Author Bio: Ryan Howard runs SmartParentAdvice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Ryan writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase for babies and toddlers.
Low Cost Activities To Entertain Your Kids
Have you ever had a weekend where you just stayed inside with your kids the whole time with nothing to do? In my experience, this starts to get old about two hours into Saturday morning and it goes downhill from there. It seems that the best way to enjoy time with your kids is to stay active. Little ones love playing, exploring and having new experiences. But, without stimulation, they tend to get a little cranky.
It’s not always easy to keep them entertained though. Not only can it be tough to think of new ideas, but it can also get expensive. Sure, you could go to the zoo or the movies. But, if you do that sort of thing all the time, it really adds up. For that reason, it can be good to have some inexpensive options at your disposal whenever the need arises. Here are a few ideas that you might just try.
Head To The Library
Libraries are one of those great untapped public resources that are so incredibly easy to forget about. Honestly, I don’t know why anyone feels the need to own more than a few books when you can just go to the library. A lot of libraries will let you take out 10 or 20 books at a time and keep them for a few weeks. Not only can it be fun to go with your kids to pick out the books, but reading them can provide hours and hours of entertainment. It’s pretty good for brain development too.
But, books aren’t the only thing that libraries have to offer. A lot of libraries have children’s areas with train sets, mini kitchens, and all sorts of other toys. Some of them even have movies and music as well.
Take A Hike
If the weather is nice, taking your kids for a hike can be a great idea. Not only is it great exercise, but it’s also quite stimulating. When your little one sees a new kind of tree, plant or even a rock, they might be curious and ask about it. If you’re really lucky, you might even see a dog, squirrel or some other animal. For young children, so much of the world is a mystery. So, seeing new things is exhilarating and educational.
One pro tip: be sure to bring a good off road stroller or baby carrier when you for for a hike. While children often enjoy walking about, those little legs do tend to get tired. So, if you’re going out for a long time, they probably won’t make it the whole way.
A Picnic In The Park
If you live near a park, or even if you just have a small backyard, why not have a picnic? It can be a nice change of pace from the usual routine. Sometimes just the act of getting outside for an hour or two can put everyone in a good mood. By the way, if you go for a hike, you can always bring some food along and make it a picnic too.
Anyone For Bubbles?
Spending a few dollars on some bubbles can be a really inexpensive way to keep kids entertained. Actually, watching kids blow bubbles, laugh and chase them around is a really good way to keep yourself entertained for that matter.
Sing A Song
If your kids like music, singing songs and dancing can be a blast. You can go with some of the classics (Old MacDonald Had A Farm, Row Row Row Your Boat, etc.), or break out some more trendy beats. Just be prepared to be an active participant in this one.
Check Out A Construction Site
If there are some new building or houses going up in town, stop by to take a look. It can be a lot of fun for kids to soak in all of the activity. Plus, they are bound to have all sorts of questions about the different trucks and equipment that they see. If you stop by to see a construction site every couple of weeks, they will get to observe the progress over time as well.
When In Doubt, Toys
Buying toys can be expensive. But, there are also some ways to be thrifty about it. One way is to buy toys second hand. eBay is a tried and true source. Facebook is a good one too. They actually have a number of community groups where you can buy things from local people and pick them up so you don’t have to worry about shipping. When your kids eventually get bored of the toys (which they will), go ahead and sell them yourself. There is a good chance you can recoup most, if not all, of the money you spent on them in the first place.
Ponds And Birds
If you happen to be lucky enough to live near a pond, be sure to check it out whenever it’s nice outside. Bring some bread with you to feed the birds. You just can’t beat getting outside and enjoying nature.
Arts & Crafts
Coloring and drawing never go out of style, and the supplies you need don’t cost much either. If you’re little one is old enough, you might even try painting or something a bit more advanced. Some kids can entertain themselves for hours with crayons and paper. This is a great way to nurture their artistic inclinations as well.
Have A Ball
Playing catch or kicking around a soccer ball is one of the simple pleasures in life. You would think that this would get old after about five minutes. But, it doesn’t. At least not for some kids. So, give this one a shot the next time you are pressed for something fun to do.
Final Thoughts on Low Cost Activities To Entertain Your Kids
While it’s good for kids to have some down time, too much of it can turn their mood sour. Generally speaking, active kids are happy kids. Happy kids make for happy parents too.
I do hope you enjoyed this post on Low Cost Activities To Entertain Your Kids
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