99 free (or cheap) ways to have fun with your kids

Two kids flying a kite in a field at sunset
Note: This article may feature affiliate links, and purchases made may earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. Find out more here.
Two kids flying a kite in a field at sunset
Photo by senivpetro/Freepik

In my house, we have a regular Family Day, where we try to have fun together as a family — often for free, or without spending much money.

With that in mind, I thought it would be helpful to list some ways to have fun with your kids without spending a lot of money.

Adapted from an article by Leo Babauta

99 cheap ways to have fun with your kids

1. Have a scavenger hunt.
2. Have a reading marathon.
3. Make mazes or puzzles for each other to solve.
4. Teach your kids how to play card games.
5. Get up early, pack some food, and have a sunrise breakfast.
6. Play soccer.
7. Paint or draw together.
8. Create a fort in your living room out of furniture, blankets, sofa cushions, chairs and/or cardboard boxes.
9. Go on a hike.
10. Have a sunset picnic at a park or beach.
11. Play board games.
12. Play kickball.
13. Write stories together.
14. Go to a museum.
15. Go to a playground.
16. Play hide-and-seek.
17. Have a pillow fight.
18. Ride bikes.
19. Color printable coloring pages together.
20. Stream a movie and make popcorn.
21. Tell stories.
22. Garden together.
23. Bake cookies (and let the kids help).
24. Go to the zoo.
25. Go to the library.
26. Browse at a thrift shop and explain what old things were for.
27. Create a blog together.
28. Create a scrapbook — or even have each person do a single scrapbook page.
29. Make a movie using your phone camera and computer.
30. Learn to play music.
31. Fingerpaint.
32. Make play dough from scratch.
33. Make homemade mini pizzas on English muffins.
34. Buy popsicles, or make your own at home.
35. Make hand-painted or tie-dyed T-shirts.
36. Set up a hammock, make lemonade, relax.
37. Go to a pool.
38. Go to a public place, people watch, and make up upbeat imaginary stories about people.
39. Visit family.
40. Write letters to family.
41. Paint or decorate the kids’ room.
42. Make milkshakes.
43. Solve a big jigsaw puzzle together.
44. Create a treasure hunt for them (leaving clues around the house or yard).
45. Decorate a T-shirt, sweatshirt or pair of jeans.
46. Do an easy & fun science experiment together.
47. Play freeze tag.
48. Teach them to play Chinese checkers or chess.
49. Learn some magic tricks together.
50. Create a family book, with information and pictures about each family member.
51. Fly kites or even just hold on to sheets as they billow in the wind.
52. Go snorkeling in a nearby lake, pool, or even the bathtub.
53. Show them how to hammer nails or put screws into a piece of wood.
54. Volunteer your time at a local charity.

Family playing together with blocks and toys
Photo by DragonImages/Envato

55. Find and donate stuff to charity.
56. Compete in a three-legged or other race.
57. Create an obstacle course and see who gets the best time.
58. Pitch a tent and sleep outside in the backyard or on the balcony.
59. Roast marshmallows.
60. Play loud music and dance crazy.
61. Write and produce a play (to perform before other family members).
62. Paint each other’s faces or arms with face/body paint.
63. Have a water balloon fight.
64. Teach them how to throw a frisbee.
65. Explore your yard and look for insects.
66. Go for a walk and explore the neighborhood.
67. Go jogging.
68. Take pictures of nature.
69. Play a trivia game.
70. Make up trivia questions about each other.
71. Make hot cocoa.
72. Let them have a bubble bath with tons of bubbles.
73. Decorate the house with decorations you make.
74. Make homemade popsicles.
75. Blow bubbles — regular kinds, lots & lots, or make huge bubbles!
76. Do shadow puppets.
77. Make a comic book.
78. Play in the rain.
79. Make mud pies.
80. Play school.
81. Take turns saying tongue twisters.
82. Sing songs.
83. Tell ghost stories in the dark (with only a flashlight).
84. Build stuff with blocks or Legos.
85. Play house.
86. Play with squirt guns.
87. Play video games together.
88. Play wiffleball.
89. Play nerf football.
90. Build a rocket from a kit.
91. Bake a cake and decorate it.
92. Play dress-up.
93. Play a hand clapping game.
94. Learn and tell each other jokes.
95. Play basketball.
96. Learn to juggle.
97. Walk barefoot in the grass and pick flowers.
98. Build paper airplanes and have a flying contest.
99. Invent a new board game & play it.


You might also like these...