Keeping the kids entertained at home can be challenging for most parents! It is even more difficult to find activities for kids that are budget-friendly.
But we’ve got your back! We have compiled our top 10 activities to do with kids of all ages that cost absolutely nothing using materials from around the home.
1. Make homemade play dough
DIY play dough is a great cost-free activity as you likely have all of the ingredients in your pantry already. We love this recipe from The Organised Housewife.
It’s also a great opportunity to let your kids get creative with playdough play. Add in patty pans, cookie cutters and leaves or craft items like googly eyes, pipe cleaners and glitter.
2. Put on a play
Encourage your kids to get creative by getting them to write and put on their own play! If they are younger, suggest a book they can adapt then let them raid the costume cupboard or your wardrobe for the dress ups.
3. Create a pop-up shop
If you have a tonne of old boxes lying around, encourage your kids to create their own store front and play shops. You can spend some time with them to brainstorm and create their ‘store’. If you have a few children, they can take turns being the shopkeeper and the customer.
A few fun store ideas are grocery shops with produce from the cupboard, a clothes store using clothes from their wardrobe or a pet shop where kids can sell pet food or ‘groom’ animals.
4. Go star gazing
Star gazing as a family is a fantastic free and educational activity that is suitable for the whole family. Before you head outside, do some research on constellations with your kids so you are ready to spot them in the night sky. ABC Science has some great resources for exploring the night sky with your kids, including Sky Tours .
Pull out the picnic rug, pack some snacks and head out to the backyard and teach your kids about the night sky. In the cooler months, pop on your winter woolies, grab some blankets and make a thermos full of hot chocolate.
5. Go on a treasure hunt
This is a really fun, simple and free way to keep your kids entertained. All you have to do is create a list of things around the house and backyard that the kids can find and leave the rest for them! To make it more challenging, set a timer.
6. Get crafty with paper
Most of us have stacks of paper lying around the house or in the craft cupboard, which is great because so much fun can be had with paper! Encourage your kids to paint, self-portraits, do collages with old magazines you have lying around, make paper planes together or get crafty with paper mache.
7. Exercise together
Exercise is one of the best activities you can do for free. YouTube is full of free exercise videos that parents can do with their kids.
Personal trainer, Sam Wood, runs free workouts via his 28 by Sam Wood program on a Saturday morning via Instagram . Another great free resource is YouTube series ’PE with Joe’ by UK based personal trainer Joe Wicks. These 30-minute workouts are a great way to get parents and their kids moving.
8. Write your own book
This is another one to test your kids’ imagination. Depending on their age, task them with writing their own book. For older kids, give them a theme and challenge them to come up with all the characters and storyline. With younger kids, you can work with them to recreate and draw their favourite book. Who knows, you might uncover a budding writer!
9. Get crafty in the kitchen
A great free activity is to get your kids in the kitchen! Dishes like pizza are a great one to make from scratch with your children. With your help, they can do everything from making the dough, to choosing all their favourite toppings and putting them on the pizza. At the end, the reward is to eat their creation!
10. Get musical
Introducing kids to music is a great way to keep them entertained for free. If your kids are already into music, YouTube has a whole range of online tutorials. Even if you don’t have musical instruments lying around, turn what you have into instruments. Saucepans and empty cans can be drums, containers filled with pasta can be shakers and old cardboard rolls can be digeridoos. Another fun way to get them musical is to help them create playlists of their favourite music.