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Now that our children are home from school for a few weeks, here are a few suggestions on how you can occupy our children’s lives once homework is completed that will be healthy and within your budget. No need to upset them with thinking they are interrupting your life or causing a burden, make things fun and exciting for them and you will all enjoy the time together more.

At your home

Think of other things that your children enjoy or that they might like to try for the first time, some of which you may need to supervise or participate in depending on their age and the activity. Like playing board games or other games you may have (and if you don’t have the one you want to try, they are pretty inexpensive if you buy them one at a time). Let them participate with their skills at baking or helping to prepare a meal. Not only will they feel needed, but they will get to eat what they make. Maybe they like to draw or create with Legos or have other toys that can keep them occupied – give them an idea of what you would like, then display their finished product. If they can and like to read, you won’t be able to go to the library since they will probably be closed, so recycle some of the books you have put away (or borrow from a friend) and set aside a time for them to read or read them together. If they are really artistic or crafty, teach them to knit or crochet or maybe card making or jewelry design. Look around your home for different items that could be used to create a beautiful item (used pickle jar and cover it with tissue paper and wax to make a pretty vase). Go online and see various crafts projects for the ages of your children that might be interesting to them.

Free activities out of your home

If you want to get yourself and your children out of the house, there are quite a few things to do that don’t cost a cent, just your time and energy. Take a visit to the park and let them swing, run around, take a Frisbee to throw and don’t forget to take the dog so he can get exercise also.. Klamath Falls has a number of nice small parks, so once the weather is nice, visit the ones close to you to see what they have to offer. Take a walk on a nature trail or a hike up a trail in Moore Park. Ride bikes together and explore new areas. Go fishing or toss a ball. If the snow keeps up and your children are old enough, have them shovel walkways and sidewalks for the neighbors. I’m not a doctor, but being outside is a healthy atmosphere as long as you and your children keep a safe distance (the recommendation right now is 6 feet) from other people. There are so many activities that you can do with your child that will benefit them physically as well as mentally that don’t cost a penny and only take energy and time.

Whatever you decide to have your children participate in, make sure it allows enough time for homework to be completed, stays within your budget and is something that your child will truly like and want to do and have fun. Most activities you come up with will exercise their body and brain which will keep them fit and healthy. A well-rounded child is generally a happy, healthy child who will succeed in not only school but in his/her life.

Smart savings with Eileen the savings queen

This locally written column by Eileen Harris is featured twice monthly. Eileen gives tips on getting the most out of the money you’re spending and saving time and energy. Do you have a question about how to save money? Have a tip to share? Email questions and ideas for future columns to with “Eileen the Savings Queen” in the subject line.