It can be really hard to your kids entertained…
Whenever we have mum errands or have something important to do sans the presence of our toddlers, we usually drop them at a play place or we leave them with carers or sometimes with dad. As much as public playpens are actually convenient, we always shell out some cash whenever we need it. There are a lot of ways to keep the kids entertained for hours and hours without spending a ton of money.
Since children are always curious about new things, so we might as well give them something new to tinker and play with every damn time. As a mum, people might think that we have a lot of ideas every time, but kid you not, there are “blind spots” every once in a while.
Here are 20 of the most frugal and easy-to-do ways to keep the bubs in their playful state for hours..
1. Tape a Race Track Around the Lounge Room
Instruct them that their toy cars should not go beyond the tape (you don’t want to encourage road rage!) Also try putting up a parking spot (outlined with tape of course) and your kids will love playing lounge room GTA for hours.
2. Make an Indoor Garden with Recycled Soft Drink Bottles
Kids can really be experimental at times. Tickle their green thumb by letting them do this activity. This does not only let them love gardening, this also hones their recycling gene. Cut a plastic soft drink bottle into two parts, the one with the lid should be the one to be used as the main planting pot. The lower half of the bottle should then be the one that catches the excess water when you are watering the plants. Also, allow your kids to choose what to plant. Enjoy!
3. Make Some Golf Ball Lady Bugs for the Garden
Children really love animating stuff and these lady bugs made out of golf balls will liven up their gardening time. All you need are golf balls, old paint brushes and red, white and black paint. You could also use googly eyes to stick into the balls as the eyes. For more fun, get them to make a play or a show with their new “pets”!
4. Make Some Homemade Candles for Christmas Gifts out of Crayons
We all know how kids love their crayons. Well, they love to “decorate” the walls with them too haha! Anyways, give them a fun time while they’re stuck at home by letting them transform their broken crayons into rainbow coloured candles. The finished product could be excellent gifts for Christmas too!
Tip: Since there will be need for a microwave in this project, make sure that the kids have adult supervision for this one.
Give your little ones some water fun by letting them do this activity. You will need corks, elastics, toothpicks, a nail and coloured foam sheets (or you know, sparkly ones because the holidays are coming). Basically, you’d need to tie the corks together using the elastics and use a toothpick to hold the “sail” of your sailboat.
Tip: Let your cork sailboats sail in your bath tub during your kids bath time for more fun.
These amazing and glittery magic bottles could please both kids and adults. I mean, I find it relaxing to the eyes and the swirling glitter makes you think you’re in a totally different dimension. To make their own magical fairy bottles, your kids will need some fancy shaped bottles, water, glycerin, glitter, glitter flakes, sequins, ribbons or twine or lace. Mix one part of water to one part glycerin, pour it into the bottle along with the glitter and sequins. Tightly place the cap of the bottle and secure it with a ribbon or a twine. You could also attach a label or card to the ribbon if you want to give these as a present. Enjoy shaking!
7. Build a cardboard cubby house!
Since children are always looking for a place for a hideout or fort, why don’t you let them build their own? Gather some unused cardboard boxes or shoe boxes, some paint, markers, tape and a cutter or a knife (remember – adult supervision if knives are around!) They’ll also enjoy on deciding what colour their cubby house should be.
8. Squirt Gun Painting
It’s school holiday time, so this fun activity should keep our kids entertained for hours. For this, you will need an easel, watercolour paper (or canvas), a drop cloth (to protect walls), some Nerf water guns, tape, water and of course watercolour paint. Paint away!
Basically you will be honing your kids motor skills with this activity. You will need some cereal boxes, or plastic cups to serve as holes, cutter or scissors, tape, golf ball or any other balls with similar size and toy golf clubs or putters. Set up a scoreboard and the kid who has the highest points wins!
Let your kids create a larger-than-life marble run using scraps from their school supplies and some used cardboard boxes. You might also need paper cups for catching the marbles at the bottom of the obstacle. Strategically place popsicle sticks on the cardboard box so as you are making an “obstacle” for the marbles.
This might take a few hours or a few days to take effect but it would surely spike the curiosity of your kids. You will be needing some white flowers (mums, carnations and gerberas should be fine), some mason jars, food colour and some water. Mix the food colours with water and place it in the mason jars, then put the flowers depending on how many jars with the food colour you have. Tell your kids to periodically record what they have observed with the flowers. Tell them to take note which colour is easily absorbed by the flowers and which ones are not. This is a science experiment that improves the kids hypothetical skills and their creativity too!
Well, here’s another science experiment with a finished product. Although recycled paper may not be as smooth as factory made ones, your kids could use it for their art projects. For this, you would need some scrap paper, a blender, some water, a storage tub or vat, a mould & deckle, some wood boards, a rolling pin, some towels, wool cloths or an old bed sheet.
Yes there might be a lot of things that we’d need for this but trust me, it will keep the kids focused and they will surely enjoy.
Well this one’s like playing baseball, but just using water balloons instead of the usual baseball. Make use of hula hoops as your bases and make sure to stack up on a lot of water balloons. This activity is great during the summer.
Set some shooting buckets, anyone who “shoots” more marshmallows will be the winner.
The usual lava lamps work using electricity and we can’t risk our children toying with them even thought they are a tad interesting and relaxing to look at. This activity is a little similar to the Magic Fairy Bottles one. They both give the kids a relaxing and a focusing effect. You will be needing some empty bottles, water, cooking oil, food colouring and some aspirin tablets (adult supervision needed!)
16. Hold a Nature Scavenger Hunt
This activity is also good during the summer so that the kids could unleash their inner Indiana Jones. Well basically, you will be giving them a list of things that they’d have to “scavenge”. Set a time limit. The one who had more scavenged items from the list should be the winner.
17. Leaf Rubbings
This activity is great because it uses things that you’ve probably got lying around in your garden: leaves! Most kids revel in anything arty or creative, and leaf rubbing is the best of the outdoors and the arts. You can even do this activity outside if you want, all you really need is a flat smooth surface of some kind. Stretch the value of this activity by taking kids for a walk first to collect the leaves, and then spending the next few hours rubbing them.
18. Ice Excavating
This activity is guaranteed to be a hit in the summer, and is definitely one for the outdoors. All you need to do is freeze a heap of children’s toys in a large container of water, sealing them into the ice. Then have your kids excavate them using rocks, small tools, toothbrushes or spray bottles filled with water. Depending on how hot it is where you live, this one could keep kids occupied for hours! You can do it with any toy, and in containers of any size!
19. Make Your Own Kaleidoscope
Kids LOVE kaleidoscopes, and what’s not to love? They’re colourful, mesmerising, and guaranteed to entertain for ages. They’re also absolutely easy to make yourself! Kids will probably need a bit of supervision to get them started, but once the kaleidoscopes are finished (one for everyone!) they’ll be able to run all around your house and garden seeing how different things look from new eyes!
20. DIY Snow Globes
In terms of value, this activity packs a double punch. Not only can you and your kids make snow globes, with not that much adult supervision for the older ones, they can also spend a solid chunk of time being rocked calmly into a state of bliss watching the globes. Snow globes are super relaxing, a great relaxation tool, and super fun to make. You only need a few materials, so what are you waiting for?