Some of my most favorite childhood memories are doing things with my family that cost very little to no money. The best times were about just being together. Here are my top 14 free activities to do with your kids – that I love doing with mine.
Take a Trip To The Park – Parks are more than just playgrounds. There are parks with soccer fields you can play on, pavilions you can enjoy a picnic lunch or snack in and sometimes splash pads where your kids can cool off.
Run Through the Sprinkler – I still remember pulling out the slip and slide and running through the sprinkler when I was a kid. The entire neighborhood came around when someone pulled out the sprinkler! Cap off your backyard romp with popsicles for a sweet end to the day.
Go Jump In A Lake…or River or Spring or Ocean – Swimming is an awesome way to spend the day with the kids in the summer. Depending on the area you are in you may have to go to a National Park to gain access to some facilities. There may be a nominal charge to enter per car, but there are free options you can seek out as well.
Have a Backyard Scavenger Hunt – This takes a little pre-planning, but it is totally worth it. A good scavenger hunt will keep the kids engaged for awhile – which frees you up to read that book you’ve been wanting to while you wait for them to return to you with their spoils.
Bake Cookies – What child doesn’t like cookies? Whether it’s chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin or decorating sugar cookies, this activity will win high fives from your kids.
Make Homemade Play Dough – This was a favorite when I was a kid and my mom and I recently found her old recipe (which you can check out here). We had hours of fun playing with this stuff and your kids will too.
Go Camping in The Backyard – I loved camping when I was young. It made me a hunter, an explorer and lover of nature. Sure, camping at a park might be more interesting, but the backyard is free and can be loads of fun. Set up the tent. Get out the sleeping bags. Build a fire (albeit in your fire pit or even grill) and roast marshmallows.
Go For a Bike Ride – Who doesn’t love to ride bikes? Loads of exercise and outside time. You can even take turns picking the destination so everyone has a stake in the activity.
Board Games – Great for any day but especially that rainy day when outside time is not available. A game of Life or Monopoly is fun for the whole family and is also a great math lesson.
Take a Hike – Find a park nearby with great hiking trails and go exploring! It’s a great way to get some exercise, blow off some energy and teach your kids about plant and animal life nearby.
Go To The Library – Reading is Fundamental! The library is a great place to take your kids. It exposes them to new books and expands their imagination. Libraries also have great story hours and events for all ages.
Watch a Movie – Take turns picking your favorite flicks with your kids, pop some popcorn and watch a movie. All from the comfort of your living room.
Feed The Ducks – When I was young, we lived steps away from huge cornfields. We would walk through the harvested fields with our grandmother and pick up the dried ears of corn that remained. We’d shuck it into large tins and then have corn for months to go feed the ducks. These are some of my most precious memories of my grandmother. Whatever you choose to feed them, go make some sweet memories.
Volunteer – Whether you head to a food bank, visit the elderly or go to a local animal shelter, volunteering is good for you and them. It can be incredibly rewarding and self-esteem building for your kids. And what better way to teach your children charity and empathy plus help them build appreciation for the blessings they have.
These are just a few free activities to do with your kids. Whatever you choose, remember, memories are not made by spending money. The most special moments are made with laughter, joy and love.
Have other ideas for free activities to do with your kids? Please leave a comment and share!