keep the kids entertained Thanksgiving break

Thanksgiving break starts on the 25th. A mere three weeks from now and all the school children will be home from class. You’d better believe I’ve already thought of ways to keep my first grader entertained while she’s out of school. Here is a survival guide if you will of what I plan to do to keep the kids entertained Thanksgiving break and not lose my mind or control of the monthly budget.

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Survival Guide to Keeping the Kids Entertained Thanksgiving Break

Organized Play Dates

I hope to give my girl not one, but two playdates over the break. This is excluding playtime with cousins, which is also very likely to happen. I’m already in talks on one and play to reach out to the other mom this week. I’m not waiting around till the last minute on this to find out the week before that someone will be out of town. You need to have your ducks in a row.


This is where some leftover gift cards from the kids’ birthdays will come in handy. I’ve been saving a couple and Thanksgiving break will be the perfect week to use them! They both have Barnes and Noble gift cards and I plan to take them there to look around, play with the train table, and pick out a new book or two. This will make a fun outing to break up a day that might otherwise be spent indoors.

We also have a bowling gift certificate. This will probably be something we wait for daddy to get off work to enjoy, but it is still a fun way and a good chance to get out of the house without spending a lot of money.

I will probably budget a few dollars in entertainment or for one meal out this week. I have not yet finalized our November budget, (it is on my list today) so we’ll see what is available.

Outdoor Play Time to Keep the Kids Entertained Thanksgiving Break

Provided it isn’t too wet we will probably bundle up and go outside for at least a little while every day we’re home. This should prove interesting as I have one who can’t stand wearing a coat, but a little trip outside usually resets the little ones’ attitudes for a while, so it’s worth the effort.

Library Time

Check your local library calendar for fun events to keep the kids entertained Thanksgiving break. The Fayetteville Public Library, which is close enough to us will be screening a FREE movie for kids Monday-Wednesday at 1 PM! It will no doubt be busy, but there is a different, current release Disney movie each of the three days. If you live in Northwest Arkansas and are interested check out their calendar for more information.

keep the kids entertained Thanksgiving break
more than just books at the library

We won’t make it for a movie (two-year-old attention span and all), but we will definitely be loading up on some good reads at the beginning of the week and browsing the movie section for fun holiday films to watch at home.

Craft Time

I am admittedly not the greatest at following through with this, but we will probably break out the craft supplies once or twice. There are a few fun little ideas we could put together with supplies already on hand. I will encourage the kids (mostly the oldest) to make Thanksgiving cards to give to family members. as well as make the customary turkeys by tracing their hands.

Educational Screen Time

My daughter’s school uses a few online resources we can access from home to help with reading and math. I plan to allow around 30 minutes a day on either IStation or Sumdog for her to work on math skills while at home.

We do allow some TV time, but I try to keep it at a minimum and once it’s on it is a fight to turn it off without inevitable meltdowns.

Board & Card Games

I see a lot of Trouble, Candy Land, Yeti in My Spaghetti, and Go Fish in my near future! Maybe we’ll borrow a game and teach her something new. She loves playing games and is very competitive.

She also tries very hard to include her little brother in the fun, which is cute. It takes longer to play, but it’s still sweet.

Do you have any 2s?

How do You Plan to Keep Your Kids Entertained Thanksgiving Break?

Will you be traveling? Staying home? How do you keep your kids entertained without television all day? Have any special traditions or activities you like to do with your kids while they’re home on break?

With the twice as long Christmas/Winter break coming up just a few weeks after Thanksgiving, you can actually refer back to this list for then as well. Thankfully the husband will be off Christmas week. That will make things a little easier. Maybe our daughter will get a new game or two for Christmas we can enjoy the second week of that break.

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Halloween is just around the corner! What better way to spend #blogtober day 4 than talking about how to Halloween on a dime?! This was a fun one to put together. Halloween can be quite draining on the budget if you’re not careful. But, if done right you won’t break the bank and you’ll be able to reuse some if not all the costume pieces!

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Wonder Woman

halloween on a dime

My six-year-old has decided to be Wonder Woman for Halloween this year and this frugal mama couldn’t be happier! Not only did she pick a great character we already have 75% of what is needed to put this look together! She already owns a Wonder Woman t-shirt (courtesy of her Gigi who is a big WW fan) and some blue leggings with white stars! All I have to do is come up with a belt, headband, and cuff bracelets! I will either make my ow with felt or take the easy route with this wearable cake topper set. We will forgo the whip for safety reasons. Even going the easy route this is a way to pull Halloween on a dime off for less than $10.

Puppy or Kitty

This was my costume pick for my son last year, which he refused to participate in. He was one. I didn’t fight him! The plan was to use a kid’s puppy headband with ears and tail I got at a dollar store and put him in solid colored sweats or a t-shirt and leggings depending on the weather. Weather on Halloween in Arkansas is either 90 degrees or snowing! The great thing about this idea is it would work for lots of different animals and you can do patterns – felt patches or simple fabric paint would add a cute touch for an adorable Halloween costume on a dime. The total cost would be $10 or under!

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Wednesday Addams or the Whole Addams Family

halloween on a dime

Or dress the whole family up Addams family style! This simple black collared dress for $22.99 and a long black braided wig would work perfectly. Add a little pale powder to the face and voila! The dress is cute and can easily be worn again. It wouldn’t be hard or expensive to get the whole family involved in this one. Most items could be worn again!


Another aborted Halloween costume last year! My daughter said she wanted to be a minion several times so I found a cute pair of oshkosh overalls to wear with a yellow tee she already owned and a yellow stocking cap and goggles. It was such a cute idea and the overalls would’ve gotten a lot of wear, but she decided to do something a little girlier.

Instead, she wore a Barbie princess costume from the dress-up stash at her Pa’s house to the school carnival and… Tinkerbell trick or treating. The total cost for this idea would’ve been under $30 with everything being reusable. So we definitely did Halloween on a dime last year, with $0 spent on costumes!

Conjure up a Harry Potter Wizard Costume on a Dime!

All a girl needs is to curl her hair, put on a black pullover sweater, Hogwarts patch, dark skirt, and a simple wand to pull off a Hermoine costume. The patch can be purchased for less than $10 and most of us probably already have the basic sweater and skirt. Guys just need dark pants. Pair with a black bathrobe or thrifted graduation gown and iconic glasses for the full Harry effect. The striped tie could be thrifted as well.

Peter Pan & Crew

halloween on a dime

My family actually did this one year! I ordered a long-sleeved blue dress and a Captain Hook costume and hat from Amazon. Our daughter dressed up as Tinkerbell. I got to wear my dress several more times and even though it’s been two years she still wears the Tinkerbell costume! We ended up donating the Hook costume during one of our many decluttering efforts prior to the move. Our son was just a baby at the time and he wore an adorable pair of Peter Pan pajamas that kept him quite comfortable and he was able to wear them several times after Halloween. It was a fun family costume ensemble!

It wasn’t our most frugal year for sure, but we got a lot of wear out of most of the pieces. Now that I am smarter, wiser, and more frugal I would look at thrift stores beforehand to put together the Hook costume. This ensemble was over $100, but the kids and I definitely got our money’s worth out of our costumes.

Zombie Bride or Prom Queen

A quick trip to the thrift store can result in a formal or bridal gown to destroy and instant costume! This one should help you Halloween on a dime for under $10 minus the makeup.

And that concludes my 7 costume ideas to enjoy Halloween on a dime! I’ll be back again tomorrow for another #blogtober post! I hope to see you then!


fun at the fair

Frugal at the Fair

The Washington County Fair was a few weeks ago! Tuesday night was family night; tickets were $2 each with the donation of a canned good. Our littlest is still free! Total cost for admission was $6. That’s a small price to pay for so much fun at the fair!

As always, the kids had a blast running around the fairgrounds, climbing in different off-road vehicles and tractors, and of course checking out all the animals. One of the goat farmers even brought a sweet little baby out for the kids to pet. We only missed the pigs because we had a hard time keeping the two-year-old off the ground!

We have a yearly tradition of getting a funnel cake to share. This year did not disappoint! If you live in Northwest Arkansas and plan to eat some goodies at the next fair I highly recommend Nacho Momma’s Tacos. Their food is reasonably priced and yummy!

We saved money by eating an early dinner (it was taco Tuesday after all!), filled up some water bottles to help with the heat, and put on our boots! Getting out of the house to do something with the kids doesn’t have to bust the budget!

Technically we could’ve been more frugal by not ordering snacks, but we splurge on fair food once a year. We even brought our own water bottles, so the total cost of this frugal fun outing was just under $20. I can live with that and so can our budget!

Don’t Miss out on the Fun at the Fair Next Time!

If you missed the fun this time, be sure you make it next year! There is good old fashioned frugal fun at the fair! Check the schedule for your local fairgrounds so you are sure to enjoy some frugal fun at the fair the next time it comes to your area!


frugal and floral

Frugal and Floral Fun on a Dime

I don’t know why I hadn’t gone before, but when a dear friend visiting this summer treated us to a trip to the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks we had a blast! This frugal and floral experience fits in the budget rather easily. Click here for admission fees and information if you live in or are planning to visit Northwest Arkansas. There is a kid’s section complete with a human-size bird’s nest accessible by bridge, reading railroad, and a wonderful little butterfly house. We will definitely be going back.

Frugal and Floral Fun in the Children’s Garden

This is a beautiful area for the kids to play in with a sculpted cement tree, magnet wall, and even a small pond. The reading rainbow train has couches for train cars. There is also a very large walking stick sculpture that makes for a great photo op if you have multiple kids old enough to sit on it.

The Butterfly House

This small, but beautiful little screened-in oasis was a hit with the kids. There are gorgeous flowers, sculptures, and of course butterflies inside a beautifully designed structure.

Walking Trail and Other Gardens

The paths are easy to follow to the different gardens if you have kids in tow or even a stroller. I definitely plan to go back when it is a little cooler outside. With events and activities year-round from firefly nights to Christmas events we can be sure to find the time for this frugal and floral activity!

There is also a native plants garden, and a chicken coop ( which is almost always a hit with small children), which are not pictured here.

The Japanese garden with the koi pond provides a nice bit of shade to sit in and cool off and looking for fish was entertaining for our bigger butterflies. This is definitely a must-see for Northwest Arkansas. My only complaint is why didn’t I go before?!