In keeping with our “No Spend” theme, I’ve had to learn that I don’t constantly need to spend money to entertain the children. Some of our fondest family moments are had for free by simply engaging one another in some good old fashion family time.
Here is my Top 10 List of Free Kid’s Activities:
- Have a Game Night: We love picking out games once a month and having a game night. We make it a “snack dinner,” with cheese, fruit, and crackers. Then everyone gets to pick out a game for the family to play. Some of the most humorous moments have come from these nights. Our favorite games include: Say Anything, Pic Wits, and Apples to Apples. I also keep my eye out at Goodwill or rummage sales for cheap games we can try. That way if they aren’t a family favorite we can quickly pass them along.
- Have a Family Meal Night: Everyone has to eat, but not everyone has to participate. On family meal night, we all chip in to plan the meal and prepare the meal. It gives us an opportunity to sit down as a family and also to work together.
- Build a Fort: What kid doesn’t love forts. The kids love building them out of sheets and playing in them and having “sleepovers” with each other in them. We have also done a really fun twist on this with an air fort. You can get instruction on this from Early Activities and Projects. I’ve crawled in the air fort and read with them and then they play after…but it’s always a hit!
- Enjoy the outside as a family: There are plenty of activities that cost nothing that can get them outside. They are more fun when mom and dad join. Some of our family favorites include: walks, bike rides (even more fun when paired with a picnic lunch, parks, tennis, a nature scavenger hunt, and soccer or football games in the backyard. Anything that gets them enjoying the fresh air with some activity.
- Have an “Old Toys” day: How many toys opened at birthdays and Christmas go unnoticed. Have a day for getting those toys out as a family and enjoying them again. Kids love any one-on-one time with mom and dad and may find a renewed interest in these things just from your interest. We have done science experiments, magic tricks, and Legos on these days. An added benefit, your child may find later they enjoy these toys and will play with them again on their own.
- Crafts- We love doing crafts here at Casa Peterberry! The best part of crafting is that you can usually find old things around the house to create something new and fun. Or you can simply pick up the paints and crayons with your child and find your inner artist. We have a large roll of paper we have rolled out across the kitchen floor and just all made a huge mural. Don’t worry if you aren’t creative.. a simple trip to Pinterest or Google search can give you a variety of crafty ideas that will please!
- Baking- If you couldn’t tell already, we really love baking at our house. I can always find someone willing to help and spend time baking. We have invented our own cupcake recipes, or gone through old cookbooks for a classic. We also use Pinterest to look for fun ideas. If you work with what’s in your pantry, there is no additional cost. And if you don’t like to have sweets in the house….well we’ve brought our treats to church, daddy’s work, a surprise class treat, or even just donating them to a nursing home. There’s always someone who appreciates a good sweet treat!
- Channel your inner child. Be silly! Do something out of the ordinary! Have a dance party, get out the sprinkler and join them. Play dress up. Have a tea party. There are so many things from your childhood….just think back and pick something. Who knows, you may find it was just as much fun as you remember.
- Take advantage of free things in your neighborhood: A google search can always find you free things to enjoy as a family. We’ve done nature days at our local nature center (Riveredge), festivals, free visits to the art museum, etc. Here’s one search I use about free things to do in Milwaukee: 50 Free Things to do in Milwaukee.
- Ask your kids. When in doubt, don’t feel like you have to be the party planner. Ask your kids what they would like to do as a family and follow though!
Overall, there are plenty of things you can do that cost no money. If you have a positive attitude and make these things fun… then the kids will follow suit and you can enjoy family time for free!