Money may be tighter than in previous years, yet there are many things you can do with your children which are free or nearly free and build great memories. Time is the most valuable thing you can give your children and choosing to spend time with a child makes them feel valued and secure.

Family Outings

When I was a child, money was tight, yet we had more family outings than most. During the summer we were brought to the beach for a swim most days and bought an ice pop. At the weekend, the car was packed for Brittas with two sliced pans of sandwiches for the long beach day. I still remember the simple pleasure of eating chips on the way home followed by a family sing song. The tradition was continued with my children as we enjoyed similar beach days with friends and shared picnics.

Many a magical day has been spent making sandcastles, collecting shells seaweed to make sand sculptures! For a couple of euro you can buy a fishing net and your children will enjoy many hours clambering over rocks with a bucket searching for crabs and fish. I bought a small gas stove in a camping shop for 15 that has more than paid for itself with the hot dogs and bacon butty’s served after a swim with hot drinks from the school flasks! A trip on the Dart to Killiney and a beach day at White Rock or Killiney Beach is a great day out.

The best things in life are free…

A trip to your local Library will arm you with a selection of great DVD’s for a Family Movie Night in perhaps after some homemade pizza. The Library also lists the upcoming local events which are worth attending, perhaps a Cultural Festival or the recent Movies in the Park in Dun Laoghaire. These events are all free of charge and a great day out. The best memory for your child is when you take the time to play with them, in the playground, maybe fly a kite or kick a ball. A great memory I have with my children was a picnic with traditional games; tug or war, fling the welly, the three legged race and chasing. Baking and cooking is another activity you can enjoy with your children, take the time and ensure you are relaxed in order to give them the opportunity to learn something new.

Quality Time with your child

Painting and reading with your children are other wonderful experiences that you can enjoy if you make the time. The cost is minimal and the payback is a child with their needs met who is a joy to be with. Family board games in front of the fire as evenings close in with marshmallows to toast and a cup of hot chocolate. Finish off a memorable day with bedtime stories about when you were young which children always love to hear. In times of recession, we may lose the job or the car but what is left except Family!

There are many free things you and your child can enjoy. Don’t forget:

  • Time is the most valuable things you can give a child
  • See the National Gallery & feed the ducks in the Green
  • Take a trip to Dalkey Island
  • The Library has DVD’s, music, & lists local events
  • The Natural History Museum and Collins Barracks are free
  • A hike in Crone Wood with a nature treasure hunt
  • Paint or draw or enjoy a family board game