, some form of food or candy, and so on. This activity is fun for the household, classrooms, and the workplace.

2. Go for a Hike
Part of the beauty of Groundhog Day is it seems to be right in the middle of the beauty that winter and spring bring to the table. Thus, it makes a great time for a hike. Even if the groundhog does call for more winter, you might find that you see small aspects of spring popping up here and there. Of course, if the groundhog calls for spring, then you’ll probably want to use the time to cherish the last elements of winter before the warmer weather arrives. No matter what the verdict, there is something special about this in-between period that will make a hike feel even more exhilarating. Before you head out, make sure you dress for the weather though, as you don’t want to catch a cold as the beautiful season arrives.

3. Groundhog Snacks
One fun way to make the most out of the holiday is to embrace groundhog inspired snacks. You might start by creating pancakes in the shape of a groundhog. This is surprisingly easy to do and will allow you to have some fun with breakfast while getting the whole family in the mood to celebrate. If you’re looking for a cute afternoon snack, then you might consider making dirt cups with groundhogs instead of worms. These cups are pretty easy to make too, and the kids will have a blast working on them. A fun dessert is groundhog cupcakes. Simply make some chocolate cupcakes then construct groundhogs out of Reese’s cup, chocolates, icing, and more. This is a real treat that will help make any verdict taste sweeter. Of course, there are a lot more options to choose from, so surf the net if you’re low on ideas.

4. Groundhog Crafts
Another fun way to embrace the holiday is to add some crafts to the mix. This is a great way to help kids have some fun with the holiday. You might start by making groundhog puppets. This can be done in a number of ways. One is to have the kids color a picture of a groundhog and then cut it out. Then paint a Styrofoam cup or leave it white to represent the snow. Finally, add a popsicle stick to the groundhog and push the stick through the bottom of the cup. This will allow kids to pop the groundhog up and down. Another fun idea is to make groundhog masks that kids can wear to celebrate. You can also make crafts that are based around the weather or shadows. Your creativity is the limit here, but there are also lots of fun ideas online to check out too.

5. Media
One of the best things to do on Groundhog Day is to embrace the media. The weather isn’t always the best on this day, so spending time under some blankets is one of the best things you can do. One of the most iconic forms of media is the film Groundhog Day. This comedy starring Bill Murray has been loved for years and can be a fun way to embrace everything that Groundhog Day has to offer. However, there are also lots of books that are based around children. You will find that these can help bring the household together while also teaching kids about the holiday. There are plenty of other things you can embrace in the media too, so keep an eye out for fun ideas that suit your needs.

6. Watch the Groundhog Appearance
Without a doubt, one of the most common things that you can do on Groundhog Day is watching the groundhog come out of his hole. There is a special place in Pennsylvania where it all happens. If you’re feeling dedicated to the holiday, then you can always watch the groundhog in person. However, if you’re like most of us, you’ll probably have to stream it online. You will be able to see it on many news stations too, which is one of the easiest ways to embrace the holiday.

7. Make Winter/Spring Plans
After you figure out whether or not you’ll get to enjoy an extra bit of winter or some springtime fun, then you can start planning to make the use of the time. If winter is in the cards then you might consider adding in some extra sled rides, photographing some of the scenery or going on one last ice skating trip. However, if spring is on its way then it might be time to start clearing out the yard, planning spring sports schedules, or enjoying a bit more of Mother Nature. The time is also perfect for planning out Spring Break plans, so you can get the discounts you deserve. This will definitely allow you to enjoy the time without having to stress out over the little things.

8. Track Shadows
Since the groundhog makes his decision based on his own shadow, you might find that playing with shadows can be a fun way to celebrate the occasion. There is a lot that you can do to enjoy this. For instance, you can make shadow puppets, have someone trace your shadow, and so on. However, one of the best ways to truly embrace the season is to track your shadow. This is a great option for kids because it will also teach them about shadows. For instance, have children stand outside in the morning and measure their shadow. Then do this again in the afternoon and evening. This will show children how their shadow changes throughout the day. This can also lead to a conversation about the groundhog’s decision, so children can gain a better understanding.

9. Embrace the Astrology of the Holiday
Interestingly enough, Groundhog Day actually takes place during an astrological event, just like many of the other holidays do. This Groundhog Day, February 2, arrives right around the period of Imbolc which is right around the middle of the winter and spring solstice. These astrological readings were a major part of the way our ancestors predicted the seasons. There is a lot to learn about these astrological predictions too, so if you want to put your mind to good use on Groundhog Day then studying this is always a great option. There is plenty of information online, but you might also check out your local library.

10. Make Garden Plans
No matter what the groundhog says, you might take this day to start planning out your garden. If winter is going to be a little longer, then you might want to consider planting seedlings. These will work wonders in the home when it is still too cold for planting. You can plant seedlings in egg crates, cups and so much more. If you start them now, they can easily start budding before planting season arrives, which will allow you to have your garden before you know it. However, if spring is arriving sooner then you might want to make plans for the garden itself. This might involve clearing out dead plants and drawing up a blueprint for what the new season will bring. By doing this, you will be able to celebrate the change or lack of change in the season.

Groundhog Day might not be a huge celebration for all, but it can still be a lot of fun if you allow it to be. These ten ideas will allow you to truly have fun during the holiday while actually learning a bit more about it. Now, Groundhog Day can have even more meaning than you’ve ever thought possible.

Quick Ways to Make Your Super Bowl Party Stand Out

The Super Bowl is upon us, which means it is time to plan out your big Super Bowl shindig. It doesn’t matter what team you’re rooting for as these parties can run you a lot of money if you’re not careful. Luckily, there are a few great ways to keep your party frugal while still making it stand out when compared to your previous parties. So, if you’re ready to embrace the fun, these ten tips will make planning your party so much easier and cheaper. This should allow everyone to have a blast while they’re cheering on their favorite team.

1. Bring Home Concession Stands
One of the costliest aspects of the game is the food you provide your guests with. From takeout to making your own dishes, you’re most likely going to spend more than you would like on the snacks. Instead of going overboard on this aspect of the party, you might consider recreating your favorite concession stand treats. These foods are typically very cheap to make and won’t leave you in the kitchen all day long. One of the easiest and cheapest items to bring to the table are hot dogs. You can cover these in classic condiments or grab some chili and cheese to go with them. If you do this then you also have access to ingredients for nachos and Frito pies. Popcorn is another cheap option that concession stands tend to sell quite a bit of. Apart from that, homemade pretzels, bags of chips, or even fried pickles will help keep your concession stand booming for cheap.

2. Commercial Bingo
If you’re looking to keep your guests busy even when the commercials are on, then you might consider commercial Bingo. Super Bowl commercials are kind of iconic to begin with so you can really have fun with this. Simply make predictions based on the most popular brands and print out Bingo sheets that offers a lot of variety. Guests can mark the commercials they get in hopes of winning a prize. Prizes don’t have to be crazy either, as you can stick with just candy or something else simple. This will help keep everyone busy during break times too, so you don’t have to worry about any chaos ensuing when the game is on break.

3. Keep Water on Hand
One of the most important things you can do during a Super Bowl party is keep water on hand. In most cases, people will be drinking, but water is going to help you hydrate everyone that is feeling rough. If you have a water filtration system, then you might want to start there. Try filling a container with ice and water, so it will make people feel like they’re watching from the sidelines. With the cold water available people might also stop to hydrate when they get overheated over calls happening in the game. Of course, water can also prevent your guests from overeating, which will help save you even more money.

4. Make Bets
Bets are simply part of the game. However, if you don’t want to lose any money on your bets then tell everyone to leave the money at home. Instead, you might bet on clean up tasks. For instance, if a person loses big then they have to do the dishes from the party. If a person wins then they get extra points added to the score of a party game. There are lots of ways you can make betting more fun, without forcing you to lose out on any money. This might become a preferred way of betting too, especially if your guests are on a budget but still want to participate in some of the traditional fun of game day.

5. Paper Football
If you’re stuck inside or simply want something to do during commercial breaks or half time, then a paper football match might be the right move. You might start out the competition by having everyone make a paper football. Then, the best football wins and gets to pick the first competitor. This can start off the game on a competitive streak, which might make it a lot more fun for everyone involved. If you really want to get into the paper football match, then you can even set up a little stadium for very little. This might make your guests want to come over for paper football matches more often, so you won’t have to worry about entertainment as much.

6. Football Trivia
Another good way to have some fun is to bring some trivia into the mix. Your best option is to stick with a football theme, but there are tons of questions you can add to ensure it will be fun for everyone. If you want to make things especially hard, you might consider just doing Super Bowl trivia, as this really hones in the questions and will make your guests think. Trivia is also a great game because it can be picked up and put down on breaks, which will ensure no one misses a second of the game. You might even offer prizes to add incentive to the game.

7. Half Time Karaoke
If your group is more boisterous then bringing out the karaoke machine might be a wise choice. You can easily surf through a list of past performers to get songs that will make the football theme shine. You might even get lucky and find a few songs from past players, if you dig deep enough. When the half time show arrives, simply hook up the machine and let everyone have a turn. You might even give bonus points to those that can recreate some of the dances performed, too. If the game is a hit, then you might find your guests will even want to embrace the karaoke spirit after the game is over.

8. Drinking Games
Generally, there is some sort of drinking at a football game. So, if most of your guests are of age, then you might consider hosting some drinking games to keep things interesting. There are lots of fun ideas to this to. For instance, you can start with the commercials. If a commercial uses a certain phrase or motive, then the person has to drink. You can also choose specific commercials, like soda, to add to the mix. Of course, if you really want to get the game going then you might add behaviors to the mix. For instance, if a coach screams at a referee then you drink. There are lots of fun options for this, so embrace it. You can even download drinking games online if you don’t want to come up with your own options. This can make things faster and easier or will allow guests to vote on which they want to play.

9. BYOB
Apart from food, beverages tend to be on the higher end of the budget when you’re planning a Super Bowl party. One of the best ways to ditch this problem is to have people bring their own drinks. This will allow you to concentrate more on other areas of the party. Of course, it might be hard to facilitate a wide variety of drinks coming into the kitchen. If you’re looking at problems keeping everything cold, then you might ask guests to contribute money to put towards a keg. This will allow you to have one item to keep chilled instead of many. Any extra money can then go on sodas and other drinks that people might want during the party.

10. Throw Around the Ball
It is pretty easy to get worked up over football, especially if you have people rooting for different teams. So, one of the best ways to help everyone work out their tensions is to throw the ball around outside. You might consider having people throw the ball around before the game, during half time, and after the game. Of course, people can pop in and out to play if they lose interest in the game. This will allow everyone to have a little space while staying entertained. Plus, it is a great way to entertain the kids that might not be interested in watching the game to begin with.

Super Bowl parties can be a lot of fun, especially if you’re cheering on your favorite team. These ten tips will allow you to embrace the party without spending a fortune on everything needed to keep the guests busy. With any luck, you’ll come in under budget while ensuring everyone still has a blast at your grand event.

How to Create a Princess Party When You Don’t Have a Royal Budget to Spend

If you have a little girl in your life, then chances are you’ll be asked to throw a princess party at some point or another. May it is a birthday party or just for fun, you might find the idea of such a party to be a little stressful on your budget. A princess party doesn’t have to cost a fortune though. In fact, it can easily cost next to nothing if you have a few tricks to cut corners, while still making things fun. These ten ideas should cut back on the amount of spending you do while satisfying your child’s need to host a princess party.

1. Make it a Costume Party
One of the best things you can do to make your party a success from the very beginning is to ask guests to come dressed as a princess. Most kids will probably have old Halloween costumes lying around, so this usually isn’t a hard thing to pull off. If not, you might have some crowns, party jewelry, and other accessories available to help make the party more fun for those that skip the dress up portion. Having children come in costume will immediately spark their imagination, so games and simple playtime will be much easier for them to enjoy. Plus, it will allow them to easily participate in a photo booth without forcing you to spend a fortune on props.

2. Finger Foods
There is no need to spend a small fortune on food either. In fact, you can keep it simple with finger foods, as most kids will be in the mood to play anyway. If you really want to switch things up, consider making the princess party a tea party. One of the best options for these types of foods is a multitude of sandwiches. You can even use cookie cutters to cut them into fun party shapes that kids will love. Cutting up fruits and vegetables are also a great option, as they allow for a healthy option that kids can snack on. Apart from that, you might also skip the big cake. Cupcakes are easy to manage, and kids can decorate their own as a source of entertainment.

3. Make Crafts
An easy way to keep most kids happy is to have them sit down and make a craft. There are many things you can make from recyclables that will help cater to the princess theme. For instance, recycled cardboard and paper can easily be transformed into a lovely crown that the kids can wear throughout the party. You can also make fun wands out of cardboard, straws, yarn, and so much more. Another fun craft to try out is flower crowns. You can buy cheap fake flowers or pick your own flowers from the garden. These can be attached to a string, paper or anything else that you have around the house. There are many other crafts you can try out too, so make sure to browse around online to see what is going to work for you.

4. Skip the Disney
Without a doubt, most kids are going to associate princesses with Disney. It’s very easy to fall into the Disney theme when it comes to this type of party. However, purchasing Disney themed items can actually cost you a lot more money than you might want to pay. There is no law saying a princess party has to deal with just Disney products. In fact, most of the Disney stories stem from other stories anyway. Thus, it is simple to find other princess decors. You can also use items you already have. You don’t have to go with themed items at all. In fact, you can save a whole lot of money if you just stick with colors. The princess element of the party will come together in the games and activities that you enjoy.

5. Create Bouquets
Flowers and princesses tend to go hand in hand, so for the party, you might consider letting the guests create their own bouquets. If you have a garden with an abundance of flowers, then you might let your guests have some fun picking flowers. However, if this isn’t an option then you can make paper flowers to add to the fun. The bouquets can be used during playtime, but they also make great additions to the table while everyone enjoys snacks. Some of the flowers can even be used as hair accessories, which will make everyone happy to enjoy this fun craft.

6. Do Makeovers
Nothing says princess fun quite like doing some princess inspired makeovers. In order to do this, you can bring out hair supplies and nail polish that you already have. With the guidance of an adult, help the children plan out a cute makeover. You can even make it princess themed by using the colors of their favorite princesses. If you don’t have a lot of supplies to share, then you might be able to find everything you need at the dollar store. Of course, if you want to add more fun to the table then you might also do face painting. This can cheaply be done with party makeup which you can find at party or department stores.

7. Princess Games
Entertainment is crucial when it comes to parties. Luckily, there are lots of free princess games you can play. For instance, you can play kiss the frog. Simply draw a frog on a poster board. Then, make little lips that the kids can pin onto the frog. This is just like pin the tail on the donkey only princess inspired. You can also play match the slipper to the princess. All you have to do is print out pictures of princesses and some slippers. Color the slippers to suit each princess and see which child can match them the fastest. You can also play the princess in the pea. Simply have kids sits on something hidden under a pillow and have them guess what it could be. There are so many princess games to choose from though, so have fun with the ideas you have online.

8. Story Time
One of the best things about princesses is there are lots of great stories to choose from. When it comes to entertaining kids, you might consider checking out a few princess books for a nice storytime. You can also print out stories online and have the kids color pictures as you read them. Of course, you can also put on a princess movie in the background to keep the kids going through some of the activities. This is great fun for everyone and won’t cost you anything extra.

9. Utilize Dollar Stores
When it comes to gathering party supplies, you don’t have to spend a fortune on items. Instead, check out your dollar store to see what you can find. You might be surprised by how many of the items you will need that can be picked up for just a dollar. For instance, this might be the perfect place to grab bulk plates and napkins. You can also pick up decorations, especially if you’re sticking with a solid color. Most dollar stores will also have helium balloons which can save you a lot of money. This is the perfect place to shop for supplies for goodie bags too, especially since there are usually lots of fun items that follow the princess theme.

10. Shorten the Guest List
One of the easiest ways to cut down on spending when it comes to your party is to trim the guest list. You don’t need to host a party for 30, as this is going to escalate your budget quite a bit. Of course, if your child is offering invitations at school then it is obligatory to invite everyone, so you might just stick to inviting kids that are in your community, family, or those that you have already established an acquaintance with their family. A smaller party will actually create a more regal vibe too and will allow the kids to interact together with ease.

A princess party can be a lot of fun for everyone. However, if you can keep the budget down then you will enjoy it all the more. These tips should help you make the most of your budget while creating a party that will feel like you went all out.

Ten Hobbies That Will Keep You Thriving on a Tight Budget

A New Year means trying out new things to make your life more efficient. If you find yourself doing a whole lot of nothing when you get home at the end of the day then you might want to try out a few new hobbies. Unfortunately, for many, hobbies can be a pricey part of the day. There are a few hobbies that can actually save you from spending a small fortune though. These ten ideas will only cost you a small amount to begin with, so you can enjoy smooth sailing as you explore the hobby without worrying about sinking any extra money into it. So, get ready to enhance your life in 2020, because these hobbies are here to make life amazing.

1. Yoga
Yoga can be one of the most transformative activities available. Not only is this activity great for your body, but it is also a real asset for your mind. You might even find that it has helped with your spirituality too. All you really need to begin this hobby is a yoga mat; however, you can easily improvise until you can spend money on a mat you want. There are lots of clearance mats available too, so make sure you look around any store that offers sporting goods. Once you have your mat, you can find free classes online that will help you get started. There is everything from maternity and child yoga available to limited mobility and advanced yogi classes. You can even find some lessons on public access. If you really want to expand your knowledge, you might consider joining a group. There are groups that require fees, but if you just find a group of hobbyists you should be able to enjoy everything for free. As you improve your skills, there are things you can buy to enhance the hobby, but they tend to not be expensive and aren’t required.

2. Rock Painting
Rock painting is a fun activity for all ages. The best thing about this activity is you can find rocks almost anywhere, which will help you get started for next to nothing. You can easily find paints to begin your journey at dollar stores or on sale at department stores. You don’t need to purchase expensive items just to get started on this craft. Once you have everything you need, all you have to do is paint. You can stick with solid colors, add messages, paint scenery, or turn them into pet rocks. Then your rock is ready to be put on display. Of course, you could also participate in rock hiding, which allows you to place your rocks in hidden places in your community. Usually, someone will find the rock, post it on a local forum, and then hide it somewhere else. Some rocks can even cross borders and wind up in exciting new places. You might also consider adding your rocks to a rock garden, which can be fun for the whole family. If you do wish to place your rock outdoors, you will have to seal it first, which is fairly inexpensive.

3. Phone Photography
Photography can be a delightful way to get more out of your free time. However, investing in photography gear can cost you a lot more than you might want to pay. In fact, if you truly get into the hobby then you might find yourself stuck paying a few thousand dollars for equipment and accessories. One way to enjoy photography while combating the cost is to just use your phone. A lot of professionals aren’t crazy about this idea, but the quality of phone cameras has improved immensely over the past couple of years. There are lots of online tutorials that will help you turn your photos into works of art too. You can also use free editing software to get the effects you’re dreaming of. If you really get a kick out photography on your phone, then there are even lens accessories and apps that can help step things up to the next level.

4. Mentoring
January is National Mentoring Month, which makes it a great time to start up a hobby as a mentor. You can mentor in just about anything too, which is what makes the hobby exciting. For instance, if you have a career that many people aspire to join, then consider mentoring high school or college students. If you know how to play an instrument, or you’re good at art then consider mentoring people in that facet. You can even find work as a tutor to help people out. If you’re not sure where you should mentor, then you might try out a big brother or big sister program. These help at-risk youth find positive role models that can truly change the direction of their lives.

5. Dog Walking
If one of your resolutions was to get a move on, then dog walking might be the perfect option for you. There are a few ways to go about dog walking too. For starters, you might visit an elderly community and ask if anyone would like their dog walked. Sometimes, people become homebound, so they can’t take their dogs out for prolonged periods of time. Another option is to offer your services online. There are many online programs that will connect people to dog walkers. This will allow you to earn some extra money while allowing you to have some fun with dogs.

6. Drawing
When it comes down to it, drawing can be a very fun and relaxing activity to try out. When you start out withdrawing, you don’t have to go all out when it comes to purchasing supplies. In fact, in the early stages, you can start out with simple pencils and paper. As you progress, you might want to upgrade later on, which can cost money if you don’t use coupons. You can easily find lessons to help improve your drawing skills though, so you won’t have to spend money on other lessons. You might be surprised how far these lessons can take you, too. Of course, you don’t have to stick with just paper and pencil. You can easily use the items you have at home, which will add to the style of your drawings.

7. Reading
Believe it or not but reading can be one of the healthiest and cheapest activities that you can get into. Of course, that is, if you utilize the free books that are available to you. Your local library is one of the best ways to start your reading adventure. With a simple library card, you can easily check out just about any book that strikes your fancy. This will allow you to read anything from science fiction to autobiographies. If you don’t have time to go to your library for a book, most libraries also have an eBook program so you can access whatever book you choose from the comfort of your home. You should also receive access to databases that will provide even more reading material for you. Apart from that, there are many free eBooks online too. You can also purchase them for remarkably cheap online if you want to invest a little money in your hobby.

8. Become a Reviewer
If you like free stuff and writing, then becoming a reviewer might be a great hobby for you. You might not earn enough income from this to live off of, but it can help you find some awesome products that you may not have otherwise received. There are many ways to become a reviewer though. You might start by applying to programs that call for reviewers. If picked, you can receive their perks. Apart from that, there is the Amazon Vine program. This program is an invitation only, but it can be a great asset for anyone that loves to review. All you have to do to get invited is to write quality reviews for the products you purchase, then wait for Amazon to get back to you about joining. You can also apply to win free books on services like Goodreads. If you review, you will be more likely to win more. This is only scratching the service though, so look around and find review programs that will work for you. Of course, it is imperative to do research before you accept items, as scams are common these days.

9. Pick Up a Language
If you really want to make good use of your spare time, then picking up a new language can be a lot of fun. Simply choose what you want to learn and then take to the internet to explore your options. You can find an app for almost any language that you might want to learn, which will help you on your path to success. You will also find that there are lots of free resources online and in your local library. Some libraries will even have classes for languages if you are really dedicated to picking up the language. You might also volunteer as an English tutor so you can speak English with someone learning and speak their native tongue, so you can learn that too. Spoken language isn’t the only option. You might consider learning sign language, as this can be a real asset. There are also tutorials for learning sign online too, so pick something that will work with your learning needs.

10. Start a Blog
Writing is one of the best ways to blow off steam, but not everyone enjoys sitting down with a pencil and paper. If this is the case with you, then you might consider starting your own blog. You can write about anything that strikes your fancy, including your life. This will allow you to explore your interests and share them with others. If you know how to optimize a blog then you might even receive enough traffic to earn some money. If writing isn’t your thing then you can also just keep a vlog. This will allow you to post videos of yourself talking, offering demonstrations and so much more.

Coming up with a hobby to improve your year isn’t easy to do. However, these ten options can really change your life for the better. Best of all, they will provide you with a great way to keep your spending down, whenever you have free time to spend on the hobby.

Creative Ways to Use Handwriting During National Handwriting Month

January is national handwriting month, which can be pretty exciting. More often than not, handwriting is simply overlooked, especially since most people prefer to type most of the things they write. Handwriting is such a big part of our culture and our personalities though, so it is important to celebrate it for what it is. Many people feel that handwriting can be very boring though and only see it as simple writing. There are tons of cool things to consider when it comes to handwriting though. These ten ideas will help you celebrate the month while learning new and frugal ways to celebrate handwriting.

1. Calligraphy
Calligraphy is probably one of the most popular ways to celebrate handwriting. This is an old art form that people still enjoy learning to this day. You won’t have to look far to find classes either. Some colleges and libraries will offer calligraphy courses at a very decent price. You can also find classes online. Of course, you won’t have an instructor to help you, but you should be able to figure out the basics with just a few streaming videos. There are also lots of cheap tool kits you can check out too, while you introduce yourself to the craft. If you enjoy it as time passes, then you can easily upgrade to suit your craft. As you learn the ropes, you might enjoy making your own artwork based on calligraphy. This can be fun and can even be sold for extra spending money, in some cases.

2. Word Art
Word art is incredibly popular right now, so there are lots of tutorials to help you get started. You might want to work with simple paper at first, as this will help you find your groove. You can write out your favorite quotes, simple sayings, or even names of the people in your family. No matter what you choose to do, working on turning your favorite words into art is certain to give you a sense of joy. Once you’ve finished up your art, then you can easily add a frame to showcase it to the world. You can also use canvas to create an eye-gabbing look that makes your home décor look amazing.

3. Drawings Made of Words
Words don’t have to primarily be the focus when it comes to handwriting. In fact, you can use your handwriting to make images, which can actually be a cool process. In order to pull this off, all you have to do is come up with an image that you’d like to make. Then, sketch is out but make sure that you have enough space to fit your words. You might also think about the appropriate words to suit the image. This can be easier than you think. You can also choose your words first and then pick an image that will work with it. If you aren’t confident about your drawing skills, you might consider printing the image and then place it behind the paper that you want to do your art on. This will help you make the appropriate lines with ease. Before you know it, you’ll have an exciting work of art that will make you proud of your handwriting.

4. Showcase Family Recipes
Recently, there has been a trend going around handicraft stores that feature everyday items engraved with handwriting. These items can be particularly heartwarming if you have a strong bond with the handwriting that you are asking to be engraved into an item. One of the most popular orders for most stores is customized cutting boards. These boards tend to have recipes from a parent or grandparent engraved in them with the recipe creator’s original handwriting. This can be a beautiful gift for loved ones, especially if you’ve experienced loss in the family. Of course, you can do more than cutting boards. There are options for mugs, wine glasses, and even wallpaper, which will help make your kitchen even more special.

5. Chalk Art
It might seem obvious, but chalk art is another fun way to embrace national handwriting day. Chalk art can be such a simple and fun way to enjoy your handwriting. It is also a great way to get kids in on the action. All you really need for chalk art is some colored chalk and a blackboard or pavement to utilize. From there, you have lots of freedom to express yourself. You can make graffiti inspired letters or you can stick with simple block letters. Apart from showing off fun styles, you can use the art form to write a poem, share quotes, or simply leave your name somewhere special.

6. Create an Art Journal
Another fun way to bring your art to life is to create an art journal. This will allow you to use your handwriting to write out your feelings. Once you’ve said everything you need to say, you can bring the text to life. This can be done in a number of ways. For instance, you might consider blocking some letters or making them bigger for emphasis. You can also illustrate around some of the words to create a stylish look that will help bring out some of the pivotal messages. You can also make the journal a bulletin style that will truly help your words stand out. You will definitely enjoy looking back on this journal, because of the fun and passion you put into it.

7. Practice Cursive
Cursive used to be a common practice in schools. However, it doesn’t seem to be as popular anymore, especially since most students are taught to work on computers at a very early age. Cursive can be a fun way to embrace your handwriting though. On top of that, knowing how to write in cursive can actually help you in formal settings. So, if you haven’t written in cursive in some time, you might take a moment to practice it. You can also use the beautiful written text to show off your skills in cards, letters, and even in artwork. Working on your cursive will even give you the chance to teach the art to the younger generation, so the craft won’t die out.

8. Create a Font
Fonts can be a lot of fun to work with on the computer. You can use them to create websites, digital art, or simply to send fun emails to your friends. If you really want to celebrate your own handwriting, then you can turn your writing into a font. This can be pretty exciting, especially when you see your handwriting show up on your screen. There are many ways to do this. However, one of the easiest is to look for a template. There are so many websites that will help you with this and won’t charge you a penny. Before you know it, you could have a cool font with your own personality to help you celebrate national handwriting month.

9. Experiment with Tools
Without a doubt, there are a lot of ways you can change up your handwriting, which can be pretty exciting to explore. You might consider ordering a few different tools to help you get on the right track. One of the easiest places to begin is with a simple pen. You can order many different forms, which will help you try out different inks, sizes and points. Another fun thing to experiment with is markers. There are so many different types that you’re bound to have some fun creating art with all of the colors and more. There are also special ink sets you can purchase. Many are designed for calligraphy, but you might also find an assortment of vintage writing tools that will make you appreciate your handwriting all the more.

10. Analyze Handwriting
Analyzing handwriting is a fun art that is often overlooked. However, it can be used on a psychological level, which is why many professionals learn how to analyze handwriting. It can be a little pricey to have your handwriting analyzed, but it can also teach you a bit about yourself that you might not have otherwise known. However, there are many books on the subject, which will allow you to work on the project on your own. This can truly bring some fun to the task while allowing you to learn even more about yourself and others. Plus, it might become a fun hobby that you can use whenever reading biographies and old letters.

Handwriting might not sound like a lot of fun, but it truly can be. It can help us in so many ways too, which is one of the many reasons it should be celebrated. This national handwriting month, you might want to utilize the fun of these ten ideas, so you can truly embrace the impact handwriting has on our lives.

Ten Things to Try During This Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year is arriving a bit sooner this year, which means it’s time to start preparing for this amazing holiday. This holiday does last a bit longer than most, which will give you plenty of time to embrace the holiday and try a few new things. If you’re new to celebrating the Chinese New Year, then you’re bound to find some of the traditions to be fun and heartwarming. There are a few things you should try this year if you haven’t already given them a chance. These ten ideas will help keep the whole family entertained while you celebrate, while also teaching more about Chinese culture. Plus, they will allow you to have quite a bit of fun while on a budget.

1. Dumplings
Dumplings are pretty much classic comfort food in China. So, it’s no surprise that this Chinese staple is a part of the Chinese New Year celebration. Luckily, dumplings aren’t expensive if you purchase them in stores. You can buy them fresh from some restaurants or grocery stores to bring home and enjoy. However, there are even cheaper frozen options that can help you out too. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can choose to make your own dumplings too. The ingredients are cheap, and the process can be fun to learn. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll feel at ease working on the dumplings. Dumplings come in a wide variety of flavors too. Thus, you can have dumplings that will suit every member of the family. There are also dessert dumplings to help add even more fun to the dish.

2. CCTV New Year Gala
Just like with other New Year celebrations, the Chinese New Year has its own special production that most people watch in order to celebrate the upcoming year. The New Year Gala is a very special production that is filled with exciting shows and more. It typically broadcasts on CCTV in China, but you can watch it around the world. A simple search should direct you to the CCTV website, but if you can’t watch it there, then you can rest assured that it will pop up on many other streaming websites. Watching the gala will truly give you a great idea of what the celebration is all about while allowing you to see a mesmerizing show that you won’t soon forget.

3. Shopping
Shopping is a popular aspect of the holiday. Generally, people do their shopping just before the holiday though, so you might want to embrace this fun activity before you even began planning your celebration. This doesn’t mean you have to go out of your way to blow your budget though. Don’t shop for pricey items or items you don’t really need. Instead, make a budget and stick to it. Once you have your budget, then consider working around it to purchase items like red clothing. This will help you prepare to celebrate the fun while bringing you lots of luck. If you want to add a fun element to the event, then you can also make a scavenger hunt out of the shopping trip. Try to find red and gold items to purchase or look for items suitable for the holiday. You might also keep an eye out for rats, which is 2020’s zodiac. This can help children get excited about the holiday while also allowing them to learn how to use money wisely.

4. DIY Couplets
Couplets tend to play a role in most families’ celebration of the Chinese New Year. The couplets are placed outside of the home’s gate in order to ward off bad spirits. Couples can be purchased in stores, especially around the holiday, but it will save you money and add meaning to the experience to make your own at home. This project doesn’t have to be intimidating either and can be made with a number of materials. There are many tutorials online to help you out too, which will come in handy. While the family works on making their own couplets, you can learn about them too, which will add to the experience.

5. Clean the House
One of the biggest traditions when it comes to the Spring Festival is to clean. Most people end up cleaning their homes during this period to get rid of the bad and welcome in the new. Although it might not sound like an exciting aspect to celebrate, you might find that cleaning during this time frame is a great way to help feel renewed as you enter a new year. If you like to spring clean, then simply bump up your cleaning session to the holiday. This will give you more of a chance to enjoy the nicer weather, too. While cleaning, you should concentrate on areas you might normally miss, like cobwebs or behind the refrigerator. You might actually find this element of the holiday to be enjoyable before it is all said and done. Plus, it will set you up for happiness when you don’t have to worry about doing a deep clean when there are fun spring activities to take on.

6. Chinese Brush Painting
Another fun way to celebrate the holiday is to learn more about Chinese tradition. One fun way to embrace the culture is to try out brush painting. This is a unique way to paint, which can be a lot of fun for the entire family. There are many tutorials online that can help you learn the basics of this craft. You might also be able to find a list of materials that will help save you some money. When you’re ready to start your brush drawing, you might look around for images of China to begin with. However, it can be a lot of fun for the family to choose the items they would like to paint while trying out this craft.

7. Get a Haircut
The Chinese New Year is about fresh beginnings and cutting the old out of your life. So, getting a haircut during the holiday can help to bring you a lot of good luck during the year. Luckily, the Chinese New Year is also happening around the beginning of the new school’s semester too, so you can knock out your kids’ haircuts around the holiday instead. This can be very convenient and will help kids celebrate without having to go the extra mile. You don’t have to go all out on your haircut either. Instead, you can just trim it. You can even do this yourself if you don’t want to spend the extra money.

8. Try a Chinese Restaurant
If you haven’t exposed yourself to Chinese culture, then you might try out a new Chinese restaurant for the holiday. Your best option is to try to choose a place that offers more authentic foods, as this will give you a better introduction to the culture than chain restaurants. If you choose to go during the Chinese New Year then you might even be able to enjoy traditional favorites, like uncut noodles. You can even talk with your waiter to see if there are any options for the holiday. Usually, people will be more than happy to make recommendations from the menu so you can learn more about their culture.

9. Make Time for Family
Typically, we spend a lot of time with family during the holidays at the end of the year. The Chinese New Year will provide you with another excuse to spend some more time with your family, which is important. During this period of time, it is tradition to treat the elders of the family with respect and love. So, visiting them and reconnecting with your other relatives is a great way to make the Chinese Festival special. You might even get your family to embrace some of the new traditions you’re trying out.

10. Learn About the Year
Of course, it wouldn’t be a new year without celebrating the new Chinese zodiac. 2020 is the year of the rat, so it might be a lot of fun to learn about everything that this zodiac brings to the table. The rat is quite interesting too, so you’re bound to have some fun with it. You might consider looking at crafts to celebrate the rat. You can also find lots of merchandise to celebrate the rat, which might be great for people who are actually born under the zodiac. Of course, you can learn about the other Chinese zodiacs too, which can add more interest to the holiday.

Celebrating the Chinese New Year can be a lot of fun, especially if you’ve never joined in on the celebration. These ten ideas will give you something fun to try so you can make the most out of the holiday on a budget. With any luck, you will certainly find that this holiday is a great way to add a fresh take to the spring months.

Cheap Tricks to Organize Your Kitchen to Work for You

Like most people, the holidays bring a sudden increase in kitchen products. From cute little gadgets to appliances, there is one problem with getting these gifts around the holidays. That is, more often than not, we just don’t have enough space for them. Luckily, there are quite a few ways to organize these items, so that you don’t have to stress over your lack of space. These ten ideas will not only help you store all of the new items that you received this holiday season, but it can also help you transform your kitchen for efficiency. So, don’t let everything overwhelm you, because you’re bound to have a new kitchen before you know it.

1. Store Water Bottles
Water bottles are an incredibly popular gift right now, especially with everyone trying to live an eco-friendlier life. However, if the whole family has their own water bottle, or you have multiple bottles, then you might feel a bit overrun by these wonderful contraptions. The great thing about water bottles is there are numerous ways to make them work in your kitchen. One of the easiest ways is to grab a magazine/file holder that is a bit on the wider side. You can typically find these at the dollar store or any department store in your area. Once you get the holders, simply place them in the cabinet and stack your bottles in them. This will make it simple to grab and go, too. You might also consider buying a bottle holder, which can be found in the baby section. This can be hidden in the cabinet or left out on the counter with ease. If you have a large drawer that isn’t occupied, then you might place them in there with a tension rod to keep them from moving around everywhere.

2. Take to the Walls
Your counters and cabinets aren’t the only places you can utilize storage. As a matter of fact, if you have any wall space then it makes the perfect place to put some of your items. One of the easiest ways to do this is to install shelves. You can use these to display your herb garden, spice collection, cooking utensils, lighter appliances, and so much more. Apart from shelving, you might consider using a pegboard or special hooks to hang up your pots and pans. This will free up a lot of cabinet space while adding a special vibe to your kitchen. It can also come in handy while cooking. You might also consider hanging up your oven mitts and more, as this can be a space saver too. If you’re in an apartment, consider using 3M strips or other alternatives to hang up your items.

3. Evaluate Appliances
Appliances can add up quickly. Whether you’re getting them as a gift or you find items you like frequently, you might discover that your kitchen has run out of the room a lot faster than you might have thought possible. The main problem with appliances is they can be a bit harder to store than other kitchen items. So, one of the best things to do is rank your appliances. If you use them frequently then they deserve a place on the countertop or somewhere that is easy for you to get to them. Other appliances that get only moderate use can be stored beneath the counter or in cabinets. If you have other items to go through, then you might consider their use before you find a place for them. Items that you know you’re going to use for holiday meals and so on can easily be stored in the attic or garage until you need them. However, if you have items you know are never going to be used then you might just get rid of them. You can sell or donate them to ensure someone else will get to enjoy them.

4. Tension Rods
When it comes to the kitchen, tension rods can truly be your best friend. You can use them for so many different things, which will help make your life easier and so much more convenient. One of the first things you should consider when storing these items is your cooking sheets. Long gone are the days of them falling over as you try to look for the one you need to use. Another thing to use these rods for is stacking all of your Tupperware lids, as well as your pots’ and pans’ lids. These can truly take away the mess while making it a cinch to grab what you need in a hurry. Finally, you can stretch a tension rod under a cabinet to store all of your cleaning supplies. This makes them simple to grab while creating a neater appearance.

5. Storage Bins
Storage bins are going to be your best friend when it comes to your kitchen. You can use them for just about everything, too. For starters, instead of having bulky boxes of snacks, granola bars, prepacked oatmeal, and more, then you can place it all in a bin for easy access. Apart from organizing the pantry, you can add these bins to storage for lids, straws, appliance accessories, and so much more. You might also consider purchasing airtight containers to help the life span of your food. These containers can even be utilized inside of the refrigerator to ensure everything is organized there too. Luckily, you can find bins for remarkably cheap, especially if you shop dollar stores, so you won’t have to spend a pretty penny to utilize this system in your kitchen.

6. Go Stackable
Another way to get more out of your kitchen is to start upgrading your items to things that can be stacked. Cups, plates, bowls, and other eatery items typically come in this type of design. However, if you really want to keep things simple then look for mixing bowls, strainers, and other items that can be stacked in one area. You might also consider items that will allow you to stack other things. You can purchase special racks that will actually allow you to stack items that you typically wouldn’t be able to stack.

7. Repurpose Items
If you want to get your kitchen organized but you don’t want to put a lot of money into it, then you can always repurpose the storage items that you already have around the home. For instance, if you have a shoe organizer that hangs on the wall then you can put it on your pantry wall for your kitchen utensils, oven mitts, and so much more. You can also use storage containers with smaller areas to hang up your spices for easy access. Shoe racks that rest on the floor can be placed in the pantry to store all of your cans. You can also use magazines or folder holders to store lids, cups and so much more.

8. Customize Drawers
One of the best things that you can do for your kitchen is to let your drawers work for you. Although your drawers are probably filled with things, with a little alteration, you can get a lot more out of them than you might otherwise expect. For instance, you can add a small board into one of your deeper drawers, with holes cut into it. This is great for larger tumblers or water bottles that are hard to store in cabinets. Apart from that, you can even add slats into one of these drawers. You can do this cheaply with wooden dowels and wood glue. The dowels will help you store items like lids and so on. You might also make your own cutting board that fits inside of a drawer without taking up all of the space.

9. Under Cabinet Space
If you have a lot of cabinets, then don’t forget to utilize all of the space they provide for you. Sure, it is easy to stack things on top of them, but you can also use the underneath of the cabinet too. For instance, you can add hooks to hang up your mugs or even some of your herbs. If you want to add more efficiency, then add a stylish shower curtain beneath them. You can add cups to it to store your utensils, cutlery, plants, and so much more. You might also consider adding lights beneath the cabinets to add even more convenience to your kitchen.

10. Purge
Of course, at the end of the day, there is only so much you can do. If you have so much stuff that your kitchen is a nightmare, then it might be time to purge some of the items. You can do this in several ways, too, so it is easy to find a style that works most efficiently for you. For instance, there is the Marie Kondo way which will have you toss out the items that do not bring you joy. Then, there is simply getting rid of things that are no longer functional or serve no purpose in your life. You might be surprised by how little you use things. If you’re not sure if you will use an item then keep it but write down every time you use it. If the end of the year arrives and you have used it very little to not at all then it is time to let it go. This doesn’t just apply to appliances though. You might have extra dish sets, too many pots and pans, and so on.

Your kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home. This is especially true if you are trying to lead a healthier lifestyle in the upcoming year. These tips will help you clear out the clutter and get organized, so you can make your kitchen work for you. This can be a huge asset, especially as you organize after the holiday rush.

Ten Ways to Get Your Kids Amped Up For School After Winter Break

As the New Year begins, the school year will resume in no time at all. For most families, it is incredibly hard for children to get back in groove of things. This can make everyone’s lives a whole lot harder, which no one really wants. If your kids are dreading the school year, then you can easily get them back in the groove without forcing them to feel pressure. These ten ideas will help make the school year easier for everyone while inspiring kids to enjoy school all the more.

1. Help Set Goals
For a lot of kids, school is an aimless process. They do what is required of them and not much more, which can cause things to get a little boring for them. This makes kids less likely to feel like they aren’t accomplishing anything or are just going through the motions that you tell them to. If you sit down with your child, then you can easily help them to set their own goals. This will even work for children as young as kindergarten. The goals might not be what older children might come up with, but you’d be surprised as to how much even younger kids will enjoy their goals. For instance, a younger child might make it a goal to run faster in gym, or color in the lines. Older children might make it a point to learn more about things they’re interested in or improve a grade in a challenging subject. Once you have goals in mind, write them down, talk about ways to achieve them, and then add some incentive in the form of a reward. You’d be surprised how much this can inspire a kid to get up in the morning for school.

2. Pre-School Project
Days upon days without educational stimulation can make it harder for a child to jump back into action with school. However, just having your child work on homework can also be very taxing. Instead of just leaving things be for a couple of weeks, you might consider coming up with a project to help ease kids back into the school days. You might look through your child’s schoolwork to see if there is something you can expand on during the winter holiday. If nothing comes to mind, then you can look at their syllabus or look online for a curriculum based on their grade. You should find a few ideas this way, which can definitely make planning a lot easier. Some simple ideas are building a volcano, building and launching a rocket, working on a STEM toy, nature hikes, historical projects, or bringing a book to life with art, a play, or even fan writing. No matter what you choose, make sure it is fun, educational, and something that will help your child stay focused and ready to learn.

3. Engage in Reading
Reading is one of the key elements when it comes to your child’s education. However, it is easy for kids to put reading on the back burner when they’re having fun with toys and their friends. If you want to keep your child engaged in school, then reading is one of the best ways to do this. You might have your child go to the library once or twice a week during break. This will allow them to easily find a good book that will spark their imagination when school is on hold. Many libraries will also know which books work for school reward programs, so your child can get a jump start on their reading goals during the break. If you want to add to the fun, then look into the books that are being studied or that will be studied in school. Then, add fun art projects or games that complement the book. You can even download worksheets to make learning even more exciting. This should help children succeed in English class, while also making reading fun, which will boost other areas of study.

4. Upgrade School Supplies
Sometimes, all a child needs to feel great about school is some new items. So, if you have a little extra money in your budget, you might consider getting some cool new items to make school feel fresh and new again. For instance, a new backpack can do a lot for a child’s self esteem and will ensure your student is ready to lug around all of their homework and books. You will also find that a backpack can show how they’ve grown since the last semester, with interest, style and more. Of course, upgrading pens, pencils, art supplies, and so on can also help bring confidence to the new semester. Even some fresh clothes can change the way your child feels about school.

5. Design Homework Center
There’s no doubt about it, getting homework done is an imperative part of the school year. That is why it is crucial to have a great place for your child to kick back and do their homework. A homework center is one of the best places to do this. You might design the center based on how your child works. If your child needs complete silence, then a study or a bedroom is probably the best place for the center. Of course, you might also consider putting it in a more public place if your child needs supervision or has trouble with concentrating in quiet places. While building the homework center, consider comfort and efficiency. You might also add bins for homework supplies and snacks. With a nice place to work, your child will be inspired to take their education further.

6. Reinforce Lessons
Believe it or not, but kids can forget things very quickly when their minds are left on idle. That is why it is important to reinforce lessons while school is on break. You might look at their homework from before break and base a few lessons on what they were already learning. Of course, you can also find curriculum for their age group online. There are many worksheets to help keep the lessons active, especially when it comes to math. You can also have your child spend some of their screen time on apps based to help keep their knowledge strong. This will make returning to school less anxiety driven. It might also improve their grades, especially if they didn’t have enough practice with some of their lessons.

7. Talk About Summer
Some kids can’t see getting through another semester of school because they don’t care for it or are already burned out. One way to try to provide incentive for them to go back and enjoy school is to talk about all of the amazing things they will get to do when summer arrives. You might all sit down together and discuss the things you would like to do during summer. One good thing to bring up is summer camps or activities that your child might enjoy participating in. You can also talk about potential vacation. In fact, it might be wise to do this as it will allow you to make all of the necessary plans and put back money anyway. Apart from that, you might also discuss ways you plan on relaxing during the holiday, as this can help students feel a little more at ease because they will then know the reward that awaits them.

8. Reconnect with Classmates
Playdates are an important part of growing up, even if you’re dealing with a teen. So, you might want to ask your child to have some friends over or send your child to a friend’s house for a little while during their break. Socializing with friends during a break can make your child feel much better about their relationships at school. This can allow your child to actually want to return to school to be around the people they have befriended. Reconnecting before school begins again takes away from the awkwardness, which is important for kids.

9. Decide on Semester’s Activities
Extracurricular activities can actually be a saving grace when it comes to your child’s education. So, if you’re looking to add a little spark to the new semester than you might sit down and discuss what new things your child might like to do. Of course, you should probably do this before school begins anyway. This will allow you to embrace your child’s interests and take in your schedule, before you actually have to sign any paperwork for the activities. This will also allow you to budget. Of course, one of the best things about talking about upcoming activities is the fact that it will get your child up and moving when it comes to taking on school and transitioning into a whole new semester of fun.

10. Show Your Excitement
You might not believe it but showing your own excitement for school can be a big help to your children. Although you might be excited for some peace and quiet, you should work to show your excitement about your kids improving their education. You can always share some of your favorite things about school with them and ask them questions about the things they are looking forward to. Sending out positive vibes can change your child’s whole perspective on school, which will make getting them in the mood to go to school even easier.

It can be tough to inspire kids to get up and go when they have been sleeping in and playing for weeks on end. These ten tips should help make it much easier to get your kids back in the swing of things, so they can truly embrace school. Plus, some of these back to school tips might even help your child do even better in their studies, which will help them go further in life.