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It is impossible to take young children to the park without needing to pack more snacks than you can carry then fending off the demands for ice cream on the way home.
What you need is a catalogue of free activities you can do at home. Here are five of my favourites to get you started:
Play hide and seek
You don’t need to live in a massive house to be able to play hide and seek. It is a great way to see how creative (or not) your kids are.
There is also the added bonus that when your turn comes around, you can find a decent hiding place and hopefully get a couple minutes on your own.
You can vary this game up too. We play a version called “Volcano” that starts with one person laying on the floor and everyone chucking blankets and cushions on them. You then have to run away and hide before the volcano erupts and hope that the lava doesn’t get you. Basically, you get to scream “boom” and chase your kids around the house.
Go on a treasure hunt
Get your kids to pick a toy. You then find a place to hide it and then write a series of clues that will ultimately lead to the hiding place.
You can make your clues more or less elaborate depending both on your skill level and the age of your child. If they are up to it, then they can have a go at writing their own clues for you to find.
Build a blanket den
This classic never fails in our house. We strip the beds and sheets and then put chairs and any moveable furniture together to make a den.
All manner of activities then become more exciting because you are doing them in the den. You could have a picnic in there or read a book or do their homework.
Create stories together
In our house, we love creating stories together. Either my husband or I will start the story off and then ask the kids to describe what happens next.
We build the story up like this each adding new sections. You end up with some slightly odd storylines but some of them are hilarious.
Even young children can get involved with this and it is a great way to develop creativity and discuss how to structure stories too.
You don’t even need to have any specific dressing up clothes for this. You can just give the kids a few of your bits and get them to dress up as you.
Alternatively, you could let the kids pick out your outfit and give you a makeover. Personally, I would only recommend this one if you are planning on staying indoors for the day.
How do you entertain your kids for free?
What are your favourite ways to entertain your kids without spending a penny? Are there any games that they particularly love? I would love to hear them, so leave me a comment below and I’ll add them to the list.
Disclaimer: Remember the information you read here does not represent advice. Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you. Read the full disclaimer here.