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Welcome to Hearth and Home!

Find great ideas for Family Fun on a limited budget! Some adventures are as near as your own backyard. Others are more distant. All are inexpensive and entertaining! Check back often for new ideas!

You're All Wet!!

The temperature has reached 90 degrees and the sun is beckoning for a day of fun! Now is the time to load the Water Pistols, and water balloons! Break the family up into two teams! Pick your battle stations (trees make great shields!), and let the match begin! Score points for each team, one point for each direct hit! When the battle is over be sure to pick up all of the broken water balloons (so the birds are not harmed by them). Then make peace with the other team and join together for hotdogs or hamburgers on the grill!

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Let it Snow!

Its a Snow Day! Schools are closed...offices are empty! The family is home together! Its a day made for family fun. Try some outdoor fun in the snow. How about a Snowman Contest? Before going out in the snow....design awards by cutting out round pieces of plain cardboard and adding ribbons. Decorate the cardboard pieces (be sure to have enough awards for everyone involved!). Then its time to hit the yard. Mark off each team's territory. Ready...set....go! Have a set amount of time to complete the snowmen. After 30 or 45 minutes, call time. Then have everyone judge the snowmen. There could be awards for the funniest, strongest, smallest, biggest, most lopsided or any other outstanding snowman! Everyone gets a prize....which includes Hot Chocolate in the warm kitchen!

Family Game Night

Now that school has started and the schedules are frantic with homework, school activities, and sports....it is very hard to find the time to get the whole family together. We found the best way to connect with each other during the hectic weeks, is to designate a Friday or Saturday Night as Family Game Night! Having a game night at least once a month, gives the family a chance to spend time together! Make a trip to the store for some treats to be enjoyed during the games! Then let everyone choose one game they want to play and write it on a piece of paper. (Our only rule was it could not be a game that would last for hours such as Monopoly). Then the papers are drawn out of a bag for the order of play. That way...everyone gets to play a favorite game. If it is not possible to get to all of the games in one evening (depending on the size of the family), then save the papers not drawn for the next game night.

A Book and a Puzzle

Summer has arrived! My family knows it is really summer when I bring a 1,000 piece puzzle home to set up on our back porch! The puzzle remains up for anyone to work at any time. Some summers we manage to finish two or three puzzles. The other sure sign of summer is a trip to the Library to choose the first book of a series. The Wardrobe Series and Tolkien books were two of our favorites. These books were read aloud by one of us each afternoon, when it was too hot to play outside. The boys and I spent many summers adventuring in other lands, meeting exciting characters, and experiencing different challenges.

Rainy Day Memories

With thunder in the air, and rain on the roof, spend a day of Memory Adventures with your children. I started putting different items away into a bottom dresser drawer, that my sons had created, earned or were given. These items dated back to when they were toddlers. When they got up to Elementary School ... we developed a wonderful tradition. On rainy days, we would sit on the floor and go through the drawer together. The only rule was that we had to wait for a rainy day! We spent (and still do) many wonderful hours as a family of sharing memories and stories about their younger days!

A Table for Two, Three, Four.....!

Can't go out to eat? Don't despair! Turn your dining room into the finest dining establishment in town! The kids will love to help. Bring out the better china, dust off the napkin rings, and shine up the crystal! Let the kids make placecards and decorate the table. Add candles to transform the meal into a dinner event! The whole family will enjoy the unique atmosphere dining by candlelight produces. Suddenly a plain meal becomes an exciting feast! (Add another touch of elegance, by dressing up for dinner!)

Adventure Day!

It's Adventure Day! Pack a cooler with loads of goodies and and cool drinks, gas up the car and head out on a Day of Adventure with the Family!

First take a drive down backroads that you have never traveled. You will enjoy discovering new areas, and finding interesting places to visit, tucked away on those roads you always wanted to check out. We did this on one of our Family Adventure Days, and found a delightful Old Cracker House and Museum!

Stay on the Lookout for a Picnic Spot for a great noontime lunch. Or plan to lunch in any nearby parks or recreational areas.

For the trip home, have some car games, books, tapes, and other interesting activities. These will keep the smaller members of the family happily occupied.

Backyard Adventure

Many times it is not possible to leave home for family fun. Do not despair....there is excitement in your own backyard!

For starters, take a few sheets out and lay down with the kids to watch the sky. You are instanly transported miles away as you watch the clouds, make cloud pictures, count the airplanes overhead (making up stories about the people in them), or identify birds.

One afternoon my eight year old son and I had the added excitement of watching a large flock of gigantic crows flying back and forth over our yard! It was exciting to share their world for a short time.

When it is time to return to earth, there is a perfectly good blanket just begging for an impromptude picnic! Let the whole family find their favorite food and return for an outdoor feast!

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