By Catherine Griffin
Having fun with your child does not have to cost a lot of money. Actually, it does not have to cost a penny. Check out seventeen (17) Free, Fun and Exciting things you can do with your child below that are sure ways to put a smile on your child’s face while building a long-lasting fond memory.
- Open Days
Keep an eye out on the local newspaper or scout out online for open days of companies and institutions. For example, there may be an open day in the hospital, at a bakery or at the Fire Department or Police Department for children to go and explore. Often these days are fully geared for children and they establishment plans children activities to keep them engaged.
- Free Day at the ZOO/ Petting zoo
Observing animals, cuddling with goats or petting rabbits at the zoo is always fun. Children’s farms often have a playground so when your child is tired of all the animals, he can just hang in the ropes.
All you need: a Smartphone with the Geocaching app or a GPS. Together with your child, you will look for treasures (so-called geocaches) in the real life treasure hunting game. More than 2.8 million geocaches are hidden, spread over 180 countries. There is a great chance that you will find something of value or wealth!
- Walking, Cycling or Visiting the Playground
There is nothing better than a pleasant walk or bike ride through nature. Your child will learn something about all the flowers and insects and you can get a breath of fresh air. If you have a public playground in the neighborhood, you can take a break there or cycle past the local snack bar to get an ice cream cone.
- Spotting airplanes
You do not pay anything to watch planes take off and land and children love it! Check for a spotter location and take binoculars with you for a guaranteed day of fun. Bring food and beverages to munch in case you get hungry which will also help with your budget and prevent you from stopping to get something to eat.
- Walk with your child on a Nature Path or in the Forest
It’s free! There is always a forest or other beautiful nature reserves nearby. If necessary, get a track map to help your children navigate and know where they are going in the forest. If it is blueberry time you, can pick berries together or if you go in the fall you can go acorn hunting to use them in a craft at home.
- Playing on the beach or with sand
Most children love playing in the sand. So plunder your sandbox for toys and find a beach. If a beach is too far away, just look for a sand drift near you. The beach is lovely in most of the seasons. Searching for shells and building sandcastles is always a treat for children.
- Water fun
Play in the water at the beach or at a public waterpark. Kids love to get wet and play in the water.
- Nature playground or play forest
Explore a nature playground and Google ones in your neighborhood.
You can choose a route in your area, but you can also create your own route. Have an end goal in mind and pre-select rest stops along the way. Your goal destination can be anywhere such as a pancake restaurant, an ice cream parlor or the post office.
- Invest in a Museum Card Pass
Yes, I know….this purchase costs money, but afterwards you can visit multiple times and various museums. The more museums and times you visit, the cheaper it will be on average. Make a list of museums you want to go to at the beginning of the year and make sure you also plan time to visit them.
- Visit a free festival
Especially in the summer! This promises to be a lot of fun. Free festivals are organized everywhere. From small-scale and local to very large-scale events. Checkout the newspaper or go online to research and learn about the dates so that you can add them to your calendar.
- Play in the Rain
Put on old clothes and go outside, play in the rain and stomp in the puddles. When finished, simply go inside and take off the wet clothes and warm up.
- A walk in the dark
Depending on where you live, you can go for a walk outside in the dark or in a safe forest preserve or park. Bring a Flashlight or a lantern. This will be an exciting and memorable moment for your child.
- Visit Various Seasonal Outdoor Markets including Christmas markets
You don’t have to buy anything and oftentimes they have engaging activities for children.
- Visit a Local Craft Store or Children’s Educational Store
Craft Store or Children’s Educational Store often have free art projects or storytelling sessions on Saturdays that are available to the public. They schedule events as a marketing effort to attract parents and families into the store or establishment. You can make arts and crafts and learn about new projects that you can do at home.
Now go and try doing some of the items listed above and have some free fun with your little one!