7 Affordable Ways to Keep Kids Entertained (That Don’t Include an iPad)
In today’s digital age, it can be a challenge for parents to find affordable ways to keep their kids entertained (that don’t resort to plonking them down in front of a computer screen!) While smart devices can certainly have a place, as they become increasingly prevalent in children’s lives, it’s equally important to foster creativity, imagination, and physical activity without relying solely on technology. Fortunately, there are plenty of fun and entertaining alternatives for parents after affordable ways to keep kids entertained and engaged – no iPad in sight! Whether you’re looking for ideas for a weekend or planning the long Summer holidays on the horizon, these seven activities can help your child develop important skills while having a blast.
The Great Outdoors
One of the best ways to keep kids entertained and active is by getting them outside. Nature provides an abundance of opportunities for exploration and learning. Take your children for hikes, visit a local park, or have a picnic in your backyard. Encourage them to collect leaves, rocks, or even bugs to spark their curiosity about the natural world. If the weather doesn’t permit, consider designing an indoor obstacle course in your backyard or living room. Use pillows, cushions, chairs, and other household items to create challenges. Time them as they complete the course, and encourage friendly competition.
Arts and crafts are a fantastic way to nurture your child’s creativity and imagination. Gather some basic supplies like coloured paper, coloured texters, washable, non-toxic paints, glue, scissors, and recycled materials, and let their imagination run wild. They can create greeting cards, make paper mache animals, or simply enjoy some colouring time. Pinterest and other crafting websites offer numerous ideas for age-appropriate projects.
Read Between the Lines
Reading is a fundamental skill that not only entertains but also educates. Set aside dedicated reading time each day, where you and your child can dive into a captivating book. Visit your local library to discover a wide range of age-appropriate books, and make it an adventure to explore different genres together. Reading not only enhances language skills but also stimulates the imagination.
Put the Pieces Together
Board games and puzzles are excellent for developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Dust off the board games like Scrabble, Monopoly, or chess, and spend quality time playing together. Puzzles, whether jigsaw or crossword, can also provide hours of entertainment while enhancing cognitive abilities.
Teaching kids to garden can be an incredibly rewarding experience. They’ll learn about patience, responsibility, and the wonders of the natural world. Let them plant flowers, herbs, or vegetables in a small garden plot or even in pots on a balcony. Watching their plants grow and thrive can be a source of great pride and entertainment.
DIY Science Experiments
You don’t need a laboratory to explore the wonders of science with your kids. Many simple and safe experiments can be done using household items. Create a volcano with baking soda and vinegar, make a rainbow with a glass of water and a flashlight, or explore the principles of buoyancy by building a tin foil boat. These experiments can be both fun and educational.
The Icing on the Cake
Cooking is not only a valuable life skill but also a fun activity that can keep kids entertained. Involve them in meal preparation by allowing them to mix, chop, and decorate dishes. Baking cookies, making homemade pizza, or creating a colourful fruit salad can be exciting culinary adventures.
What are your favourite tips to keep your little ones entertained ?