25 fun things to do with your kids that don't cost a lot of money

Sometimes it isn't easy to be spontaneously playful. This list of silly, simple and nearly free ideas might help spark some fun. (When in doubt, think back to your own fondest childhood memories.)

Photo: iStock photo

1. Talk in “monster voices” together during grumpy drives home from daycare.

2. Show your kids how to do Darth Vader voices into a fan.

3. Slide into sleeping bags headfirst and crawl around on the floor pretending to be giant blind slugs.

4. Make punk hairstyles with shampoo-y hair in the tub.

5. Turn off the lights and have a dance party with flashlights.

6. Make mud “soups” with flowers, leaves, sticks, pieces of paper, old dry beans…anything you can find.

7. Put a blanket over the crib and turn it into a house.

8. Build a fort with couch cushions, blankets, tables, chairs and the mop.

9. Talk very seriously to the stuffed animals (or make them talk to each other).

10. Take a marshmallow and squish it into goo.

A mom, baby and toddler daughter having fun in a hallway of balloons and mirrors. Battling burnout: How to have more fun as a parent in 202011. Take the kids for random surprise ice cream cones.

12. Play tag or hide-and-seek around the house to get out their energy.

13. Tape giant sheets of craft paper up so kids can feel like they’re colouring all over the walls.

14. Play “lumpy human pillow.”

15. Go on a foraging hunt: Give the kids baskets and lists of things to find (white feather, black stone, yellow leaf…)

16. Have a snowball fight.

17. Watch for fireflies on summer evenings.

18. Sit on the front porch, eat Popsicles and chat with neighbours as they walk by.

19. Make ice cream sundaes out of any random sweet ingredients in the house.

20. Rub your feet on the carpet and shock each other.

21. Put bubble beards on in the bath.

22. Freeze little toys in water and smash/melt them out.

23. Make a secret hideout out of cardboard boxes.

24. Make pizzas that look like faces.

25. Look for the rainbow in the spray of the garden hose.

Read more:
5 ways to be a more playful parent
How to deal with a kid who’s always bored

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