Saturday, September 15, 2012

Frugal Family Fun

I love that fall is coming on, and we found a way to use it to our advantage for some frugal fun at the park today. Ohio is known as the Buckeye State and for good reason.  We easily found four large buckeye trees at our city park today, all of which have laden the ground around them with beautiful chestnut colored buckeyes.  The Native Americans originally named the nuts buckeyes because of their light-colored center that reminded them of a buck's eye.  

When a wind blows the tree drops any loose hulls to the ground and they usually break right open to reveal one or two buckeye nuts inside.  We found it especially lucky to find a spiny hull that didn't break open upon contact with the ground.  
It was way more fun than an Easter egg hunt I thought.  No prep work involved - a real party put on by Mother Nature.  
If you want to get really frugal with the buckeyes, you can always drill out the center and string them into a necklace with scarlet and gray beads.  Easily sells for $10-15 a string on game days.  I also thought it entertaining that you can buy Christmas garlands made out of beads and buckeyes online for $40! Not bad when we're talking in terms of such low overhead!

And for you Westerners who can only dream of buckeye glory, my boy would have been more than content whiddling away his time collecting acorns, of which there were also tons at the park.  Collect 'em, put 'em in a sensory bin at home, lay them out for the squirrels.  I'll admit I was somewhat sad to see our bags of collected buckeyes quickly disappear when the kids saw a squirrel, threw a nut towards him, and he grabbed it and ran off.  After that the nuts were history - our carefully collected treasures could be found sitting boldly at the base of nearly every tree in the park, waiting for some lazy squirrel to stumble upon them.   Oh well.  I guess my necklace will have to wait for another day!

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