Free Fun With Your Kids
Ideas for free fun things to do with your kids can be hard to think of in the midst of your day to day. We’ve done a ton around San Diego in the 4 months we’ve been here. A lot of cool free things and others not so much. Lately there’s been this marine layer causing chilly overcast days. I know, I thought it was always sunny too! I’ve also been feeling like a homebody since I returned from my 2 week trip. It’s gotten me thinking about things to do right here at home. I’ve created a list of things to do at home that are free, fun and electronic free! A little hallelujah came out with the no electronics part, but that’s another blog.
Hide and Seek in the Dark
This is not your ordinary hide behind the curtains hide and seek. This is a mom and dad get to vicariously live though their kids game. We’re all on board now, yes? Obviously first you wait for it to be dark. It can be played inside or outside (with boundaries). If there is enough light from the moon, street light, nightlight then cool. If not, the seeker gets a flashlight. Here’s the best part. The parents hide the kid/s! My kids love coming up with crazy places they could never hide without our help. This game can last for hours because there are always one more hiding place the
parents kids want to try.
Do you remember how much fun it was to make forts in the living room? Don’t worry about the mess, clean up is super easy. Grab some of your flat sheets out of the closet and have the kids help you come up with ideas on how to make them into a fort. The bigger the better! Use the couch, clothespins, yarn or whatever you have around the house. Let the kids try their ideas even if you know it won’t work. It’s cool to stand back and watch them problem solve. After you have your epic fort built, use it! This is a cool place to tell good old-fashioned scary stories or for the younger guys, funny stories.
Don’t forget the popcorn.
If you have a great neighborhood that you feel is safe this can be an awesome way of getting your kids to socialize politely. Depending on their ages they can knock and introduce themselves politely. Explain what they’re doing and be gracious afterward. A big confidence builder if you have a shy-er kid like I do. Don’t burden the neighborhood, guys. Things like one square of toilet paper, a penny, a single marshmallow will do. Don’t forget things they can find outside too. If you live in the country like we used to the closest house could be a hike. No problem! As parents we know a bunch of random stuff inside and outside our homes that the kids can try to find. Batteries, something salty, picture of grandma the list goes on.
We all know game nights are great. Candy Land, Uno, Jenga are all a good time. Have you considered making your own though? I had the privilege to work with a guy that made board games in his spare time. It was foreign to me but apparently it’s a really big deal. There are groups that get together and do this. What a creative learning experience for your kiddos! I’m all about stretching those minds to think on their own and problem solve. If you can’t come up with any ideas on your own you can use Pinterest to search “kids games”. There are a ton of easy ideas using things around the house. Have fun playing with your creation afterward!
Wild West Showdown
If you have squirt guns, Nerf guns or marshmallow shooters you’re in luck! Gather all the ammo you can and have a kids vs. parents showdown. Make sure you countdown to hide first! This is a fun way for the kids to wake up or get home from school. Leave the gun and ammo with a note stating the rules and that you’re already hiding/watching them. Wait for that smile to spread over their face, it’ll be worth it! If you don’t already have these sophisticated weapons you can play an outside only game using mini marshmallows, grapes, or even old socks filled with flour. If you color the flour it’ll be a hit too. It’s like tag only more epic!
Science Experiments or Baking
They’re sometimes the same thing right? Making something you can play with or eat is a good time for all ages. Google will help you here moms and dads. There are tons of ideas you can find using things that you have in the kitchen already. Baking is so much fun but it’s even better when you make it a dance party. Turn up the fun tunes and show off your best moves to make those babies laugh while you guys bake. Kids learning how to cook can teach them a lot more than you might think too, check that out here.
My kids love science and are always trying to find a new experiment to try. PSA: Make sure you lay some ground rules. One of my kids had a friend over and they were looking at science experiment videos. They were so cute getting excited about what they were going to create. While I was in the next room I overheard a female voice coming from the tablet say “and now you’re on your way to creating your very first bottle rocket!” Uhhhh time to talk, kids! Crisis averted.
I know it’s easy to call a movie night and relax. Those are fun and we have quite a few around here. It’s seriously worth it to get yourself up and put the little bit of effort into these ideas too. Some of my kids favorite memories were made right from these family fun nights. I’m hoping that one day I’ll stop by my kids house and catch them playing hide and seek in the dark with my grandkids instead of staring at a T.V. screen.