Ah, spring. The flowers, the rain, and my favorite part, the warm weather. It means we get to spend time outside which is practically what I live for. (While I do live in Canada, I’m definitely not a fan of the cold.)
With money being tighter than ever, social distancing, and long downs still happening in places all over the world, I thought it was about time to explore some outdoor family activities that cost little to no money.
Family Activities for $10 or Less
These, in my opinion work great to keep everyone entertained, but help you stick to a tight budget!
- Rock Painting – While you can get kicks for these (starting at $11 like this one), I’d recommend going to your local dollar store, getting a few different paints and paint brushes, and get rocks from a local park or neighborhood. After you paint them, try hiding them around your neighborhood to brighten up other peoples’ days. If you haven’t heard of this trend before, try googling it. It’s super fun.
- Side Walk Chalk – This is a super fun thing to buy that can lead to a whole summer of activities and fun. Doesn’t matter if it’s 4-sqaure (if you’re feeling competitive, here are the official rules), hopscotch, or just drawing and doodling, a big bin of sidewalk chalk often lasts families a whole summer.
- Exploring Nature Activity Book ($9.31) – This looks like a super fun activity book full of 50 different crafts, science experiments, and just some all-around awesome stuff for kids
- Jump Ropes ($9.99 for 2) – Get back to basics, and try some skipping. This is a super fun activity that can be used in so many different ways. I really liked these ones because they are customizable in length. Want some ideas of games to play? Try this list of 12 different games you can play with a jump rope or two.
- Bubbles – Whether they’re from the dollar store, or you make your own, bubbles are something that everyone loves from 1 to 99. If you’re up for a creative challenge that will also blow your mind, try making giant bubbles.
Family Activities Under $30 (that can be used over and over!)
While $30 can be a bit of a higher budget for a one time activity, when it’s used to purchase something that can give a near endless supply of joy, well, I’d say it’d be worth buying one or two for the summer if you can swing it.
- Have a water ball fight ($29.99) – It works kind of like water balloons, but way more environmentally friendly, plus, you can reuse them over and over again. Forget about slowly filling one balloon at a time, just have a couple buckets of water scattered throughout the yard, dunk in in for a couple seconds and your reloaded and ready to go!
- Explore the Backyard Bugs ($26.97) – Got a kid on your hands that loves bugs or science? Try this bug exploring kit that comes with nets, binoculars and even a book on common insects people find in their back yards.
- Bumb and Bounce Body Bumpers ($16.99 for 2) – I don’t know about you, but I have always wanted to try these suits. They look like an absolute blast, plus, your in a bubble to keep you safe. (For safety reasons, I’d recommend using them on grass or with a helmet if your on concrete.)
- Scavenger Hunts with a little Help ($12.99) – While scavenger hunts are something you can do for free, if you don’t feel like getting creative, you can always by a card deck like this set to give you ideas.
- Bubble Machine ($19.99) – I know we already talked about bubbles, but if you want to “set it and forget it” try getting a bubble machine. They are super fun! This little squid was my favorite, but you can also get frogs, t-rex’s, whales, and so much more.
Free Family Activities
While I list some frugal ideas above, there are still a million and one ways to have fun for free this spring!
- Go Hiking – This is a great activity that’s good for people of all ages, and even dogs! Enjoy nature and taking in the trees as they just start to green and the flowers start coming up makes for a beautiful site.
- Have a Scavenger Hunt – Doesn’t matter if your kids are 3, or your kids are 9 or 10, a scavenger hunt is a fun activity to do with your kids. It can be done on a hike, throughout the neighborhood, in a park, or even in your back yard! For younger kids, I’d recommend clues like something green, a yellow flower, something red, a leaf etc. For older kids, try getting a little more specific. Try asking for a blade of grass longer than their finger, an accorn, a maple leaf, something that makes you smile.
- Dance in the Rain or Puddle Jump – For those rainy days this can be a fun activity (as long as it’s not a cold spring day). It can be super fun, especially if you get some good dancing tunes too. Heck, dancing in the rain was how I got over my childhood fear of thunderstorms. There’s a reason there’s a song titled after it too. It’s fun!
- Make a Homemade Bird Feeder – This one is awesome, and made out of things you might find in your recycling bin! You can also try peanut butter and pinecone one too, this is just like the ones we made as kids in my house growing up.
- Head to the Parks – If you’ve got younger kids, playgrounds are a perfect way to spend your afternoon. Want to find a new playground in your area? Try the app Playground Buddy to find a park near you, wherever you are. If you’ve got older kids, or are more into National Parks, try the National Park Service website to find a park in your desired state.
- Try a Picnic – Anything that could be considered fun or out of the ordinary your kids are sure to love, especially if it involves eating their favorite finger foods. Try doing a picnic in a park, or even in your backyard. Shake things up a little.
So many options for family activities
While I did list 16 different ways you can get outside and have fun for a low price, or even free, there are still so many more! You’ve still got activities like hula-hoops, bouncy balls, or balls you can play catch with. The options really are endless. What are some of your favorite ways to get you and your family outdoors this spring?