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With warm weather finally here, it’s the best time to get out and have fun with the kids. Thankfully, there are numerous ways to do it on a dime or even for free! Here are some fun spring activities for kids you can do that will mean a good time for the whole family.
Fun and free outdoor activities for kids
Sometimes, the best things in life are free. Building memories can definitely be considered one of them. Here are some things you can do for free:
1. Go on a nature hike.
Be it trails down the road, or walking around the neighborhood, going on a nature walk or hike is both a great way to burn off some energy with the kids and explore all that nature has to offer.
Growing up, we always had the rule, take nothing and leave nothing. As then, don’t go picking flowers (I like to say it’s so that everyone else can see how pretty they are too if your little ones struggled not to pick the flowers).
Leave nothing as well. That means if there are wrappers from snacks or empty bottles, we take them with us. It’s just a way to learn to respect nature.
2. Dancing in the rain.
Obviously, there needs to be rain and warm weather to do this activity. But if mother nature allows, dancing in the rain can be great fun, especially when there are big puddles to jump in.
3. Go on a spring-themed scavenger hunt.
This one can be lots of fun and can be easily catered to the age of your kiddos. I like to do these in the backyard or local park. Try things like a red leaf from fall, a grey pebble, and many pinecones, something that makes you smile. The list could go on.
Fun under five dollars
If you’re really on a budget, here are a few ideas that will help you to have fun with the kids for less than $5.
1. Make some bubbles.
Bubbles are honestly one of the most fun things you can do. Thankfully, they’re pretty easy to make. All you need is a little dish soap and water. If you have kids, chances are you already have bubble blowers lying around somewhere, but in case you don’t, there are thankfully usually some you can get pretty cheap from the dollar store. Or, if you’re feeling very creative, try making your own bubble wands out of pipe cleaners!
2. Dig in, and get gardening.
Most people already planning to garden, but why not get the kids involved? What else can be more fun than playing around in the dirt? Most dollar stores carry a variety of seats. Even if it’s just getting some wildflower seeds, not only will that help the local bees, but it will give your children a sense of independence and that they have a plant all their own.
3. Make some bird feeders.
Since all the birds are finally back, this is a great time to make some homemade bird feeders. I personally was always a fan of finding pinecones, slathering on some peanut butter, and rolling them in birdseed.
Not only does this make a fun craft, but it can turn into an activity for days. Hang the bird feeder outside the window, and watch the birds flocking. You can even turn it into a learning experience and teach your kids the names of the types of birds that come to visit. (Google is definitely a good tool here)
4. Build a birdhouse.
I personally am not very handy, but if you are, building a birdhouse can be a super fun activity with the kids. Even if you’re not handy, the dollar store typically has little wooden birdhouses that you can at least bring home and let your kids paint.
5. Bring out the chalk.
Chalk makes for loads of fun with the kids. From drawing pictures to making hopscotch, to even a game of tic-tac-toe or hangman, chalk makes for an endless supply of fun and laughs.
6. Jump rope.
You can often find these pretty cheap at the dollar store, and they can be fun for all ages. Even if your little ones are too young to really learn to skip, you can easily play snake on the ground, where you would go the rope, and let your little ones jump over. If your kids are older, try giving them challenges, or look up some skip rope rhymes and songs to keep them entertained.
What are your favorite outdoor activities for kids?
Obviously, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds upon hundreds of activities that kids can do outside as the weather starts to get warmer. These are just a few of my favorites that always seemed to be a great hit with the kids!
What are some outdoor activities you like to do with your kids? What did you grow up doing yourself as a kid?
About Chloe Morgan
Chloe Morgan grew up living with a tight budget. In her late teens and early 20’s all the lessons she’d learned started to slip, like it does for many college age students on their own for the first time, and with their first credit card. As she’s gotten older, she’s started to deal with the repercussions and has taken on a frugal way of living, keeping her costs low, as she pays off debt and saves for her future. Chloe lives in Northern Ontario, Canada, with her cute dog, Rhea.
3 thoughts on “Fun And Frugal Outdoor Activities For Kids”
My boyish perspective comes from growing up on a wheat and cattle farm where from age 4 and on I had access to my father’s non-electric workshop full of tools. I learned how to make or fix things to make some indoor and outdoor activities possible. Making things included slingshots, bows and arrows, South American bolas, and camping knives ground down from a worn out steel file, etc. I didn’t have access to any power tools until 7th grade woodworking shop class.
Those skills enhanced my learning through the Cub Scout and Boy Scout years where the Boy’s Life magazine, the organizations’ meetings, and the various projects and activities (both indoor and outdoor) through those years provided a wonderful education about many things not provided at all by the public school system. The Boy Scouts especially had (and still have) an entire library of merit badge booklets (still available today for purchase by the public at large) that focus on beginning skills for hundreds of activities.
In that pre-internet era girls had only the Girl Scouts organization (started in 1912). Today just in recent years the Boy Scouts have opened their doors to the girls as well, as this 2017 article describes:
I first started learning to cook outdoors with the Cub Scouts by frying eggs on top of a campfire-heated #10 tin can. Much later with the Boy Scouts I had some wonderful experiences mountain backpacking in Northern New Mexico.
The point is that those organizations have a wide range of activities to select from for both boys and girls.
Bike riding can be a fun activity for families and a good way to explore, provided the neighborhood is suitable.
My folks and I used to spend hours at local parks where I used the play equipment. These days some parks even have outdoor “gym” equipment to use – one nice one I went to had balance beams, a swivel ab exerciser, a chinning bar, and a tethered system that allowed you to lift weights. It was pretty creative. Also free to use, so it may be worth checking out what parks nearby have to offer.
Sometimes museums, especially children’s museums, have cheap or free days. Sometimes zoos have discounted events. Then there’s the ever popular “throwing the ball around” in a backyard, park, or whatever. Sidewalk chalk makes old school games like hopscotch possible. How about marbles?
The “Childcraft” series had a ton of children’s activities that don’t require much money and usually no electricity. Of course I’m remembering the set I saw when I was a kid so there are probably newer editions.
Honestly, just being outside can be enough. Doesn’t matter what, if anything, you are doing. It may just be sitting there and absorbing the great outdoors.
Just remember if you let your kids dance in the rain in only their underwear (country living obviously), you’re likely to have to explain this can’t happen unless the weather is warm (aka not during November in the north).
IMHO, those who don’t try to fill every minute of their kids life will find their kids do just fine entertaining themselves. You might be know as “hippy” parents when your kids friends are allowed to play outside and do things such as pick wild raspberries!