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Fun Things to Do With Toddlers on the Cheap!

Updated on January 31, 2014

Looking for Ways to Entertain your Child but are on a Shoe String Budget? Here are ideas for activities to do with your child that are inexpensive and fun

  1. Ask your toddler to help you with your every day activities

There is almost nothing your toddler enjoys more than learning to help you in your ordinary daily routine. My son has taking a strong liking to helping me make my morning K-cup tea. It is simple, involves a small number of steps, involves flashing buttons and levers, and most importantly ends with tea being dispensed into a cup that he placed in the correct place and his father showing great appreciation for his efforts.

2. Dance!

Children generally love music, love activity, and love doing things with their parents. Dancing with a toddler requires no skill or particular sense of rhythm. In fact, the worse you are the more your child will laugh and enjoy the time spent with you!

Keep close watch to ensure noone burns themselves!
Keep close watch to ensure noone burns themselves!

My Son (age 2) Dancing With Pluto at Disneyworld

3.Go to the Park

This one is a no brainer! Going to the park or local playground is a great way to help your child burn off some extra energy as well as learn interaction skills with other children he or she may not know. Your toddler will look forward to this time with you and will gleefully ask to go at any hour of the day, for better or for worse. The best part is that it is free! Unless you count paying local taxes!

4. Go to your local party store

Ok, so this one has to be handled with care. The local party store is like a toddlers idea of heaven must be. There are aisles and aisles of products that will be ripe for exploration by your toddler. Many of the items are not easily breakable and if worse comes to worse and your child won’t leave without buying something, you can likely find something that is very inexpensive that he or she will be entertained by for hours after leaving the store.

5. Make a Craft out of Every Day Items

Children love exploring their creative sides and one need not spend a lot of money to help them do this. Anything from using old magazines to make collages to making macaroni “art” on construction paper will instill your child with pride, teach them organizational skills, and give them something to show grandma and grandpa when they come to visit!

6. Fast Food Restaurant Play Place

Good wholesome free child entertainment can come in the form of your local McDonald's or Burger King that has an indoor play place. Kids love it! It is also a great alternative to the regular playground in the case of rain or other inclement conditions. Hey, if worse comes to worse and you have to buy something.

Livingston Park, Manchester, NH
Livingston Park, Manchester, NH | Source
My Buddy Getting Ready to Get on An Airplane!  He was very excited!
My Buddy Getting Ready to Get on An Airplane! He was very excited!
Looks like he has done this several times!
Looks like he has done this several times!

7. Create Make Believe Toys out of Everyday Objects

Recently my 2 year old was pointing at our nearly empty paper towel proclaiming "Pirate" over and over again... I didn't know what he meant which was very frustrating to him but the next day he got on his step stool when I used the last paper towel, took the cardboard from the roll, peered through it with one eye and proclaimed "Pirate!" It is interesting how everyday objects and even "trash" are very amusing to a toddler. Especially when they really start playing "Make Believe."

8. Go to the Airport

Now I know what you are thinking, there is no way you want to go in an airport unless you are flying let alone take your crazy toddler with you. Going near the airport is more what I mean. Finding a legal place to park near an airport where you and your child can see the airplanes taxiing, taking off, and landing is an amazing way to stimulate your child's senses and provide and educational, entertaining, and best of all free activity. Your toddler will be amazed by the sounds the plane makes, the different colors of the airlines, and will be fascinating by the planes "going up in the sky". Before you know it, your toddler will be pointing out airplanes in the sky when you are at the park or even driving down the highway!

9. Tour Seasonal/ Holiday Displays

Although many of the holidays, especially Christmas, are a very expensive time of year, the activities that you do with your child's at these times of year don't have to be. In the fall, you and your family can go to the orchard, get lost in a corn maze, or simply find beautiful spots to leaf peep. Fall time also provides Halloween and the various yard displays, pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns, and spooky tours that your toddler will love; don't let it get too scary! Wintertime is Christmas time and taking a gander at all of the light displays in the neighborhood, an opportunity to learn about baby Jesus and Santa Clause, along with the manger and Rudolf! Spring time is flower time and taking a walk around the garden as when everything is beginning bloom is both an educational and enjoyable activity. Finally, summer time is a great time to do a great deal of activities including inexpensive local beach or lake visits, playing in the back yard sprinkler and even husking corn for the weekend BBQ. Every season brings potential for lasting memories from inexpensive activities you can do with your child.

Crazy hair day!
Crazy hair day!

10. Be Silly

Maybe the closest thing to a guarantee of success to have fun with your child... Just act silly! Anything from rolling around on the floor acting like logs to doing crazy impromptu dances are sure to bring joy to your child (and probably some much needed exercise for mom and dad). Silly arts and crafts are also a good way to get your kids attention as well as work on their fine motor skills and attention to detail. Dress up is also a fun silly activity that you can do with your boy or girl. I recently got some hair chalk for my 3 year old son (orange and green) and helped him decorate his hair for "crazy hair day" at pre-school. He couldn't take his eyes off of himself and couldn't have been more excited to show his teachers and friends!

What Season Do you Enjoy Spending Time with your Family the most?

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Please Visit The Following Hubbers for More Intesting Topics about Children!


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    • Peter Leeper profile image

      Peter Leeper 4 years ago from Londonderry, New Hampshire

      Thanks Pinkchic!

    • Pinkchic18 profile image

      Sarah Carlsley 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Great ideas here!

    • Peter Leeper profile image

      Peter Leeper 5 years ago from Londonderry, New Hampshire

      thanks barbergirl.. Yes it can be exhausting. It is kind of fun though when you figure it all out!

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      I have a bouncy two year old - believe me - finding ways to entertain him can be very very exhausting. Thanks for some great tips! We like to go to the park... he can be loud and burn off energy. We tried story time but he got impatient and disruptive so we will try again in the future! :) Great hub!

    • Peter Leeper profile image

      Peter Leeper 5 years ago from Londonderry, New Hampshire

      I hear you. I wish i could remember what i enjoyed pretending to do when i was 2.

    • Peter Leeper profile image

      Peter Leeper 5 years ago from Londonderry, New Hampshire

      I hear you. I wish i could remember what i enjoyed pretending to do when i was 2.

    • kaiyan717 profile image

      kaiyan717 5 years ago from West Virginia

      Good Ideas! My son loves to help wash dishes and is too fascinated with a paper towel roll. ( He uses it for a microphone) Sometimes I wish we could view the world throug our children's eyes.