Before you have kids, no one tells you just how many hours per day you’ll be responsible for keeping them entertained. And entertaining your kids can be expensive, but the good news is that it doesn’t have to be.

Your kids could have a steady stream of toys and games that would keep their attention but cost a small fortune. The cost of visiting amusement parks, zoos, aquariums, museums, and cinemas can nearly bankrupt you. You can also save money by using one of these inexpensive—or even free!—ways to entertain your kids.

1. Check out your local park:

A lovely day at the park can be spent going for a bike ride, rollerblading, running or walking. Many parks have a playground, or you can bring a ball or other games like frisbee or soccer to keep your kids occupied longer.

2. Get Wet (inside or outside):

Kids love water. Bathwater, hose water, sink water—it doesn’t matter. You can have indoor water play by filling up the kitchen sink or bathtub. Provide your kids with measuring cups, Tupperware, and wooden kitchen utensils for dumping, pouring, and stirring.

Try going outside and filling up a water table with bubbles, having a super soaker battle or a water balloon fight, or recycling household items (such as pool noodles, rain gutters, and PVC piping) into rivers, tunnels, or ramps for toy boats.

3. Check Out a Local Dog Park:

Having a family pet can be expensive and isn’t possible for many families. But if your child is an animal lover, a local dog park can keep them busy. If you have friends or family with a dog, walk to the park together and let your kids play with the dog. They’ll also enjoy meeting other dogs and their owners, as well as watching the dogs play.

Make sure if you go to the dog park without a dog, you ask permission from the owner before you engage with them.

4. Hit Up Your Local Library:

When you’ve read every picture book in your house (multiple times in a row), try your local library. In addition to popular children’s books, most libraries offer an impressive selection of kid-friendly activities:

  • Story and music hours for babies and toddlers
  • Make-and-take crafts
  • Lego and STEAM clubs for older kids
  • Movies
  • Educational demonstrations
  • Critter encounters

5. Camp Out in Your Living Room:

Indoor camping combines two of the best rainy day activities (blanket forts and shadow puppets) and is sure to be a hit with your kids.

You can draw the curtains, set out flashlights, toast some oven s’mores, and pretend you’re sleeping under the stars on your living room floor (you can string a clothesline from one side of the room to the other and drape a blanket over it). Maybe scrummage through your Christmas decorations box for some small lights to drape inside.

And don’t forget a few of our favorite standby, cheap projects:

Budgeting for kids can be tricky, but Briteside Solutions is here to help. Contact us today to help you develop a personalized plan with practical guidance on budgeting, spending tracking, and establishing an emergency savings fund.

Our goal is to teach you how to live off of cash instead of relying on credit—so you can embrace the fun of today while saving for tomorrow.