Advertising
Advertising

This List of Creative and Cheap Kids’ Activities Will Make Your Life Easier

This List of Creative and Cheap Kids’ Activities Will Make Your Life Easier

Keeping your kids entertained can end up taking more time and money than you have available. This list of 40 kids’ activities is easy on your budget and schedule, but encourages creative play for your children — and you!

1. Create a simple indoor “house” with a length of fabric and a few tension rods.

1lh

    2. Put together a story bag from items you already have, then take turns pulling one out and telling a story based on what you get from the bag. (Or tell one long, connected story together!)

    2lh

      3. Teach your child how to finger knit (great for travel or rainy, cold days).

      3lh

        4. Or get them started on embroidery with felt, an embroidery hoop and thread, and a large, blunt needle.

        4LH

          5. Do a giant dot-to-dot puzzle. It doesn’t have to make a picture. Just use butcher’s paper, wrapping paper, or a disposable tablecloth, draw out dots, and number each one.

          5LH

            6. Build a simple, homemade catapult together and then do some target practice, indoor or out.

            OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

              7. Get a garden hose and some PVC pipe and put together a ride-through bike (or scooter or tricycle) wash in the driveway.

              7LH

                8. Can’t get outside? Set up a mini, indoor car wash for toy cars inside. All you need are a pan or bowl, water, bubbles, and a few towels nearby.

                8LH

                  9. Make cool, custom designed t-shirts together out of old shirts and school glue.

                  Advertising

                  9LH

                    10. Go on a nature scavenger hunt. Make a list that works with the season. You don’t have to hide anything! Just go and find.

                    10LH

                      11. Kids will love this balloon dart board.

                      11LH

                        12. Let your kids get messy with squirt gun painting.

                        12LH

                          13. Have a sandbox? Hide a few items in it (coins, shells, small toys) and then sit back while your kids dig for buried treasure.

                          13LH

                            14. For indoor fun, gather up pipe cleaners and make cute critters, like this guy:

                            14LH

                              15. Make an outdoor “river” with a roll of foil and some water. Kids can send their boats and small toys floating down. Make two shorter rivers for river races.

                              15LH

                                16. Help kids make their own boats for the river! Use egg cartons for the ships and paper for the sails.

                                16LH

                                  17. Use painter’s tape to create a maze on the floor for cars, trains, or just kids.

                                  Advertising

                                  17LH

                                    18. Go for a nature walk. Take along a magnifying glass and a sketchbook. Gather up interesting leaves, twigs, and rocks to bring home.

                                    18LH

                                      19. Use some of those leaves you gathered to make a leaf collage.

                                      18LH

                                        20. Then let them paint the rocks you collected on your walk.

                                        20LH

                                          21. Go on a picnic for dinner, or make it a picnic brunch on the weekend.

                                          21LH

                                            22. Let your kids use marshmallows and toothpicks to build cool structures.

                                            22LH

                                              23. A glow-in-the-dark bath time! Are you kidding me? How simple is this: non-toxic highlighters and water for hours of awesome.

                                              23LH

                                                24. Have a big cardboard box in the garage? Dust it off and transform it into an awesome fort or playhouse.

                                                24LH

                                                  25. Pick up a few packs of cheap sponges at the store, cut into strips, and have a tower building contest.

                                                  Advertising

                                                  25LH

                                                    26. Help your kids set up a post office. Then they can create and can send letters, flyers, and all sorts of mail to each other.

                                                    26LH

                                                      27. Send them on a nature color hunt in the backyard. Paint the inside of an ice tray or old egg carton with different colors for a color list and carrying tray.

                                                      27LH

                                                        28. Make finger paint with simple ingredients you probably already have, then get out of the way and let the art happen.

                                                        28LH

                                                          29. Get out glue, fabric scraps, and any paper and craft supplies you have. Add in a few cut-out photos of your child. Collages are good for any skill level.

                                                          29LH

                                                            30. More than one child to entertain? It’s group collage time.

                                                            30LH

                                                              31. Kids old enough to safely use scissors can turn a pile of empty cardboard boxes and containers into a city.

                                                              31LH

                                                                32. Puppet shows are fun, but not everybody has the space for a puppet theatre. Help them set up a tiny version with a couple of handkerchiefs, let the kids make puppets out of paper or craft sticks, and then they can create show after show.

                                                                32LH

                                                                  33. Make a set of these “Get Up and Move” dice to encourage physical activity. Once they’re made, kids can play with them anytime.

                                                                  Advertising

                                                                  33LH

                                                                    34. On a warm day, set up a tub of water, some empty containers, brushes, sponges, and spoons for fun and easy water play. 

                                                                    34LH

                                                                      35. Younger kids love activities that allow them to work on those fine motor skills. Sorting pom poms and using tweezer, tongs, or spoons to move them around is great for learning and play.

                                                                      35LH

                                                                        36. Kids can decorate their own drum set, then put on a concert.

                                                                        36LH

                                                                          37. Pull out the Legos for a marble maze. Multiple kids? Each one can create a maze, then race to get the marble through.

                                                                          37LH

                                                                            38. This cool, easy bubble blower requires only an empty cardboard tube and some dish soap.

                                                                            38LH

                                                                              39. If you have bits of fabric and ribbon around, this simple weaving set-up will let your child have lots of creative time with no extra expense.

                                                                              39LH

                                                                                40. Gather up some play dough and blocks so kids can “lay bricks” and build roads and towns.

                                                                                40LH

                                                                                  Featured photo credit: tienvijftien via flickr.com

                                                                                  More by this author

                                                                                  25 Tiny Habits That Could Totally Change Your Life 7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Give Up So Easily 10 Underrated Things Productive People Do Differently 8 Things That Separate Outstanding Performers From Average People 10 Things A Smart Leader Does To Deal With Non-Performing Employees

                                                                                  Trending in Family

                                                                                  1 What Happened to Family Dinners? Why We Should Bring Them Back 2 How to Cope with Empty Nest Syndrome and Stop Feeling Lonely 3 How Not to Let Work Take Priority over Spending Time With Family 4 35 Life Hacks for Kids That Make Parenting Easier And More Fun 5 20 Things to Remember If You Love a Person with ADD

                                                                                  Read Next

                                                                                  Advertising
                                                                                  Advertising
                                                                                  Advertising

                                                                                  Last Updated on September 16, 2019

                                                                                  How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                                                                                  How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                                                                                  You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                                                                                  We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                                                                                  The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                                                                                  Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                                                                                  1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                                                                                  Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                                                                                  For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

                                                                                  Advertising

                                                                                  • (1) Research
                                                                                  • (2) Deciding the topic
                                                                                  • (3) Creating the outline
                                                                                  • (4) Drafting the content
                                                                                  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                                                                                  • (6) Revision
                                                                                  • (7) etc.

                                                                                  Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                                                                                  2. Change Your Environment

                                                                                  Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                                                                                  One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                                                                                  3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                                                                                  Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                                                                                  Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                                                                                  My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

                                                                                  Advertising

                                                                                  Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                                                                                  4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                                                                                  If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                                                                                  Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                                                                                  I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                                                                                  5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                                                                                  I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                                                                                  Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

                                                                                  Advertising

                                                                                  As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                                                                                  6. Get a Buddy

                                                                                  Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                                                                                  I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                                                                                  7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                                                                                  This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                                                                                  For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                                                                                  8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                                                                                  What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

                                                                                  Advertising

                                                                                  9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                                                                                  If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                                                                                  Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                                                                                  10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                                                                                  Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                                                                                  Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                                                                                  11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                                                                                  At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                                                                                  Reality check:

                                                                                  I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                                                                                  More About Procrastination

                                                                                  Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

                                                                                  Read Next