Keep Them Busy With Some
Thrifty Children's Activities

These are very easy Thrifty Children's Activities.

SLEDDING - Do you live in a snowy area and need a winter activity?

Send them out to play in the snow. They can build a snowman, make snow angels, make a whole village of either of the above. Or of course, go sledding.

The sledding is a problem sometimes if you have no sleds and no money to buy any. So just find an old box or piece of cardboard and use it as a sled. The cardboard will last a long time on a dry snow or a harder snowpack.

Thrifty Tip - Another household item that works well as a sled is a trash bag.

CARDBOARD DOLLHOUSE - Just like it sounds, grab a box, scissors, glue, a stapler, magazines, construction paper, fabric scraps if you have any, and turn those kids loose.

They probably won't need your help, but if they do, turn the box on it's side and show them how to seperate the house into two levels by attaching a piece of cardboard halfway up. You can use the flaps you cut off the box to make the floor divider and walls.

Make furniture out of small boxes or cut and tape some cardboard. Fabric or paper can be used for rugs or wallpaper.

As you can see - this is a fun and thrifty children's activity. The possibilities are endless.

Thrifty Tip - Any discarded items can be used as furniture such as an old thread spool for a lamp.

The couch in this picture was made out of a box with a piece of cardboard stapled to the back and fabric stapled onto the box. It was stuffed with tissue. The pillows were made of fabric also stuffed with tissue and stapled around the sides.

Thrifty Tip - Pictures on the walls of the house can be made by cutting small parts of old Christmas or greeting cards and gluing them to the walls.

What a fun and thrifty children's activity this is!

Here is that FREE activity for preschoolers!!
PAINT WITH WATER - This is seriously one of the most popular activities amoung young children. Give them a container of water and any old paint brush, and send them out to "paint" the driveway, the sidewalk, the deck, or any surface you have outside. (Remember they are only using water so no harm in "painting" surfaces.)

Thrifty Tip - Buy cheap old paint brushes at garage sales.

Warning - They will probably get wet, but they will love this thrifty children's activity.

HOMEMADE PLAYDOUGH - Is another very favorite thrifty children's activity.

This recipe makes around 3 cups of playdough. This batch is pink, but the color is up to you. The food coloring can even be added and worked into the finished playdough. (The food coloring will stain hands if it is worked in after the playdough is done.)

The best part about homemade playdough is - it stays moist for months, unlike store bought playdough that gets dry and crumbly within days. Click here to get the Playdough Recipe

Once the ingredients are heated until they are pulling away from the sides of the pan, pour the playdough out on a plate. It will be cool enough to handle within a minute or two.

(The adult should be the first to test the temperature of the playdough.)

Now using rolling pins and cookie cutters, let the fun begin! The playdough cleans off of everything very easily (unless it gets ground into the carpet or a rug). If you don't have extra rolling pins, baby bottles or plastic cups work too.

Also this batch of playdough will keep in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator for a couple of months without drying out.

Looking for a couple of warm weather thrifty children's activities?

A DAY AT THE LAKE/BEACH - A lot of people think this activity is just too much work, but it really doesn't have to be.

You'll find the kids are so excited to do this one that they are more than willing to help with the preparation. So start by getting a cooler ready to pack the food in. Just pack sandwiches, chips, fruit, bottled water or juice, and a snack like cookies. A lot of lakes and beaches prohibit glass containers, so check before you go, or if you don't know, just take plastic to be on the safe side.

Always take along one bag of sand toys, like buckets and shovels. Most kids are fine with just those two items. Then have everyone get their bathing suits on with clothes over the top. Don't forget a towel for each person and some sunscreen.

If you are taking a baby along you will probably need more items like a stroller, diaper bag, etc.

Thrifty Tip - You may want to have any sun-sensitive kids wear a hat.

Now head for the closest lake or beach that allows swimming. You can spend the whole day and the kids will love it. Whatever you do - don't forget the camera!!

This is a great day to pair up with another family - that gives you someone to visit with and the kids someone else to play with.

My girlfriend and I tried to do this thrifty fun activity once a week while our kids were growing up and none of us ever got tired of it.

PRACTICE EASTER EGG HUNTING - This activity may sound silly to the adults but kids love it. So if you have a warm day and some bored kids, get out those plastic eggs and start hiding. Let the kids take turns hiding them too.

This same thrifty children's activity works for opening gifts (Christmas, Birthday, Hanukkah). Have the children go find a toy of their own to wrap. Give them each some newspaper and tape. Once the "presents" are wrapped, have them sit in a circle and exchange gifts. This is a great way to practice appropriate gift opening responses too. Explain in advance that this is just a game and they will not be keeping the gifts.

WORD SEARCH PUZZLES Free holiday word search puzzles based on monthly holidays and observances. These unique word search puzzles are both educational and entertaining.

SALT CRYSTALS What a fun activity! It takes a while, but the results are worth the wait. You will find the recipe for growing salt crystals along with a crystal formation activity. Click here.

Visit our Thrifty Gift Shopping page for a link to very inexpensive toys, craft projects and other products to keep the children busy.

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