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50 Free Children's Activities - Free Activities For Children and Families Part 1

Updated on March 26, 2015
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This is a list of free and inexpensive activities for children and families.

I wanted to write something useful today, and this is something that I have spent a lot of time thinking about recently. Forgive my selfishness, but I am creating this list of free activities as much for my own good as I am for yours. Due to the length, I have broken this list down into age specific hubs. There are links to the other two age groups at the bottom of the page. Most of these activities for children are absolutely free to do, provided they are available in your area. A few of these of them cost a token investment up front, but are free forever afterward. There are others that may not be accessible in your region. For instance, the zoo is on the list, which is only free in certain areas. With that being said, I ask for your understanding when I suggest the beach if you are not near a beach, because that won't apply to you:) Please use the free activity ideas that are helpful and ignore the ones that are not available to you. I hope you enjoy.

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Activities for children age 1-3

This is where I will begin. There are so many opinions when it comes to what is acceptable for children under one, I don't want to tread in that water. The ideas that I will be listing should be safe, fun, and appropriate for any child in the age group. Some of the fun things to do on this list may be geared more toward the younger end of the group, however, that fact makes me feel safe suggesting these activities to you. The list is designed to provide a service to you, my reader. Please use it responsibly to add joy to a special child's life.

  1. Blocks are a great activity for children. They require a small initial investment, but can then be played with for free forever. The value of the motor skill development is priceless, and most children already have blocks laying around the house.
  2. Flash Cards are similar to blocks in that they require a small initial investment. Starting at around $2.00, they are another item that most of us already have lying around. Use them routinely to help you child develop memory and cognitive skills.
  3. Patty Cakes is free every day, all the time. Not only does this game provided hours of joy for you and your toddler, but it builds your child's coordination and verbal skills as well.
  4. Peek-A-Boo doesn't get enough credit. This is a child's game that every parent has played in one form or another. And, there's a good reason for that. They are learning a valuable skill. It's called object permanence, and it is the ability to understand that something is there, even though it can't be seen, heard, or touched.
  5. Rolling a car is a simple and effective way for a child to play. This is a great activity for a rainy day, or any time that playtime is going to be in doors. The crawling aspect of pushing the car is wonderful upper body exercise for your youngster, while the continual motion involved builds are forms of coordination.
  6. Reading a book will never get old. Children love to learn, and books are as good as it gets for nurturing their hungry little minds.
  7. Puzzles are a dime a dozen. If you don't have a store bought one available, you can find instructions to make a home made puzzle here. Either way, this a good way to help your child develop their eye hand coordination and problem solving skills.
  8. Dancing is prime time exercise for all ages. Your tot probably won't be doing the Waltz any time soon (unless you are holding him/her), but that won't hurt the cardio workout. Cut a rug with him/her/them to get one of your own.
  9. Jumping around is fun for everyone, provided you don't have neighbors downstairs. Spend a few minutes jumping around the house with your child to build endurance and muscle strength, as well as agility and coordination
  10. Parks are on everyone's list, as long as the weather is cooperative. When the temperature is just right, there are few places more peaceful than a playground. Not only is this a wonderful way for your child to get some exercise, the park is a great place for making memories.
  11. Helping you clean may not seem like the type of activity that a child would enjoy, but my experience says just the opposite. Children feel important and accomplished when you allow them to help you do things. It makes them feel like a productive part of the team, which helps build confidence and self esteem.
  12. Walking may seem too obvious, but I believe it needs to be on this list. Many parents seek out grand gestures to show their affection, when a bit of quality time spent walking would build a much stronger bond. This is another good way to get exercise for both of you, as well as bring you closer together.
  13. Explore nature while you are out on your walk. There are endless wonders to be found when you have the mind of a child. Stop to look at and smell the roses with your young one to help them learn to appreciate the simple things in life.
  14. ABC's are a favorite pastime in my house. I love watching my daughter learn, and she loves the little successes obtained through our studies. The benefits of practicing the alphabet can not be overstated, due to the fact that those letters are the building blocks for all future communication.
  15. Counting goes hand in hand with the ABC's. There are so many benefits, and zero drawbacks. Use any free time available to help your child develop their math skills. These two skills combined will dictate a lot of the opportunity that your child will have in his/her lifetime.
  16. Hugs and kisses are my favorite. Take time every day to show that little one how important they are to you. Children thrive on affection, and will be much more comfortable in social situations if they are accustomed to receiving attention.

To be continued.....

This will be where the links to the other two hubs will be. I am writing them as you read this, and they will be available soon. Thank you for reading my hub, and you can follow me if you'd like to be first to see the new ones as they are released. **Update** Here is Free Activities For Children And Families part 2

A better explanation of object permanence

Check out my profile or some of my other work

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