How To Have Fun With Your Kids On A Budget

As a father, I always want to provide my kids with the best. The best experiences, the best vacations, the best toys… You get the picture. However, giving your kids the best doesn’t have to mean the most expensive, thankfully. Unless you’re made of money, I’m sure you’ve tried to think of some different ways to have fun with you kids on a budget.

I’ve been there, believe me! That’s why I have put this together. Listed below are several ideas for different ways to show your kids a good time while making sure your wallet is nice and happy as well. Most of the ideas will cost you absolutely nothing but time, and others will cost you so little you’ll hardly even notice it. Alright then, let’s get down to it!


There are two halves to a child’s life, the time before they learn how to build forts and everything after. Kids absolutely love forts, whether they are built with blankets and pillows, or cardboard. You simply cannot go wrong with a great fort building session.

Have A Movie Night At Home

Of course, if you take the time to build a fort, you’d better get in there and use it! You can use your phone, tablet, or computer and turn it into a personal movie theater. Pop some popcorn and grab the drinks and cozy down with your kids while you enjoy a family favorite.

Stream Walks

fun with your kids on a budget

For days where there are no puddles to go jumping in, and if you live in the country, go looking for a local stream to let your kids explore. They’ll have a great time looking under rocks for crayfish and snakes, digging in the bank, skipping stones, and building dams. This is also an awesome way to cool off on those extraordinarily hot and balmy summer afternoons where boredom has really set in.

Puddle Walks

Rain storms aren’t usually any fun. You can’t really take your kids out in them, especially if there is lightning or thunder. However, once the rain has stopped, the rain always leaves a little present behind for you and your littles: PUDDLES!

It is so much fun to get your kids into old clothes and go out to find the biggest puddles to jump and splash in. It is sure to be a perfect cure for the rainy day blues.

Walk Around Town

One of my personal favorite activities and memories from when I was younger was going for walks with my mom after she got home from work. We would walk and talk about lots of things, from my school day to what would be going on the next week. We also had a good time “window shopping” and looking into our neighbor’s windows to see how they were decorated for different holidays.


fun with your kids on a budget

If you live near some woods, kids love ‘em! There is just so much to do in the woods. You can teach older kids how to climb trees and younger ones the best rocks or logs to look under for different creepy crawlies.

Honestly, the woods are just as good as any playground out there, with the added benefit of usually being empty of other people. This will give you and your kids tons of freedom to have fun on your own terms, and you can end the time with some food cooked over a fire, yum yum!

Treasure Hunt

My wife and I have done this with our kids around Easter time. Rather than just hiding things around the yard and the house, we took the time to turn it into a scavenger hunt, where the children had to read (or listen to) and search based on a set of clues that would slowly but surely lead them to whatever treasure we had hidden for them. They always have an absolute blast, and usually, end up working together. So, not only is this fun, but it also teaches your kids cooperation with their siblings!

Local Parks

No list of cheap activities would be complete without a trip to the local park. Whether you live in a town, city, or the country, you’re never too far away from some great playground equipment.

Using these types of spaces gives your kids an opportunity to meet and interact with new friends and will also let you see and meet the different families in your neighborhood, which is absolutely essential as they get older and you have to set up sleepovers and play dates. 

Cheap and Easy!

See what I mean? These activities are cheap, easy, and don’t need a ton of leg work to get off the ground. What more could a dad ask for? Now, I do realize, of course, that this isn’t a complete list, so if you have any suggestions for cheap fun to have with your kids, I am all ears, just let me know in the comments section below. Thanks for reading and have a great da

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Johnny B. Thomas

Hello! My name is Johnny and I’ve got one of the greatest jobs on the planet…I’m a dad! I am the father of two rambunctious boys and one lovely little lady.

Ever since I was young myself, I have always wanted children of my own so that I could help them to explore this big beautiful world of ours. I’m so happy that you have chosen to join me on this journey, and can’t wait to see where it leads us!

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