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 35 Life Hacks for Kids That Make Parenting Easier And More Fun 2 20 Things to Remember If You Love a Person with ADD 3 10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Hand A Smartphone to Your Children 4 It’s Normal: Every Child Would Find the Parent of the Opposite Sex Attractive at Certain Stage 5 7 Tools to Optimize Your Next Long-Term Traveling Experience

                                                                                  Read Next

                                                                                  Advertising
                                                                                  Advertising

                                                                                  Last Updated on September 20, 2018

                                                                                  How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                                                                                  How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                                                                                  Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

                                                                                  If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

                                                                                  1. Breathe

                                                                                  The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

                                                                                  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
                                                                                  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
                                                                                  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

                                                                                  Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

                                                                                  2. Loosen up

                                                                                  After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

                                                                                  Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

                                                                                  Advertising

                                                                                  3. Chew slowly

                                                                                  Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

                                                                                  Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

                                                                                  Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

                                                                                  4. Let go

                                                                                  Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

                                                                                  The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

                                                                                  It’s not. Promise.

                                                                                  Advertising

                                                                                  Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

                                                                                  Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

                                                                                  21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

                                                                                  5. Enjoy the journey

                                                                                  Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

                                                                                  Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

                                                                                  6. Look at the big picture

                                                                                  The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

                                                                                  Advertising

                                                                                  Will this matter to me…

                                                                                  • Next week?
                                                                                  • Next month?
                                                                                  • Next year?
                                                                                  • In 10 years?

                                                                                  Hint: No, it won’t.

                                                                                  I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

                                                                                  Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

                                                                                  7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

                                                                                  You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

                                                                                  Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

                                                                                  Advertising

                                                                                  8. Practice patience every day

                                                                                  Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

                                                                                  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
                                                                                  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
                                                                                  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

                                                                                  Final thoughts

                                                                                  Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

                                                                                  Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

                                                                                  Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

                                                                                  Read Next