You don't have to spend a ton of money to have a great time with your family. Just because you didn't take that holiday to Singapore like your neighbours did, doesn't mean you cannot have as just fun staying right where you are. Here are tips on how you can have a great time as a family, on a low budget.
One of the best ways to bond with your children is to do fun stuff with them. Your role as a parent is not limited to being a disciplinarian. If your children can have a great time with you, they will be keen to spend more time with you, and to include you more in their lives.
Board games can be a lot of fun for children and adults alike. Naturally if you have very young children, playing games like snakes and ladders can be a bit of a drag, but do spend time playing with them. Devote one night a week to playing board games with your children. Keep it flexible though, and don't prevent your children from going out with friends because they need to play board games with you. This will defeat the purpose, since you don't want your child to be resentful when spending time with you.
Some great games that can be enjoyed by children and adults include Monopoly, Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit, amongst others. These games also help build vocabulary (Scrabble) and general knowledge (Trivial Pursuit).
You don't need to spend a lot of time planning it or making it into an event. If you think your children would rather be doing something else, you're wrong. Children would love to spend time playing with parents, but often it is parents who are too otherwise occupied to spend time 'wastefully' playing games with children. Most parents would rather indulge in adult pursuits, like talking to someone over the phone or watching television, rather than playing with their children. You don't have to put work aside; giving children dinner on time takes priority over playing a board game, but you could use some of your free time by playing board games with your children.
Another great option would be to go for a movie as a family. Movie watching in India is fairly reasonable. You don't have to go to the most expensive cinema hall, after all, it is all about the movie. You will spend fifteen minutes lounging around outside the cinema hall, and three hours inside watching the movie. So if you don't want to shell out Rs 600 - 700 to buy tickets for your family of four at the multiplex, opt for a standard cinema hall.
Food courts at the mall make for a fun, low-cost meal experience. Children don't really care much for ambience, and they won't have a better time at an expensive restaurant. As long as the food is tasty, as long as you are satisfied with regard to hygiene and quality of food, and as long as there are numerous people milling around and there is an atmosphere of fun and revelry, your children will have a great time. You can go even lighter on the pocket, and take your children out just for an ice cream after a home-cooked meal. All that really matters is the act of doing something together, as a family.