Best ‘at Home’ Kids Activities on a Budget

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over 300 at home activities for kids

 

 

 

 

  • What are fun Kids Activities at home while staying on a budget?

  • What can kids do for fun ‘at home’?

  • What are some at home activities for kids on a budget?

 

These are all questions many parents ask themselves often and cannot seem to rule it down, but don’t worry, I’m here to help!

 

Note: If you are here for the 300 Printables, Busy Books and more, some of the printables are at the very bottom of this post or you can access most of the printables here!

 


 

What are cheap fun things to do with kids at home?

 

 

Here are over 40 ideas you can try at home right now (depending on your child’s age):

 

 

  • Create a sensory bin (water beads, dyed spaghetti..)

  • Plant and Grow a small garden

  • Dance to some cool tunes

  • Water fun in a wading pool

  • Build a fort/tent with sheets

  • Stage a fun creative play

  • Play board games

  • Cook a delicious meal together

  • Create a movie for memories

  • Learn about birds outside

  • Collect bugs and set them free

  • Walk around the neighborhood

  • Have a scavenger hunt

  • Draw together

  • Create a play house with cardboard

  • Decorate windows

  • Sensory Play with foam, paint, shaving cream…

  • Paint on a canvas

  • Create a science experiment (STEM)

  • Bake something sweet like cookies

  • Go on a picnic in the backyard

  • Fly a kite

  • Create an obstacle course indoors

  • Indoor Tea Party fun

  • Play fun games such as Hide and Seek together

  • Building castles with ice cubes

  • Teach your kids how to tell time

  • Teach your kids how to count coins

  • Learning through play

  • Create an indoor obstacle course

  • Play outside for over an hour (depending on the weather)

  • Shaving Cream Sensory Play

  • Construction site Sensory bin

  • Use dot stickers for play

  • Water Play in a bin with cups

  • Bike around the neighborhood

  • Learn how to skate with roller blades

  • Cook a meal from another country with your kids

  • Learn a different language by watching on Youtube

  • Create instruments with items you have at home

  • Clear up common misconceptions.

  • Listen to audiobooks, podcasts, children’s music from an app

  • Play with sponges and use water or paint with them

  • Look through picture albums together or baby images/videos

  • Call a loved one who may live far away

  • Set up an invitation to play with water, cups and scoopers

 

 

Note: Looking for more simple indoor activities? Here are 6 additional indoor activities for kids that are simple and easy to setup!

 

Why do kids get bored?

 

 

  • According to Heidi McBain, a play therapist, boredom is essential for children as this leads to increased creativity.

     

  • “When a child feels bored, they are re-learning that they have to create something to entertain themselves.”

 

 

    • They learn to explore their world and come up with their own creative ideas and ways of play. This is brilliant!

 

 

 

 

  • Here is my personal story. 

 

    • I am a mother to a 3 and 5 year old. 

 

 

 

At these ages they are all about creativity in my humble opinion. 

 

 

I don’t ever see them get bored as it’s so easy to come up with a simple game that will keep them entertained.

 

 

But, what about when they get older? 

 

 

I have a strong feeling that if I approach them with these simple activities I am going to mention, they’ll hold those creative juices tight and learn to use them when needed!

 

 

For example, introducing them to ‘open-ended play’ is wonderful! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is open ended play? 

 

 

Open ended play allows children to express themselves freely with no limits. Some examples of open ended play are:

      • loose parts to create all sorts of things

      • blocks to create a castle, tower or an elevator

      • molding clay to come up with all sorts of imaginative play ideas

 

 

These are play ideas which allow for imaginative play and in turn power up those neurons to create something new. 

 

 

Note: For more on open ended play and the benefits of open ended play, check out these open ended toys for toddlers.

 

 

Here are some open ended play ideas we have tried over the years: 

 

 

 

 

Best Tips for Indoor activities for Kids

 

Staying home doesn’t have to be boring. 

 

Here are a few lists, set up in different categories, you may be interested in:

 

 

 

over 300 indoor activities for kids

 

 

 

 

 

  • Tip 1: Here are over 60 fun things to do at home with your kids

 

    • Print out Black and White coloring pages

    • Create a terranium with dollar store items

    • Create homemade play dough

    • Create groovy slime

    • Using recycled toilet/paper towel tubes for painting or creating things

    • STEM and STEAM activities with household items

    • Turn on the cooking channel and create a meal together

    • Pull out construction paper and create something fun

    • Make a delicious healthy smoothie together

    • Paint your nails together. I like these non toxic ones ”   “

    • Read a few books together

    • Watch the discovery channel and learn about animals

    • Mix water and paint to create fluid art

    • Sponges are awesome in water play

    • Try some Kids Yoga or kid friendly exercises together on Youtube.

    • Plant a small garden outside

    • Download an app that inspires creativity

    • Create an indoor maze in your home with painters tape

    • Use painters tape for sensory bags or dot sticker projects

    • Play sherades

    • Play card games together

    • Pull out some board games

    • Have a race outside in the yard

    • Cook dyed rainbow pasta

    • Create a sensory bin (example: dried lentils and some toys) depending on your child’s age.

    • Tell a story (One example could be a spooky story if its Halloween)

    • Create a bowling arena with old water bottles and a ball

    • Wash your toy cars with soap, water, a sponge and a bin

    • Create a pirate play scavenger hunt

    • Hopscotch pattern with painters tape (masking tape)

    • Indoor picnic

    • Smoothies and movies (add some popcorn in there too)

    • Marco Polo game (Indoor style)

    • Indoor Treasure hunt

    • Making funny finger shapes on the wall in the dark with phone flashlight

    • Create Paper crafts together

    • Pick a category they’d like to learn and create their own magazine or book by cutting and gluing

    • Make a challenge to see how many books they can read within a time frame for prizes

    • Lego/ Shape mags building race

    • Trace out toys and create a puzzle

    • Play dress up

    • Camping indoors

    • Racing track indoors with painters tape

    • Make crafty jewelry

    • Tye dye white shirts

    • Dramatic Play Shops

    • Paint paint and paint some more

    • Make a pizza together

    • Easel Paper life size or feet drawing

    • Create new crayons with molds and broken crayons

    • Make a themed card or just for fun

    • Dance until the music stops and play freeze

    • Build some binoculars with toilet paper rolls

    • Get crafty with pretzel sticks and marshmallows

    • Play homemade bingo

    • Play with balloons and make sure they don’t touch the floor

    • Create necklaces with beads and thread

    • Have an indoor pretend play spa day

    • Paint each others nails for fun

    • Nature art – Collect outdoor items and make art with it

    • Play Duck Duck Goose

    • Create a Dance show in your living room

    • Use tape on the floor or desk to line toys on

    • Learn to play the basics of an instrument together

    • Dance with scarves

    • Use paper towel rolls for a pom pom drop game

    • Pretend play with a box

    • Use blankets to create a fort

 

 

 

Note: For all things sensory play, the benefits of sensory play and for over 100 sensory play ideas, check it out here. 🙂

 

 

Tip 2: 60 free things to do with kids in general

 

  • Take a trip to the library

  • Go to an outdoor music event (children friendly)

  • Go to the beach and collect shells (Perfect for sensory play)

  • Checkout free events to do in locally online, newspaper, or kids community magazine

  • Sit and watch a free game going on at your local park

  • Visit the park and make it fun by including a scavenger hunt

  • Bake a healthy dish such as banana bread or Zucchini bread

  • Bake some delicious cookies for your friendly neighbors together

  • Go through the toy room together and see which toys and books are out

  • Learn how to knit together

  • Attend Michaels stores for free kids events

  • Attend a Barnes and Nobles book store for free reading events

  • Visit a free museum or a zoo

  • Call a family member or friend you haven’t spoken to in a while

  • Learn a different language such as spanish on Youtube

  • Have a yard sale

  • Host a party such as a sleepover or a tea party

  • Learn to meditate when things get tough for your kids

  • Read a great book together

  • Learn about the body with science books

  • Learn about a new animal with a book on all different kinds of animals

  • Blow some bubbles

  • Wash the family dog together

  • Play Frisbee at the park

  • Discover new music that you and your kids both like

  • Stargaze at night and see if you can find constellations

  • Go on a bike ride together

  • Explore your city via books or by just exploring

  • Attend a free play such as actors play house

  • Find a local free kids event with rides and popcorn

  • Attend your local planetarium

  • Sponge Paint

  • Play outdoor games such as soccer

  • Go on a hike together

  • Have a picnic at sunset

  • Attend a local free historical town

  • Go snorkeling

  • Have an outdoor party such as a barbeque

  • Donate old toys to charity

  • Make hot cocoa or smores together

  • Play in the rain

  • Make fruit/veggie popsicles together

  • Have a water balloon fight

  • Decorate a pair of old jeans or and old shirt with glue and gems

  • Get crafty and Finger-paint

  • Prank call family members with funny voices

  • Make a cake and decorate it to their liking

  • Sing while talking together

  • Tell each other humorous jokes

  • Play rock paper scissor shoot

  • Paint each other faces

  • Play free games online such as ‘Teach your monster how to read’

  • Teach them to play mind games such as Checkers

  • Make milkshakes together

  • Set up a lemonade stand

  • Build a paper airplane together

  • Create and tell stories together

  • Play kickball

  • Build sand castles at the beach

  • Have a scavenger hunt at the beach

 

 

 

over 300 crafts for kids at home

 

 

 

 

Tip 3: 30 fun things to do with your kids ‘DIY style’

 

    • Create a wreath together out of construction paper

    • Paint on stones, leave positive messages and leave them places so someone else finds them

    • Cut a sponge to make a figure and sponge paint

    • Use ketchup bottles with dyed colored water to melt ice

    • Create rainbow pasta

    • Dye white roses different colors

    • Paint jars and create awesome crafts

    • Use construction paper to cover a box in and make a crafty toy

    • Create jewelry rainbow pasta

    • Make a homemade bird feeder

    • Decorate a Christmas tree ornament

    • Make a collage with feathers and buttons

    • Create animals with balloons

    • Make a DIY rainbow slime with glitter

    • Create a craft with paper plates and brown paper bags

    • Create a nightlight with a jar

    • Use craft sticks to create a puzzle

    • Use a muffin tin to create a fizz with baking soda vinegar and water

    • Build a fort with cardboard

    • Create a crown with an empty toilet paper roll

    • Ice sculptures castle

    • Watercolor paper towels to create butterflies

    • Sensory lava lamp with a Voss bottle

    • Play dough and toothpicks to create something spectacular

    • Use a muffin tin with magnetic letters

    • Snowball fight with cotton balls

    • Create Paper Plate fishies

    • Wrap a toy and create it with gems and a bow

    • Paint some of your toy figures and revamp them with glitter and gems

    • Paint on a canvas

 

 

Note: Looking for art and craft supplies and storage ideas for kids? You’re in luck! Check it out here!

 

Tip 4: 60 fun ideas when your kids say ‘I’m bored’:

 

    • Create a homemade slip n slide with dollar store plastic shower curtains, soap and water hose

    • Build a homemade bowling alley or golf course with household items such as cups, old plastic bottles…

    • Create bubble art with dyed water and soap and a cut in half plastic bottle

    • Indoor or Nature outside scavenger hunt with your childs favorite toys

    • Chalk it out. Create groovy art with chalk (outdoor play)

    • Create a map of your backyard and bury your childs favorite toy so he/she finds it

    • Create a homemade twister with construction paper and tape

    • Create an obstacle course

    • Backyard camping

    • Go to the park. Depending on your park there are so many fun activities you can do there.

    • Stretch those muscles out and do some exercise movements

    • Have a race. Use painted orange water bottles as the starting and ending points

    • Have a bean bag race

    • Bean bag toss. Create your own bean bags with beans and a ziplock bag

    • Use pillows to build a fort

    • Use pillows to see who’s pillows stand up the longest

    • Play freeze game. Dance, freeze, dance, freeze.

    • Board Games. There are all types of board games. Here are our favorites so far:

    • Play dress up with Halloween costumes

    • Fold clothes together with some music tunes so its fun

    • Use a bin to create some sort of sensory play

    • Have a spring cleaning and donate any old toys or clothes

    • Wash Fruits and Vegetables together with soap and water in a bin

    • Go to your local kids play center

    • Take a trip to the dollar store and find some coloring books

    • If your child loves to read, there are some fun books at the dollar store

    • Attend your local museum

    • Attend your local science museum

    • Attend your local childrens museum

    • Attend your local monkey jungle or zoo

    • Go to the beach

    • Collect sea shells at the beach and listen to them

    • Take a walk at a local mall

    • Go to a restaurant and eat something you never try that sounds appealing

    • Play Ispy something..

    • Attend your local musical theatre

    • Attend a local free outdoor music event

    • Check online for free or budget friendly activities to do with kids near your local area

    • Go on a hike

    • Collect some water at your nearest spring (if allowed)

    • Start a campfire

    • Make some smores

    • Build a tent with cardboard box and sticks

    • Make a pie together

    • Peel potatoes and make a stew or soup

    • Take a bike ride outdoors

    • Learn to skate

    • Attend your local skating rink

    • Attend your local ice skating rink

    • Set out a wading pool outside and enjoy water play

    • Paint a picture on a canvas

    • Attend your local Paint me mine class

    • Attend a free art class at Michaels stores

    • Try a new restaurant you’ve never been to

    • Explore a new park you haven’t been to

    • Go to a butterfly sanctuary

    • Attend your local nursery sanctuary

    • Go canoeing and camping

    • Learn surfing skills together such as how to start a fire or build a trap

    • Learn how to defend yourself such as taking karate together

 

 

 

list of kids activities at home

 

 

 

 

Tip 5: Over 40 ideas to do at home with toddlers (3+ and up)

 

 

 

 

Note: Looking for printables for kids? I am creating a printable every other day for my preschooler and sharing them with you! Check it out here

 

 

Bonus: Mostly Free Printable/Worksheets for Kids at Home 

 

 

 

And so much more..

 

For fun and engaging printables, check out MOST of our printables here!

 

 

 

Over 100 printables, busy books and quiet books for kids

 

 

 

 

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over 300 home activities for kids

 

 

 

 

 

The Last Thing You Need to Know about Kids Activities at Home

 

 

There you have it! 

 

Over 300 tips (and counting) in all different categories:

 

 

Do you have any ideas you can add to this list? 

 

 

Please leave me a comment down below and share your ideas 🙂

 

 

 

 

kids activities and crafts at home

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