My former sister-in-law is a Morman. She and her lovely family introduced me to a nice concept of family home evening. In an effort to promote families and prevent divorce their church encourages couples to have a "date" night once a week, and families to have a "home" night once a week. Watching their kids of all ages playing board games was nice. Their family seemed tightly bonded. I think in this economy bonding is good. Kids don't need drama. They really don't need divorces.

You can do all sorts of inexpensive hobbies on Sunday afternoons with your family. Even if you can't afford AYSO soccer, you can buy the ball and kick it around with your kids at the park. Another nice thing to do is to take your kids hiking. Hiking requires little beyond a good pair of shoes. Kids who have been exposed to nature will like it more, litter less, and care about preserving the environment. Plus fresh air is good for kids. If you take them on night hikes you can show them the stars. IPhone has apps you can download an see which stars are which.

Family time can be at home too. Board games like Pictionary are appropriate for all ages. Teaching older kids to get along with younger siblings is a better life lesson than letting the older kids ignore or be callous to their little brothers and sisters. Monopoly was a bad game to play because it requires players to decimate everyone else in order to win. Tears and fighting seemed to accompany every game. If you have only one or two children teaching them to cook with you is a worthwhile inexpensive Sunday afternoon hobby. I taught my son how to make bread without a bread maker. It is actually quite easy, very delicious, cheaper and healthier than what is for sale in the stores. As far as cheap entertainment, few things top making a pizza from scratch and renting a video. Kids love to decide what to top the pizza with. It takes barely twenty minutes, the same amount of time as ordering a pizza.

Let your kids enjoy what you enjoy. If you have an inexpensive hobby, like scapbooking, crochet or knitting, teach your kids how. They will appreciate seeing this personal side to you. For a lot of men, fishing is an expensive hobby. Boys and girls like fishing. Taking kids out to the beauty of nature is relaxing. Girls and boys alike can benefit from learning a useful skill. If you work on cars for a hobby, do your daughter a favor and show her how to change her own oil, or check tire pressure.

Buy a dog and make a schedule for walking and baths. Most kids don't end up bonded to their pets because they don't take care of them. Dogs are very simple minded in their likes and dislikes. They like people who feed them and spend time with them. If your kids are the ones taking the dog for a walk, the bonding will occur. Once they are bonded to the dog, they will enjoy the dog more.

Eat dinner together. In today's world so many food for the microwave are designed with only one person in mind. Kids get home from school to an empty house. It's sad. All this time spent away from home doesn't create a home, it kind of just pays for the house. Kids don't need fancy shoes and designer clothes as much as they crave your time and attention. If they cry and pout over material things it's because they've already given up on ever even expecting your love and attention. Kids who are properly bonded to you will observe on their own what you can and can not afford. They rarely want to hurt you.

Find a place to worship together. For families that share a religion and a world view, closeness can be even sweeter. Imagine your child getting married in your home church. It's a nice fantasy isn't it? They have a better chance of staying married if they marry with in their faith. My Morman sister-in-law married into an all Morman family. It made the holidays so much easier for them.