Here it is, my very first article published today in my local community newspaper:
Keeping young children entertained can be quite a task. Just managing to find the time to spend with them can be difficult enough not to mention the expense involved. As parents we want our children to grow into happy confident adults and although most of us are happy with the way our children are developing we still want more for them! Wether we want more time to spend with them or more money to spend on them we need to remember that all they really need to keep them happy (besides those important necessities like clothing, food and a roof over their little heads) is your love and attention. Here are a few simple ideas for inexpensive ways to play together that will boost their confidence, creativity and your relationship:
1. You can purchase cheap tarpaulins and acrylic paints from discount stores. Let your little ones finger paint on copy paper, you then can frame their artworks as beautiful prints on your wall. Not only will they feel proud that you want to share their masterpiece but it is a beautiful reminder of the fun that you had and you might even catch yourself smiling as you look at them.
2. Drawing with chalk on concrete is a simple activity. A concrete patio is perfect for this, even driveways are great to use provided they are fenced off from incoming traffic. Littlies can draw roads and then drive toy cars along them or trace around their bodies and then design new clothes for their 'twin' The other great advantage is that the chalk can usually be hosed straight off the concrete.
3. Start a veggie patch and make a scarecrow, it is also a great way to persuade them to part with their 'favourite' outfit that you have been trying to sneak into the garbage for weeks.
4. Grab a blanket and a book and lay under a shady tree and read together... Learning and love, what a great combination!
It doesn't have to cost the world to do something special with your children, you are their WHOLE world and you can't put a price on quality time spent with them... it truly is priceless!
Here it is in print: