When you're living on a budget, it's not always easy to think of ways to entertain the kids. But with a little imagination, you'll find that there are many activities that won't cost a dime and will help keep little ones engaged. Best of all, you'll build long-lasting memories with your child that money just can't buy.
40 free things you can do for with kids -
Make a bird feeder - With a few simple supplies and a little creativity, you and your child can make a cute bird feeder out of a milk carton, plastic bottle or bowl.
Go on a nature walk - Get the kids out of the house and take them on a nature walk. Bring along a small box to collect special treasures.
Personalize backpacks and school supplies - Use free printable stencils to customize and personalize school supplies, backpacks, and other items. Find out where to get free printable stencils.
Make fun chore charts - Kids won't mind doing their chores so much when they can personalize their own unique chore charts. With a large piece of poster board, markers and glitter, you can create a chore chart that will help kids stay on track with their daily tasks.
Make a 'me' box - Hand out shoeboxes and let the kids decorate it to resemble themselves. Use old wallpaper books instead of craft paper and hand out other small craft supplies for detailing.
Balloon Fun- Blow up some balloons and see how many different games you can come up with. Keep the balloons off the ground, try to toss the balloons into a bucket, see who can blow up the balloon fastest - there's a lot of fun things to do with kids and balloons.
Visit your local library - Acquiring a library card is a big deal for kids. Head to your local library and let them get their own card and check out their favorite books. Check your library schedules for free book readings and other events.
Head to the museum - Spend a few hours at your local museum. Museums provide educational and fun free activities for kids.
Go to the park - Let the kids run wild at the park! Be sure to apply sunscreen if they will be exposed to the sun.
Play online games - Regardless of the age of your child, you can find a gaming website for them to play on. PBS, Nickelodeon, Primary Games, Mini Clip and Fun Brain have a great selection of safe online games for kids.
Make holiday place cards - Get ready for the holidays by making your own place cards. Kids can personalize the cards for each guest. Learn how to make holiday place cards.
Have a puppet show - Let the kids make puppets out of brown paper bags and have them put on a fun puppet show.
Pick wildflowers - Some wildflowers are protected by the state, so don't pick those! But, you can have a great time picking out 'weed flowers' and arrangement cute bouquets.
Go on a bike ride - Pack up the bikes and go for a ride somewhere new.
Bake cookies - Make a batch of basic cookie dough and grab your cookie cutters. Make fun shapes and let the kids help decorate.
Visit a local festival - Check your local newspaper for listings of FREE festivals and events. Local festivals are filled with things you can do for free with kids
Build a fort - Build a fort using blankets, pillows, sheets and boxes. Hand out flashlights and have fun!
Play with your food - Use food in your pantry to make unique 'food people'. Then, eat them!
Play sports - Grab a baseball and bat or a basketball. Head to the local high school and play. You'll build fun memories and get the kids outside!
Get them ready for school - The internet has free printable worksheets for children of all ages. Keep their minds sharp, and occupied, with these free treasurers.
Go fishing - Let the kids dig in the yard for the bait and then head out on a fishing excursion.
Play cards - Is it possible the kids don't know how to play 'War' or 'Go Fish'. Grab a deck of cards and show them how!
Play in the sprinklers - Throw on a bathing suit and play in the sprinklers with the kids. Make sure to apply sunscreen first!
Go swimming - Head to the local pond or beach and spend the day swimming. It's great exercise and one of the very few free activities for kids still around.
Bake a cake and decorate it - Let the kids help bake a cake and them supply them with frosting and small candies so they can decorate it.
Set up a lemonade stand - Whip up a batch of lemonade and set up a table and chairs outdoors. Let the kids create signs to advertise their lemonade stand. (An adult should be present at all times for safety reasons)
Have a movie marathon - Turn off the lights, pile up the pillows and blankets and have a movie marathon! Kids like movies about baseball. Try out any of these Best Baseball Movies for Kids.
Have a relay race. Head outside and challenge the kids to an exciting relay race. If it's raining, create an indoor one.
Have a fashion show - Kids love to play dress up so turn them loose in your closet. Be sure to take lots of pictures!
Make a play house - What is it about cardboard boxes that kids love so much? Whatever it is, you can't go wrong with turning one large cardboard box, or several small ones, into a kid-sized playhouse or fort.
Make a time capsule - Give the kids a box or container and let them create a time capsule. Have them draw pictures, write notes, or put in favorite pictures. Leave instructions to NOT OPEN the time capsule for a few years.
Make Playdoh - Making your own Playdoh is a lot more fun (and cheaper) than buying it! We found some easy-to-follow recipes for homemade Playdoh on the Moms Who Think website.
Build a robot - Use empty boxes, toilet paper rolls, buttons and other supplies and build your own robot.
Have a scavenger hunt - Make a list of random items and have the kids search the house and yard for them.
Make a coloring book - Find printable coloring pages online and create a unique coloring book. Whether you're child enjoys sports, princesses, animals or dragon, you can find hundreds of free printable pages online that can be colored and made into a homemade coloring books. The internet always serves as a great source for free entertainment.
Play hopscotch - The children of this generation may not even have heard of hopscotch, but it's a great way to get them outside for a bit of exercise. Grab some sidewalk chalk and introduce them to the fun!
Have a spa day at home - Whip up your own homemade spa treatments using things you have in your kitchen, and have fun pampering each other.
Make a fairy house - Head outdoors and look for sticks, rocks, moss and other materials that you can turn into a fairy house. Get inspired with the ideas and photos found at Fairy Houses.com.
Plant a garden - Kids can take pride in watching their garden grow. Plant flower seeds, sunflower seeds, watermelon seeds, and so on.
Play hot potato - There's something about the game hot potato that kids just love. Maybe it's the anticipation of seeing who's stuck with the potato at the end of the song, or just the fast-paced nature of the game. Mix things up by playing with a raw egg, instead!