Entertain the Kids for Free
If you’ve got kids, then you’ll know that kids can be expensive. Especially whenever you want to go out somewhere. Places like restaurants and cafes or theme parks can turn out to be costly days out. Even just popping to the local shops could result in getting a magazine or toy each time – I know that from personal experience! So it can all add up over time.
So what happens when you just want to entertain the kids for free? It sounds impossible. Surely everything involves spending money?
It really doesn’t have to. Here are ten ways to entertain the kids for free and occupy them for next to nothing.
1. Garden Games
If you have some outdoor space then get the kids out there to play. No matter what time of year it is, rain or shine, the fresh air will do them the world of good. If it’s cold then wrap them up warm. If it’s hot, then shade them from the sun.
Get the kids out in the garden and play bat and ball games or chalk a hopscotch on the paving slabs. If you have garden toys such as a sandpit, ride-on toys or a trampoline then get them dusted off.
2. Play Park
Seems an obvious choice, but don’t knock it. Get the kids out to the local park for a kick about with a ball or to play on the swings and climbing frame.
Kids love going to the park and it’s just there. It’s free, and the chances are they might even make some friends. In fact, you might find another parent to talk to as well which can be nice when you’re in need of getting out of the house.
3. Garden Centre
If you have a local garden centre with fish or animals, take the children to have a walk around. They can look at the plants and flowers as well to get some outdoor fresh air or go inside if the weather is not so good.
Some garden centres have fish outdoors as well as indoor aquariums and some have chickens, birds or rabbits. An alternative way to entertain the kids for free.
At Christmas time, take them along to look at the Christmas lights and decorations too. However, avoid the Santa’s grotto if you don’t want to spend money.
4. National Trust
This isn’t strictly free, but if you have an annual pass for the National Trusts then definitely make the most of it. You can download the National Trust – Days Out App to have an idea of where to visit.
Sometimes there are events that take place for a fee, so avoid peak times when these are taking place. This is usually at holiday times (Easter, Halloween, half terms). If you go at quieter times it can be nice to avoid the crowds as well.
The National Trust sites are great for letting the kids run around. Therefore entertaining them for free! Take a picnic to avoid spending money in the cafes and enjoy what there is to see.
5. Movie Afternoon
This is perfect when you just don’t feel like leaving the house. Set up a little cinema in the living room by closing the curtains and getting comfortable on the sofa with blankets and cushions.
If you’ve got popcorn or crisps in the cupboard then treat them. Find a DVD to watch, or a recorded movie or simply borrow a film from a neighbour. A great way to settle the children and give you a break too!
Don’t forget about your local library. Take the children along and spend time looking at the books or toys. If you have a library card then let the kids choose some books or DVD’s to take out (perhaps do this before your movie afternoon!).
Some libraries have things for small children to do such as colouring in, story time or baby bounce and rhyme for babies.
There may be other clubs available such as board games or chess or book club depending on your child’s age. Plus access to computers if they want to play educational games or need help with homework.
7. Have a Picnic
It doesn’t matter if it’s an indoor or an outdoor picnic. You can do it whatever the weather and wherever you like. Set it up out in the garden, in the park or even on the kitchen floor!
Make it a tea party with toys or teddy bears, and put out healthy snacks and sandwiches. They can have hours of fun!
8. Bake Cakes
This is great when it’s a rainy day. Bake cakes or cookies with the kids and get them involved. Make sure they are supervised and let them choose what they want to make from a cookery book.
Take a look at the ingredients you already have. As long as you have flour, sugar, eggs and butter, you can do this without heading out to spend money.
If you have icing sugar in the cupboard too then let them sit at the table once the cakes or cookies have been baked and cooled. Then they can spend time decorating them.
9. Jigsaw Puzzles and Board Games
Another way to entertain the kids for free is to check out the games they already have. Have a look on the shelf for family board games to play or jigsaw puzzles to do. You can all play together and make it fun.
If there are no board games then build Lego or Duplo bricks.
Find your nearest free museum for an educational and fun day out. Great if you want to be indoors. There are loads of things to see and do in museums, as there are generally activities going on to keep the young ones amused.
They are educational as well as fun. Pick a museum that the kids will be interested in. Whether it’s science, art or history. Check online to see if there are any events going on when you are visiting.
When taking the kids out for the day, make sure you take plenty of snacks and drinks with you. Otherwise you will be put in a position to spend money in the cafes or restaurants. If you can’t eat your own food in the place you are visiting, go and find somewhere outside to eat. If it’s raining, then have a picnic in the car!