It can be difficult to keep your little one amused and even harder to do so without spending an arm and a leg sometimes.
With that in mind, here are 20 ways to keep your toddlers occupied that won’t cost you a penny.
- Have a movie night. You can make a real event of it, dig out some snacks from the cupboard and build a snuggly duvet fort to curl up and watch a DVD together.
- Play hide and seek. If you want to get involved in playtime, you can’t go wrong with an old fashioned game of hide and seek. It’s best played in the great outdoors but can be just as fun around the house on a rainy day.
- Make a collage. Kids love making things, so why not make your own collage. You can use anything you want, whether it be actual arts and crafts supplies or perhaps old sweet wrappers or magazine cuttings.
- If you’ve already got the supplies at home, painting is a great way to get those creative juices flowing. Kids will take great pride in seeing their masterpiece up on the fridge or wall too.
- Create your own obstacle course. It’s amazing what you can come up with using household objects. Climb over chairs, crawl under duvet canopies and add in challenges along the way such as throwing a ball into a bin. Get creative!
- Treasure hunt. Hide some treats around the house and garden for youngsters to find, with cryptic clues to help them along the way.
- Board games. While they might be a bit young to become a Monopoly tycoon, children will still enjoy simple games such as Snakes & Ladders and Ludo.
- Go to the park. Most local parks will have a play area or perhaps a nature trail to follow, but just being outdoors and having a change of scenery for playtime is good for kids.
- Have a tea party. Gather together your little one’s favourite interactive dolls and toys and serve up some tasty treats.
- Paper aeroplane competition. If they’re too young to be able to make one themselves, you can make one for them, because the real fun is seeing who can throw theirs the farthest!
- Make a magic potion. Gather up all kinds of weird and wonderful ingredients from the kitchen and garden and mix them all up, but just be extra extra careful nobody drinks any!
- Build a fort. Gather up some duvets, pillows and chairs and get to work making your own fort for your little ones. Not only is it fun to build, but they’ll have somewhere to play afterwards.
- Go searching for bugs. Take a magnifying glass into the garden and see what kind of creepy crawlies you can unearth.
- Magic painting. Draw a design onto white paper using a white pencil, then let your toddler paint over it to reveal the design by magic!
- Have a picnic. Whether in the garden or out and about, take a blanket and some snacks and enjoy the great outdoors.
- Read a story. Reading is crucial to a child’s development, so pick out some of their favourite books and enjoy some story time.
- Go to the library. Even better, why not take a trip to the library, where they can pick out whatever book (or DVD) they want, all for free?
- Hand painting. If you don’t mind getting a bit messy, make up some poster paint and cover their hands to let them make some handprints.
- Kids will love helping mix up the ingredients (and eating the finished product of course)!
- It’s important to teach your children the importance of giving back, so why not volunteer at a local event or charity for the day?
So next time you’re stuck with a bored toddler, don’t panic and don’t rush to buy them a new toy!
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to keep everyone entertained without spending a penny.