60 Free (or Almost Free) Activities to Do with your Toddler or Preschooler

60 Free (or Almost Free) Activities to Do With Your Toddler or Preschooler {The Abundant Wife}

Do you ever feel like your life is dry and boring because you can’t spend any money on anything?  It can be difficult (especially at first) to think of free activities to entertain your little ones while you’re on the road to debt-freedom.  Well, just because you’re poor, broke, or in-debt-up-to-your-eyeballs doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun!  Here are 60 free (or almost free) activities we have done with our toddlers and preschoolers over the last 4 years:

  1. Play in Dress-Up Clothes
  2. Hammer Nails into Scrap Wood
  3. Make Paper Bag Clothing
  4. Laugh at Yourself
  5. Write Your Kids’ Names with Pancake Batter
  6. Color in Coloring Books
  7. Make Homemade Play-Doh
  8. Organize Art Supplies with Ice Cream Tubs
  9. Wash the Dishes
  10. Fold the Laundry
  11. Play with Legos
  12. Make Leaf Rubbings
  13. Put Multi-Colored Ice Cubes in the Bath Tub
  14. Print Morning & Nighttime To Do Charts
  15. Paste Tissue Paper Leaves on your Windows
  16. Make a Jack-O-Lantern using Construction Paper, Tissue Paper, and Markers
  17. Draw on Butcher Paper
  18. Visit a Museum
  19. Build with Toothpicks and Marshmallows
  20. Go on a Field Trip
  21. Paint Faces
  22. Play with Play-Doh
  23. Go Outside
  24. Make Handprint Flowers
  25. Play in the Sandbox and Water Table
  26. Draw with Sidewalk Chalk
  27. Mix up some DIY Finger Paints
  28. Paint a Thank You Note
  29. Remove the Couch Cushions
  30. Do a Science Experiment
  31. Visit Your Relatives
  32. Play with Animal Magnets
  33. Recycle Plastic Containers
  34. Make Homemade Cards
  35. Make a Gingerbread House
  36. Play Outdoors
  37. Put Glow Sticks in the Bathtub
  38. Assign Age-Appropriate Chores
  39. Play with Found Objects
  40. Make an Oatmeal Container Straw Game
  41. Trace Sidewalk Chalk Outlines
  42. Draw on Hard-Boiled Eggs
  43. Paint an Autumn Tree
  44. Assemble Chocolate Acorns
  45. Make Homemade Pizza
  46. Create a Box-of-Fun
  47. Practice Counting
  48. Play Beauty Salon
  49. Make the Best of a Rainy Day
  50. Play in the Pool, Play House, or Climber
  51. Dig in the Garden
  52. Read a Book
  53. Hang Balloons in a Doorway
  54. Throw a Party
  55. Take a Nap
  56. Put on a Movie
  57. Bake Cookies
  58. Decorate the House
  59. Go on a Stay-cation
  60. Visit the Library

Entertaining your toddler or preschool-aged child need not be expensive, time-consuming, or even well-planned.  Many of the activities listed above were spontaneous, accidental, or planned the same day.  As often as possible, I try to use what I already have on hand so that I don’t have to go out shopping for more supplies.

This list is not exhaustive by any means!  What free (or almost free) activities do you like to do with your toddlers and preschoolers?

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