Tips for Inexpensive Family Fun

Spending time together as a family doesn’t always have to involve money or traveling to far away places, says Kristi Cooper a family life program specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

“Sometimes we just need some simple ideas to remember that family time can be inexpensive and fun at the same time,” Kristi said.

Whether heading outdoors on a sunny day or staying inside when the weather isn’t agreeable, Kristi offers these tips for inexpensive family fun.

Create a path with chalk and a “pretend” adventure to a far away land. “Make an ‘x marks the spot’ and talk about what you might see and do in this particular part of that far away land. Then continue your travels,” Kristi said.

Play “I spy with my little eye” and take a walk around the block. “All ages can appreciate this ‘guess what I see’ game. And it’s even more fun when the adults just can’t seem to guess what it is that the child’s little eye spies," Kristi said.

Play  follow the leader. Take turns with simple gestures and movements, and add sounds and facial expressions for more laughs and giggles.

Use big and little brushes to paint with water on the cement, the picnic table or even the fence

Design an obstacle course with everyday objects. Create the course, time each other, race each other or just challenge and encourage one another – and don’t forget the prizes of hugs and high fives at the end, Kristi said.

Invent a mini scavenger hunt. “Just the anticipation of what, or who, might be at the end of the hunt can brings loads of smiles and grins. Divide into teams and enjoy sending each other on the journey,” Kristi said.

For more ideas for inexpensive fun families can have together, see these tips from

·         Doing things together as a family for less

·         Physical activity is fun for the whole family

·         Helping children in child care be physically active

Share |