The Best Activites to Entertain Children for Free

Published: April 7, 2014

Childhood is a magical time, but it can also get expensive.  What's a parent with a tight budget to do?  This list will give you some ideas of fun ways to pass the time with your children.  They are all things that I have done with my children that they have enjoyed that didn't break the bank.

  1. Letterboxing

    Letterboxes are containers (often sealed plastic containers to keep out moisture) that contain a stamp, and some type of notebook or log.  They are hidden and letterboxers must follow clues to find them.  A letter boxer carries his or her own rubber stamp and notebook, so that once the letter box is located, they can leave their stamp on the logbook, and they can stamp their own log book with the stamp in the log book.  Stamps don't have to be purchased, creative letterboxers can crave a unique design into an eraser.  Find letterboxes near you, and print out maps and directions at the helpful site below.

  2. Digital Scavenger Hunt

    Sit down with your children and brainstorm a list of nouns.  It's more fun if you don't tell them why first.  When you have a substantial list, tell them that you are going on a scavenger hunt.  The goal is to take pictures of each item on the list.  This can be done at home, in the back yard, on a walk to the park, at the mall... the sky is really the limit.  It's also a fun way to keep them occupied on otherwise boring errands.  Bring along a digital camera or a phone to take a picture of each item and then you can cross it off of the list.  Aside from being fun, this activity also teached children to think outside the box.  For instance the tiger on the list could be a plastic tiger from the toy box, or the tiger on a box of cereal.

  3. Bubbles

    Most kids enjoy playing with bubbles.  Keep it cost-effective by making your own bubble solution from equal parts liquid dish soap and water, and keep it interesting for the kids by searching the house for unique object to use as bubble wands.  Children can even use their hands, by forming an "o" with their fingers to makes bubbles.  See who can make the biggest bubbles, whose bubble lasts the longest without popping, etc.

I hope that this lest gets you started on some fun adventures with your children this summer.  I've found with mine that even though we live in a world where we are surrounded by advertisements that sometimes lead us to believe that fun costs lots of money, the opposite is true for us.  Some of our best family moments have been treking through the woods on the lookout for a letter box, or snapping photos in our neighborhood during a scavenger hunt, or simply blowing bubbles together.