Playing cheap games with your children during cold winter nights or on bright sunny days outside is something that is not done as often as it used to be.
The invention of the television and computer games has for many families become their normal way of passing the time.
I was lucky when I was growing up these things had not yet fully taken over and I remember many fun evenings with my parents playing board and card games with them.
I enjoyed them so much that recently during a rather quiet Christmas day at my partners parents home I exclaimed, "lets play a game".
You should have seen the looks of shock on their faces; you would have thought I had suggested committing murder. Needless to say the game was not had.
Unfortunately even board games can be expensive to buy and considering how quickly children get bored, it is not the best solution for a frugal fun day.
So I have put together a selection of cheap games ideas, which are bags of fun for both Children and adults alike. Let the fun begin:
Jigsaw puzzles - Visit a car boot or garage sale and pick up a selection of jigsaw puzzles, especially if you can find the really fun ones like "where's willy" and the puzzles that form a globe shape.
Even though these are relatively new on the market, once someone has completed a jigsaw they usually won't want to do it again and so sell it quite quickly. This is why it is better not to pay the full price in the shops for them.
Charades - An old frugal favourite for the whole family and a very cheap game indeed as it doesn't involve any equipment whatsoever apart from the human body. To make it more varied and interesting, place a theme on the answers i.e. films, cartoon characters or types of animals.
The game involves miming the chosen word or title to the other members of the group and the first one who can guess the answer is the winner.
Animal snap - All that is needed for this game is a pack of cards. Each player chooses his or her own animal name (the longer the better i.e. Elephant).
The cards are dealt out equally and each player takes it in turn to place a card down on their own pile.
When someone places the same card i.e. a six onto their own pile and another player has a six on top of their pile the first person to shout out the other players animal name three times wins the other pile of cards. The winner is the one with all the cards.
Frugal Indoors bowling - Another cheap games alternative is to create your own indoor bowling ring, using paper cups for the pins and rolled up newspaper balls or ping pong balls. Each cup can have a value written on it in pen and each player gets three throws per turn. After 6 rounds the scores are added up and the person with the highest score wins.
Hot or Cold - All this game requires is a small object like a thimble. One player hides the thimble in a room. When the others return they must find the object by asking if they are hot or cold. The nearer they get to the object the hotter they are, until someone finds it. Of all the cheap games to play inside this one is great fun, but be warned it can get a little frantic at times.
Tiddlywinks - All kids love to play Tiddlywinks and adults can get quite competitive too. All that is needed is plastic cup cut in half so that it is not too high. A coin and some buttons. Use the coin to flip your buttons into the cup.
To add a little more competitiveness to the game you could use a target board drawn onto paper with scores for each band on the target. So now you have to flip your buttons onto the target and the winner is the one with the highest score.
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