It can be difficult to find fun inexpensive things to do with children. Sometimes I just forget the obvious things that kids like to do. It seems once you grow out of childhood, you forget just how much fun free entertainment can be!
Here is a list of things you can do with kids that are cheap, fun, and easy:
-Playgrounds. Think outside of the sandbox. While the playground closest to you may seem easy and convenient, sometimes you can find new and more adventurous playgrounds within a 5-10 mile radius. Explore surrounding areas to find playgrounds with more options to keep your kids entertained for longer.
-Hide-N-seek. Never underestimate the power of hide n seek. You can spice up this game by telling them they can only hide in certain areas, or have them only hide in areas that are a certain color or type of space.
-Coloring. One pack of markers or crayons and some paper will do just fine. You can find cheap coloring supplies at your local dollar store, and glitter and stickers always make it extra fun.
-Playdough. It’s ok if you don’t have money for the real stuff. You can make your own, which is half the fun. Do a general online search for “homemade playdough” to find some great playdough recipes to make with your kids.
-Baking/Cooking. Whether you have boys or girls, baking is always fun and adventurous. Kids love to add ingredients, mix and make. Put them to work in your kitchen helping to make yummy cupcake recipes.
-Crafts. There are tons of suggestions online (don’t forget the new and fun Pinterest too) for quick, easy, and affordable crafts to create at home with kids. Glue, glitter, paper and scissors can create tons of fun things for the kids.
-Clean Up. Not slave labor, but clean up. You would be amazed at how many kids love to sweep, pick up, wipe and just help you around the house. Give them 1 specific task that is theirs to do each day or week. Kids love to take ownership of things.
-Library/Reading. You don’t need to drop $20 at Barnes & Noble every week to enjoy reading with children. Your local library thrives on your visit. Make it a weekly adventure to take the kids to the library to pick out a new book and explore the free activities the library offers.
-Free Meals. If you would like to take a child out for dinner, but have little money, there are many restaurants that offer kids to eat free with the purchase of an adult entree.
-Play Dates. Exchanging playtime with other friend’s children to get the kids out of the house and keep them entertained. Offer to have their kids over as well. This gives you great social time with your friends, and a chance for the children to meet new friends of their own.
These may seem all cut and dry, but sometimes in the hubub of life, we forget the simple things that children love to do to entertain themselves. Just remember that basics are always a good start. Also be sure to ask the children for suggestions on what they enjoy. Make it a game for them to think of fun, free things that you all can enjoy.