50 Free Or Cheap Ways To Play With Your Kids

When was the last time you played with your kids?

Playtime with your kids can be hard to fit into your schedule. Life gets so busy between work, school, and activities. The days go by, and you realize it has been a long time since you did anything fun as a family. It’s helpful to think of free and cheap ways to play with your kids in advance, so you can be spontaneous about it later.

Play is one of the big ways kids and parents build memories together. Fun kinds of work builds memories too – think of something you made with one of your own parents. But that kind of work is often close to play as well.

Play is important at all ages. The kind of play your kids consider fun will change as they get older – you do not want to play with your kids in elementary school the same as you would a high school student. You’ll get major eye rolls if you try most of the time. There are only a few things that will keep being fun no matter your child’s age, and that will in part depend on his or her personality.

50 Free Or Cheap Ways To Play With Your Kids

  1. Build a couch fort.
  2. Play dress up.
  3. Make homemade ice cream.
  4. Bake cookies.
  5. Bake a cake from scratch.
  6. Make homemade pizza.
  7. Have a tea party.
  8. Have a water balloon fight.
  9. Have a squirt gun fight (try it in the rain!).
  10. Run through the sprinklers.
  11. Go swimming.
  12. Have a picnic.
  13. Make an obstacle course.
  14. Teach your child to do flips, cartwheels, etc.
  15. Have a scavenger hunt.
  16. Ride bikes.
  17. Go on a hike.
  18. Fly kites.
  19. Play their favorite sport together.
  20. Stargaze, especially if there’s a meteor shower.
  21. Camp in the backyard.
  22. Climb trees.
  23. Go geocaching.
  24. Plant a butterfly garden in the spring, and observe the results for months after.
  25. Catch bugs. A bug vacuum is helpful for getting a good look.
  26. Teach your kids to sew. A stuffed toy snake is easy (just a tube).
  27. Play a board game.
  28. Have an indoor “snowball fight” with cotton balls.
  29. The floor is lava.
  30. Blow bubbles (try touchable bubbles and build with them).
  31. Draw with your kids (consider a speed drawing challenge).
  32. Go to a playground and both of you play.
  33. Play Mad Libs.
  34. Pretend to be animals.
  35. Home spa day. You paint their nails, they paint yours.
  36. Play with Legos.
  37. Make origami.
  38. Solve a jigsaw puzzle.
  39. Play video games together.
  40. Pillow fight!
  41. Play tag, hide and go seek, etc.
  42. Play Simon Says.
  43. Act out a play.
  44. Paint.
  45. Make a cosplay outfit.
  46. Fly quadcopters.
  47. Build something together.
  48. Launch rockets.
  49. Bad movie night – pick a movie you know is awful and have fun picking it apart.
  50. Movie marathon – pick a favorite series and watch them together. Try to stay up all night if necessary.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.