Great Kids Activities

These great kids activities and ideas are to help those families wanting to have fun quality time together without having to spend a lot of money they don't have. We have tried to include something for all the age groups so that even those trying to get through the teen years with their children can experience some inexpensive bonding time.
great kids activities
As you read our activity ideas keep in mind that quality time isn't about how much money you spend; it is truly about the time. Not everyone has the means to take for elaborate ideas but this just means you will have to kick up the imagination and find ways to make family time a fun time. Try these kids activities for after school programs, classes and youth groups as well.

Kids Cooking Activities Teaching Materials

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Kids Kitchen Activities

Cooking together can be a delightful way to spend the evening and since dinner must be served; take the initiative to make it a family event. By cooking together several things can happen; mom is in a better mood because she isn't doing all the work, the little ones feel like they are super heroes because they are helping cook, teenagers will grumble at first but, then find themselves having healthy conversations with their parents, and even tired working dads will want to join the family in the preparation. In this chapter we will give you some fun food ideas as well as some ideas that take place in the kitchen but, you won't be eating the end results.
family pizza night
  1. Specialty Night- Making a family breakfast together can be tons of fun. Let everyone choose the breakfast item they think they make the best. If someone wants to make cereal as their specialty; let them because this is all about everyone being themselves. This is a great way to start a weekend morning and laughter will fill the kitchen while you cook together as a family.

  2. Pizza night- So many ideas to create pizza at home! Check out our homemade pizza recipes.

  3. Cookie Marathon- Let everyone in your family choose a different cookie recipe. Work as a team to make each recipe as best as you can. There are endless cookie recipes to choose from, and with a family of different personalities, each member is certain to have a different sweet treat in mind. Not only will your house smell delicious, but helping your children bake is an important skill that they can carry with them as they grow. Not to mention that they'll be more than happy with mounds of cookies in front of them! See our favorite cookie recipes here.

  4. Smoothie and Game Night- make homemade smoothies and play board or card games.

  5. Homemade play dough- An easy and cheap way to make homemade play dough.

  6. Have a theme dinner night. Choose a favorite movie, color, animal, etc and plan dinner around that theme. See our theme ideas here.

  7. Have an international dinner by choosing a country and try some new foods from the country. Dress up and create a dinner menu for fun. see our world cooking section.

  8. Have leftovers for dinner. Have the kids be the waiter/waitress and include all the options (leftovers) of what the chef is preparing tonight. (warming up)Here are some ideas of what to cook with leftovers.

  9. Favorites- Let each member of the family choose their favorite dish and prepare it for a family feast. If you'd like to keep from having 5+ main dishes, assign a category to each such as vegetable dish, main dish, appetizer, dessert, etc.

  10. Random Dinner- Have each member of the family choose an item from the cupboard or fridge and as a family figure out how and/or what to make for dinner with the items chosen.

At Home Activities

Being stuck in the house can drive parents and children alike a little over the edge. There are varying reasons that families may be stuck inside the house; for example, rain, snow, extreme heat, or maybe there just aren't extra funds available for going out for some extracurricular activities. You and your family can still have fun while being "trapped" inside the house. These 10 inexpensive ideas can create hours of fun and memories. family time indoors
  1. Family slumber party and pillow making night
    See our food ideas for slumber parties and have each child create a pillow or pillowcase.

  2. Coupon challenge game
    See our coupon game tutorial here.

  3. Using your recycling game
    See our recycling game tutorial here.

  4. Dance off
    Try on some music and have a dance off.

  5. Movie Night
    Try some of our movie theme food ideas here.

  6. Family vision board
    What are your goals for the family, where to want to travel, see and do. Cut pictures from magazines and glue onto a large poster board. You can also have each person do their own vision board.

  7. Family craft day
    Create your own crafts from items in your kitchen.

  8. Read a thon
    Read out-loud and read to yourself. Keep a list of what was read throughout the day. For a reading and cooking activity see our cook with books section.

  9. Stuffed animal tea party
    Create some fun party size food and gather all the stuffed animals for a tea party.

  10. House Design
    Using kids blocks and play animals and people, create a house made out of blocks for all the little people and animals to live in. Design a room for the kitchen, family room, bedrooms, shed outside, garage, etc.

Outdoor Activities

outdoor kids activitiesWhen you wake up to find it's a beautiful day and everyone is home get out there and enjoy what nature has to offer. The ideas could be endless with all the wonderful things there are to do free or relatively cheap in the outdoors. So in the essence of time here are 10 great ideas that the whole family can enjoy.
  • Take a walk

  • Create an obstacle course- Use your yard and items you already have to create an obstacle course. Items you might use are hula hoops, hoses, balls, boards, tires, or whatever else your imagination comes up with. Take turns running the course and time each other. This is something you can make a neighborhood event by inviting other children to join in the fun. Once again you will be getting the kids out of the house, enjoying the outdoors, and keeping everyone's metabolism bouncing.

  • Animals- Visit a petting zoo, animal shelter, or other park with animals.

  • Local Sites- Check out your local parks and recreation department to discover new parks in your area.

  • Tour a factory- Many factories offer tours to the public at no charge simply for the word of mouth publicity it will earn them. There is a web site available that lists over 500 companies in the USA that offer tours called If you don't find what you are looking for don't be bashful call a factory in your town and ask if they offer or would consider a tour of their facility. This can be both educational and enlightening for the young and the older. See our tips on adding these ideas to cooking lessons.

  • Bowling in the backyard-Collect milk jugs or 2 liter bottles and go bowling in the backyard. This may take some planning ahead to save up 8 pins, recycled bottles. Set up your bottles and find a good size ball such as a basketball, soccer ball or volleyball. No need to take score just enjoy playing a round of bowling. If the pins fall over too easily, pour a little sand into each bottle.

  • Family Bike Rides

  • Family or neighborhood sports.

  • Host a treasure hunt. Here are some scavenger hunt ideas as well.

  • Outdoor reading- Pack up a few snacks and a pile of children's books. Find a tree either in your backyard or at the park. Lay out a blanket and read under the shade of a tree.

More Kids Activities Topics

See more ideas for children by clicking on each circle.
printable game activities gardening activities cooking activities alphabet activities coloring projects cake decorating for kids craft projects money skills sewing projects reading activities math activities science activities journaling activities communication skills baking activities

Seasonal Family Activities

Every season can bring about new and exciting ways for your family to have fun being frugal. Let's run through the seasons and explore some ideas that might get you motivated. Visit our seasonal activities.
Here are some seasonal activities to include through the year.
  • Grow your own veggies
  • Go horseback riding
  • Picnics
  • Fly a kite
  • Wildflower picking
  • Paper airplane flying
  • sidewalk chalk
  • splash in the puddles
  • make homemade popsicles
  • water balloon fight
  • water games outside
  • bird watching
  • family car wash
  • collect autumn leaves
  • visit a pumpkin patch
  • visit a farmers market
  • make a scarecrow
  • family football
  • paint rocks
  • gather pinecones and make decorations
  • Neighborhood potluck
  • bob for apples
  • hot chocolate night
  • make a snowman
  • make homemade bread
  • paint the snow with food coloring
  • play freeze tag outside
  • make a terrarium-a mini landscape with plants in a bottle, out of a large glass bottle or plastic bottle.

Building Family  Foundations- Key Points to Remember

As well as all of these great kids activities and ideas we've talked about on this page, here are some quick reminders on building family relationships that last.
  1. Have complete focus on family when spending time together.
  2. Spending time together doesn't have to wipe out your wallet.
  3. Listen to the answer when you ask your children a question.
  4. Know your children's behaviors and look for changes.
  5. Get things organized to allow more time for family.
  6. Play games, talk, snuggle, have a tickle fight. It doesn't matter what you do as long as you are together.
  7. Sit down together for dinner.
  8. Take interest in your children's interests.
  9. Remember first times cannot be repeated; they are gone forever.
  10. Make traditions.
  11. Treat all children the same no matter if you have more in common with another one.
  12. Focus on the positive and reward good behaviors.
  13. Deal with the negative and move on. Don't dwell on mistakes or make it a prime focus.
  14. Don't think that material things show your love. Your actions show your love.
  15. Be a parent first and then a friend.
  16. Be thankful for all that you have.
  17. Remember that you and your family are unique so don't compare your lives to others.
  18. Teach your family to be loving, caring, giving, sharing, responsible and honest.

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