Budget-Friendly Fun for Kids
Kids are the best, aren't they? They're full of energy, they always want to be outside, and they have a youthful innocence that is refreshing in this age of technology.
However, when it comes to budgeting for kids, parents often find themselves at wit's end - especially during these tough economic times.
In this article we'll explore some fun ideas that will keep your kids entertained without breaking the bank!
1. Make your own bubbles with dish soap and water
Kids adore bubbles and it's a cheap activity that'll keep them occupied for hours. Just make sure you don't use vinegar like some blog posts suggest - this will destroy your bubble-blowing wands!
Add glycerin to the mix instead (available at most craft stores) if you want even more durable bubbles.
2. Invite friends over for a game night - make sure to have plenty of snacks on hand!
Turn your living room into a mini-arcade with fun games like Pictionary and charades.
Group the kids by age, so nobody gets left out or feels too challenged/underwhelmed.
This one is great because it's an opportunity for parents to get some time alone - you can tell them they need to go play outside while you catch up on much needed sleep!
3. Have an outdoor movie night under the stars
This one is a summer-time favorite - weather permitting, of course. Lay down a big sheet and show family friendly movies, complete with popcorn.
Kids love to be outside at night, and you could even turn it into a sleepover if your kids have friends who are up for the challenge!
4. Build a fort out of blankets, chairs, or tables in the living room
Kids love to play in tiny spaces, like tents. Let them pretend they're camping out by turning your living room into a secret fort (a great alternative when the weather isn't playing ball)!
Just make sure you don't have any valuables that could get broken or damaged if the kids decide to roughhouse inside.
5. Make homemade ice cream cones with cookie dough and ice cream (maybe even top it off with sprinkles!)
Most children love to help in the kitchen, and they'll be more than happy to do it when there's ice cream involved!
You can even let them pick their favorite cookies or sweets that will go into their cones!
This one is great because you can make a huge batch of cookie dough at home - store some for yourself (shhh... we won't tell) while giving your kids an afternoon treat.
6. Play catch in the garden - you can use anything from a ball to Frisbees!
Children love to be active, and this is a great opportunity for them to get some exercise + it makes for great bonding-time with the kiddos -they'll surely appreciate having someone on hand when they're trying out new throws or practicing catching!
This one is especially nice in the summertime because it could lead quite nicely into an impromptu family barbeque afterwards.
7. Visit the library for free story time
It feels like libraries are becoming a thing of the past, which is a real shame because they provide such an amazing setting for kids with lively imaginations - if your kiddos love a good story, take them on a trip to the local library!
Just make sure you bring some snacks/drinks to keep them fed and watered; also be aware adults will often be called upon to help with story time as well!
8. Go to a park and fly a kite
Another great opportunity for the kids to get some fresh air (plus they'll burn off all that energy in no time) is by making/taking a kite to the park and learning how to fly it.
This one is a particularly good one because the kites can be built and decorated at home using old newspapers, and your kids will love decorating them with markers and stickers!
*Don't forget to take lots of pictures - it's always nice to have some photos of the kiddos having fun.*
9. Ride bikes around your neighbourhood
The weather is cooling down, but there are still plenty of sunny days ahead and so what better way for kids (and adults!) to enjoy it than by hopping on their bikes and taking a ride.
This one's especially nice because of how low-key it is - there isn't much preparation required, beyond making sure all the necessary equipment has been taken care of beforehand.
Lastly, don't forget your helmets!
10. Cook something new for dinner - just make sure it's not too complicated!
If one or all of your littles enjoy helping out in the kitchen, how about cooking something new for dinner that they have had a hand in choosing/making (with a little help, of course).
This one is a particularly good idea because it gives everyone an opportunity to spend some time together while learning something new - cooking!
11. Dig out the board games or card games
There are so many out there, you're bound to find one that appeals to your family members!
This one is a great way to get the kids in on family time, and it's also super easy because you can play most of them in a matter of minutes (unless you're playing Monopoly and then, well... then, it's anybody's guess)!
12. Go for a walk at night-time under the stars
It might seem counterintuitive but going outside after dark has so many benefits - lighting from inside homes often makes it harder to see all that the outside world has to offer during this time, which means there are fewer distractions when trying to gaze up into space.
There's just something magical about being surrounded by darkness while looking up at an endless sea of tiny lights twinkling above us -it feels like we're part of something bigger than ourselves (even if only for a little bit).
13. Have an indoor picnic
You don't have to wait until summertime for this one - an indoor picnic is a great way to get the family together and enjoy some quality food, even if it's just your living room floor.
This one is especially nice because you can pull it off anytime of year with limited effort required beforehand (and minimal clean up afterwards).
There are so many foods that work well on picnics but fruit & veggies are always good options!
14. Check out your local area for free or low-cost activities
This one is a great solution for times when you're on the hunt for something to do with limited funds - why not have your kids help out in this search by looking through flyers, checking local businesses and asking neighbours and friends.
They'll love being a part of the process and it's especially nice because everyone gets an opportunity to find activities that appeal specifically to them.
15. Get creative with arts and crafts supplies
While you might not have all the supplies on hand that your kids would love to play with, there's no need to worry - they can still be creative without them!
This one is a great way for everyone in the family (including mum and dad!) to spend some quality time together while encouraging creativity.
You never know what kinds of amazing things could come out of it...
We could go on and on about the many ways you can use your mind to have fun, but we'll stop here...
There are so many more ways to make memories and have fun with the kids, even in winter! What will you be trying next?