During the coronavirus pandemic, around 93% of American households with school-age children had to do distance learning from home.
This makes children’s downtime more essential than normal because they can’t enjoy the afternoon with friends or leave the house. Luckily, with a little creativity, it’s possible to keep your little ones entertained.
If you’re looking for cheap activities for kids, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 10 to inspire you.
1. Plan a Scavenger Hunt
Brainstorming fun activities for kids?
Scatter items around your home and read out a list of riddles (e.g. “a food that easily cracks”) to the little ones. Reward children with trinkets whenever they get one but give the overall winner a big prize like choosing dinner that night.
Or, if you’ve got kindergartners, try a nature color hunt. This is where you paint the inside of a used egg carton in different colors and ask the kids to match each one with a real-life object. For instance, find a daffodil in the backyard and put it in the yellow pocket.
2. Build a Blanket Fort
One of the best cheap indoor activities for kids is to build a blanket fort as a family. Not only does it get your children away from the screen, but it encourages creativity. You can even turn it into a competition to see who can make the biggest or most unique blanket fort.
3. Make Gingerbread Houses
If you’re looking for cheap Christmas activities for kids, spend the afternoon making gingerbread houses. Gather plenty of frosting, candy, and get everyone involved to make colorful houses either as teams or individually.
Or make holiday cookies like snowmen or reindeers, perfect for children of all ages. Let the younger children add pre-measured ingredients and decorate their cookies with their favorite toppings.
4. Schedule a Family Fitness Class
Your child’s school will have plenty of school activities for kids planned so break up lessons by having a family fitness class, so your little ones get their daily exercise.
You can either practice yoga by watching YouTube videos or try a new sport and practice in the yard. Don’t worry about intense workouts, just set aside 20 minutes a day to get your little ones moving between classes.
Or, to make it less serious, throw a dance party as it’s a fantastic way to relieve stress, laugh, and move your body.
5. Go for a Long Walk
Parents planning easy activities for kids shouldn’t underestimate the power of afternoon walks. Make sure you follow the social distancing guidelines and go out when there are fewer people like around dusk when your neighbors are having dinner.
You could also drive into the countryside so your little ones can immerse themselves in nature while enjoying the fresh air.
6. Movie Marathon
A fantastic way to keep the kids entertained is to throw a movie marathon night. Get comfortable on the couch with cushions, blankets, and make sure there’s a steady flow of popcorn. You can either watch a series like Harry Potter or the Minions movies for younger ones.
Or if you want to make it educational, put on documentaries suitable for children like March of the Penguins and Walking with Dinosaurs.
7. Cook Together
Cooking healthy meals with your kids teaches them how to eat a balanced diet and helps them become adventurous eaters. These skills are invaluable, and your child will carry them throughout their life. You can whip up homemade pizza, chicken skewers, and fajitas.
More competitive families can have a cooking competition. To do this, divide the family into two teams and hand out five ingredients for everyone to work with, and set the timer. Make it more exciting by adding random ingredients like trying to incorporate marshmallows into a savory dish.
Gardening has many advantages for children such as teaching responsibility, letting them explore with their senses, and offering mood-boosting benefits. Not to mention, plenty of family bonding time.
Planting a vegetable garden is also productive as you can harvest them later on. You should grow green beans, tomatoes, and root veggies like carrots, so you have plenty to eat. If you’re a beginner, start small by creating 11 rows so there’s enough spacing between the plants.
Don’t worry if you live in an apartment, simply grow vegetables or herbs in containers and place them on your windowsill or balcony.
9. Backyard Camping
You may be unable to visit the nearest National Park, but you don’t have to sacrifice a weekend camping. Invest in a firepit, or make your own, so you can make s’mores and spend the night camping in the backyard. And you mustn’t forget to share child-friendly ghost stories for entertainment.
10. Game Night
Ditch the consoles and bring out old-school board games for the whole family to enjoy. Try a new one next week to keep it interesting and try Twister, Risk, and parlor games like Charades. You can also have a tournament night with children’s card games like Go Fish, Snap, and Old Maid.
Those Are Cheap Activities for Kids
Now you know the best cheap activities for kids.
Whether it’s planning a scavenger hunt in the yard or working out together, it’s important children are getting enough exercise, fresh air, and are stimulated amidst all their schoolwork. Make an effort to switch activities up during the week so they stay excited while you bond. Have fun!
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