How to Have Fun With Kids on a Budget


I often have a hard time when thinking about how to have fun with kids on a budget. It’s getting harder to find worthwhile things to keep them entertained. While it’s nice to get them outdoors and active, signing kids up for team sports or music or art activities, can add to an already slim budget.

fun with kids on a budget

Fun and Affordable Things To Do To Have Fun With Kids on a Budget

1. Random Acts of Kindness

Teach your kids that not everything involves spending money and people can do things out of the kindness of their hearts.

Bake some cookies and bring them to a nursing home.
– Volunteer at a local soup kitchen.
– Help a neighbour to clean up the garage.

Acts of kindness cost very little but have a huge payout that sparks happiness and a sense of personal growth in your child.

2. Nature Scavenger Hunt

Go for a hike at a local park and create a list of items that your child has to be on the look for. Things like acorns, a maple leaf, squirrels, birds or anything you can think of. The first child to find everything gets to pick where everyone goes afterward such as ice cream or hot chocolate.

You can even find some cool printables online you can use for your own nature scavenger hunt.


3. Recycled Inventions

This is great if you have some creative geniuses in your home. Pick something out from the recycling bin for your kids to transform into something useful. Things like turning milk containers into bird feeders or turning boxes into forts will teach kids about sustainability while they have a great time.

4. Design A Graphic Novel Or Comic Strip

You don’t have to be an artist for this one. Sometimes the crude drawings make the comic more interesting. Brainstorm some story ideas and characters with your kis. If they’re too young to write, you can fill in the captions for them. It’s a great activity to have fun with kids on a budget.

5. Weekly Library Trips

Once a week, go to the library and let everyone in your family pick a book for them. Libraries here have great study sections, children’s sections, and a room where you can watch movies. They often organize interesting lectures you and your kids will definitely enjoy.

And at home, you can organize your own family book club where you can all discuss a book you’ve read. Of course, you will have to read children’s books, but that can be fun too!

There are so many other activities you can take part in with your child that isn’t going to cost you an arm and a leg. Simply taking them to the park and throwing a ball around can be fun as well.

Tell your kid stories about when you were their age and their attention span will move from their phone to you.

See, there are so many things you can do to have fun with kids on a budget. What is your favorite budget activity?

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  • Reply ERFmama May 18, 2015 at 10:07 am

    Thanks for this list! Lots of good ideas! 😀

  • Reply Katie May 18, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    These are great ideas! Thank for sharing them.

  • Reply Denise Wright May 18, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    I really like your ideas, especially because they will appeal to my 10 year old. I always make great plans for the summer and rarely follow through but I feel like this is one of the last years I’ll have his attention (i.e. he won’t be hanging out with his friends all the time) so I better take advantage of it. I think he’ll especially like the comic strip (I will too!) Pinned. (Found you on Marvelous Mondays)

  • Reply Catherine Holt May 18, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    I love the scavenger hunt idea. What kids don;t like running around hunting for things!!

    Thanks for linking up to Marvelous Monday on Smart Party Planning.

  • Reply Erin May 18, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Great List! I love the scavenger hunt idea 🙂

  • Reply Sarah Hunnysett May 18, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    some of my best childhood memories were of activities that are free 🙂

  • Reply Julie May 18, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    With three kids (12, 10 and 6) it’s hard to always do this. I like this list. It reminds me to keep it simple. Thanks! Stumbling it now!

  • Reply Sherri S May 18, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    Great ideas! I love incorporating random acts of kindness in. We practically live at the library!

  • Reply Lisa Nolan May 18, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    Such a great post of ideas for little ones to go on adventures! It reminded me of my younger years with my son! Nice job!

  • Reply Amanda May 18, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    You included some great ideas. We love to utilize our library…even more fun is visiting every different library we can find to figure out what we like the best about each space.

  • Reply Nicole May 18, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    Such great ideas, a few that I hadn’t considered. Taking my daughter to the library is my all time favorite free activity, she and I both get something out of it and always have a great time. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Nicole Keener May 19, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Definitely need to remember this for Summer

  • Reply Brandi Clevinger May 19, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    My kids love board games, and we have tons, so taht’s an option. We also play hide and seek, badminton, and bubbles. The kids favorite activity is going on nature walks and seeing all the fun, unique items they can find.

  • Reply Brandyn May 19, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    Such a great post! It’s amazing how activities like these can slip our minds when we’re trying to come up with ways to entertain our kids!

    Thank you for sharing with us at #MommyMeetupMondays!

  • Reply Melissa French, The More With Less Mom May 19, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    We love RAK! We go for walks and make fairy houses, too. Thanks for posting. Hello from Hearth and Soul Hop.

  • Reply Julie May 19, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    This is a great list – I especially love the library idea since I did that a lot growing up too 🙂

    • Reply Marina May 25, 2015 at 9:28 am

      Me too! I was in the library all the time 🙂

  • Reply Krista May 24, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    What great ideas! I usually take my kids to visit my grandma who lives in a retirement community. We visit with many of her friends too! My kids LOVE going and it kills a few hours for free 😉 Thanks so much for linking up at MeetUp Monday! Hope to see you again tomorrow!

  • Reply Bridget - The Recipe Wench May 24, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    So many things to do with children that don’t cost much. Thanks for reminding us — these are great ideas. Thanks for sharing with us at the Inspire Me Mondays Link-Up. It was great having you with us!

  • Reply Mrs. AOK May 24, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    Great list!! I love doing random acts of kindness with the kids, and the library is a lifesaver for sure. 😉
    Thanks for sharing at Mommy Monday.

  • Reply swathi May 26, 2015 at 4:30 am

    Thanks for great tips Marina, Yes kids needs to learn about budget. Thanks for sharing this wonderful tips to Hearth and Soul blog hop. pinning.

  • Reply Heather May 26, 2015 at 5:25 am

    These are all such great ideas! We have to adhere to a budget, but I love that it is teaching my little one about being frugal. Thanks so much for sharing at Tips & Tricks linky party last week. I hope you can join us again next week (the party just went live). See ya there?!

  • Reply Tiffany | A Touch of Grace May 26, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    We love going to the library! Our daughter has quite a collection of books, but we still get multiple books from the library on a weekly basis. Great ideas!
    Thanks for sharing on the Shine Blog Hop!

  • Reply Gail Akeman May 30, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    good ideas. Thank you for joining the Small victories Linkup. Please join again. Pinned to the group board.

  • Reply JoJo Tabares July 20, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    Great stuff! I learned a lot of this through experience when I was broke and homeschooling small children.

  • Reply Jenn (Go Geek Mom) July 20, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    Great ideas! We baked cookies and sang Christmas songs at a nursing home last December, my kids are itching to go back! We also make full use of our library, couldn’t live without our library cards 🙂

  • Reply Clare Speer July 20, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    My kids are grown but these are great tips – the kids LOVED trips to the library and volunteering I think is such a wonderful idea!

  • Reply Donna July 21, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Thanks for the post on fun with kids on a budget. I am a frugalite and had not thought of some of the ideas. I like your Random Acts of Kindness!

  • Reply Sonya April 13, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    I love taking my kids to the library. They always have so many fun programs for everyone, including adults.

  • Reply laura May 29, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    Forget the expense of going out for a meal, once the summer hits, raid your kitchen, make some sandwiches, pop some jelly into a lidded bowl and off you go. If you can’t make it out to a local spot, you could even just picnic in your garden or when the weather is bad on your living room floor.

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