December 20, 2007

21 Ways to Have Fun … Absolutely FREE!

  1. Always wanted to visit Israel? Have a passion for Paris? Go to the local library and plan a dream vacation using the maps, cultural books, and travel planners to investigate your destination.

  2. Write notecards thanking your neighbors for being "neighborly." Stick them in their doors, ring the doorbells, and watch their responses of surprise from behind a bush.

  3. If you have snow in your part of the country, make sure you take advantage of the mud it makes when it melts. If you don't have snow, make some mud. In either case, get on some grubby clothes, grab some buds, and have a messy game of full-contact Ultimate Frisbee!

  4. Take your family to watch Little League baseball at the park. Ask your parents if they have sports stories from when they were kids. You may be surprised!

  5. Most libraries have movies you can check out for free. Try some of the old black-and-white ones with Jimmy Stewart, Humphrey Bogart or Ingrid Bergman.

  6. Explore the outdoors at a different time than you normally would. Take a walk through downtown when all the shops are just opening. Check into a professionally-led night hike, the kind where you use flashlights. It's amazing how different your perspective can be!

  7. Browse a used bookstore and reminisce about your favorite children's books. Maybe the store even has a read-aloud-to-kids time you could attend!

  8. Organize an all-day (or night!) tournament of board games at your church. Invite people of all ages to join in on Scrabble, Sequence, Monopoly, Clue!, Risk, Chess, Checkers, Backgammon, or other favorites. You'll be amazed at how games can start conversations between different age groups!

  9. Gather all the unmatched socks in your house and make puppets! See how many of your friends you can turn into a sock character.

  10. Ask your parents if you and a few friends can have free reign in the kitchen for an evening. Create your own gourmet coffee/tea/hot chocolate drinks by experimenting with various spices, syrups, juices, powders, etc. Make a menu of the best concoctions (and a fun list of your worst!) and treat your parents (by cleaning up the kitchen, too).

  11. Throw together some creative costumes on a holiday off of school (like President's Day) and go "canning." Go door-to-door in your neighborhood, just like at Halloween, but instead of asking for candy, ask for canned goods to be donated to a local food bank. No one will expect it, but everyone will love it.

  12. Have a group of friends write "What If?" or "Would You Rather?" questions on slips of paper and put them in a bowl (for example, "What if you could only eat one food for the rest of your life?" "Would you rather not use soap or not use a hairbrush for the next 10 years?") Take turns pulling them out and answering them. You'll find out more about each other, and it's guaranteed to make you laugh.

  13. Try to make a house of cards.

  14. Check out a book on paper airplanes, grab some paper, and challenge your friends to some contests: coolest plane, longest-flying, even biggest dud!

  15. Gather the family for an evening of reminiscing. Pop some popcorn, pull out the old photo albums, and laugh at pictures from your younger years.

  16. How well do you know your hometown? Divide your friends into two groups, each group making a list of little-known sites to capture on video (the view from the tallest building) or items to bring back in person (a napkin from a local diner). Exchange lists, borrow a video camera for each group (make sure to ask parents!), and have a fun night rediscovering your town.

  17. Learn more about your parents' hobbies. Does your mom sew? Ask her to help you make a pillowcase. Does your dad garden? Help him plant the spring seeds and chat about what it takes for them to grow well.

  18. Attend a speech or independent movie showing at a local community college or university on a topic you're interested in. Yes, learning can be fun!

  19. Make a mural for your wall/door/notebook/locker out of empty cereal boxes, magazine clippings, favorite quotes and Bible verses.

  20. Try reading the Sunday comics backward—starting from the last frame and working to the first—to your family and see if they can guess the characters speaking.

  21. Make up a list of creative things you can do for absolutely free!

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