My daughter’s eighth birthday is coming up, and it happens to be here at a time when a lot of money is going out and the money coming in is slightly delayed. While she wants a huge, lavish pizza party at the local fun place or a gymnastics party at her gym, I’m reaching into my imagination and pulling out my list of free activities for kids for this one.
The kids will still have a blast, I’ll still have money in my account, and no one will be the wiser. After all, play dates should be free since it’s really all about the kids and the friends they have over. Here are some free activities for kids that are always a hit.
1. Party in the street
We live on a cul de sac, so having kids over is easy. They can ride their bikes, draw on the driveway with chalk, and even throw water balloons on hot days. If you have friends who live on a quieter street than you do, offer to bring water and chips in exchange for the use of the street. Street parties are fun, relaxing, and a great way to wear your kids out while you chat with the adults.
Want more outdoor activity ideas? Check out these 10 fun outdoor activities for kids!
2. Daytime movie party
Movie nights are the best, but let’s face it, we’re often tired way before the kids want to go to sleep! Instead of movie night do a movie day. Pick a movie from your shelf, invite some friends over, and put out some popcorn. Tell the guests to wear their jammies, close all the windows in the house, make a blanket pile on the floor, and turn on the movie! This is an easy, free way to let your kids share something fun with their friends.
Need some movie ideas? Check out this fun family-friendly movie list!
3. Find a community park
Call your friends and invite them to a fun afternoon at a local park. You’d be amazed at how many parks have playgrounds in your area. All you need is your kids and some water on hand. Sit on the bench and talk to the other parents while the kids use their imagination to make the day extra special.
Use your community resources to find parks in your area!
4. Plan a book drive
There’s nothing more free or fun than collecting things you don’t use anymore to give to others. We have a kid’s library full of books. I would guess that at least 25 percent of them are ready to be donated to kids who need them. So call your friends, invite their kids to bring books, and let the kids sort by age, gender, and subject matter to create the best donation piles ever. If the parents are willing, have them accompany you to the community center, Boys and Girls club, or some other charitable organization to donate them.
Need to replenish your library after your donation? Check out some classic books for kids that everyone loves!
5. Just let them play
In almost any house with kids there are toys galore, coloring books coming out of the woodwork, and stuffed animals falling from the ceiling! Just having kids come over and play is the best and cheapest thing you can do. My girls have friends over all the time and they love showing off their rooms, their toys, and coming up with new games that have nothing to do with spending money. I actually find it easier on me to have kids over. I don’t generally get asked to be their constant playmate when we do!