I’m sure you’ve probably noticed but kids cost a fortune, don’t they!? I often think they’re a bit like the family car in that regard: expensive to run, maintain, and service and just when you’ve paid for one thing, something else comes along to suck up your hard earned cash! Lots of you enjoyed my previous article 5 fun things to do with kids that won’t cost a penny so that’s why I thought you might like ideas for 5 more fun things that you can do with your kids that won’t cost you a penny!
Now don’t get me wrong, none of us minds spending money on fun kiddie activities from time to time. Quite the opposite in fact: there’s nothing we love more than allowing our kids have as much fun as possible because let’s face it, when they’re having fun they’re happy, they’re safe, and crucially they’re not hanging out of us!
Unfortunately though – in the absence of money trees – the problem for most of us is that we just can’t keep on doling out the dosh on a daily basis: we have to live within our means and as a result, we have to get creative (as well as incredibly resourceful!), when it comes to entertaining our little ones.
With this in mind, here are 5 more ways to have fun with your kids without spending any money at all:
#1. Roller Skating
Since Santa brought a pair of his finest roller skates to my daughter (age 7), he really did think about the poor old parents into the bargain! How much fun can one possibly have, rolling on a set of wheels, I keep on asking myself?
The answer is A LOT. No seriously, I really mean A LOT! Whether inside the house skating from room to room, or outside on the path out the front, this has been the best present EVER!
And the best thing is, I don’t need to put any skates on! Just be at hand to enjoy the wobbles.
#2. Play Outdoors
Heading outdoors with the kids with a football is one of our favourite free activities. Ok, I know what you’re going to say: you have to buy a football so on that basis this isn’t strictly a free activity!
But most homes with kids have a ball, a skipping rope, a hula hoop or something lying about that you can use as an excuse to get outside with the kids. You could even make an obstacle course out of thingis you have lying around. Or have a scavenger hunt.
Heading outside you can enjoy hours of fun in the garden with your kids, kicking a ball, running around, and just killing a few hours by having good honest fun.
#3. Watch Re-runs of Favourite Old Shows
So I have a confession here, and it is a slightly odd one I agree but hey, what can I do? Since Christmas, no exaggeration, the one thing my 7 and 5-year-old kids want to watch every single evening without fail is the Late Late Toy Show.
Bizarre, I know. I mean, don’t get me wrong – I love the Toy Show. But seriously, every evening for three months and counting? Who am I to judge – they love it and it’s free, so what more can I say!?
If watching The Late Late Toy Show over and over and over isn’t your cup of tea, then why not watch some old cartoons that you enjoyed when you were small. I’ll bet your kids haven’t seen Dangermouse or Hong Kong Phooey!
4. Bake or Cook Together
On a rainy day (very rare, I know), when playgrounds/parks/outside play simply aren’t an option, the temptation is always to jump in the car and go somewhere (anywhere!) just to get the kids out of your hair.
But of course, every time you go to the shops, you spend money because, yes you guessed it, they’re pestering you and they know you’ll capitulate!
So why not, on days like these, bake some buns or cook some dinners for the week ahead, and get the kids to help? You’ll be helping to teach them a life skill at the same time too.
There’s nothing that small kids like more than helping out around the house, because they get to act like grown-ups by partaking in all of those household chores that you, as an adult and parent, probably find rather dull and mundane.
#5. Invite Friends for a Play-date / sleepover
Whilst initially (and for quite a while, let’s be honest), I was always very sceptical of those who argued that it’s easier to look after a whole bunch of kids than it is to look after one or two of your own, (no honestly, it is….go on, go on, go on!), I now increasingly believe that they were right all along!
The fact is that when kids are playing with their friends they are at their happiest and they won’t actually want boring old adults to play with them anyway.
So if it’s one of those days when there’s simply no entertaining them, invite their friends around to play and/or sleepover, and see just how little they will collectively require your services!
So, those are my suggestions based on my own experiences with my own kids. Some might work for you, others might not but hey don’t knock them till you’ve tried them.
What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments in the box below. And if you have any other ideas for fun things to do with your kids to share with us, your fellow desperate parents, we’d love to hear from you!