Are you looking for activities for kids that will keep them entertained and off electronics? Then you’ll love this list of 60 fun free things to do with kids. Use this list to inspire you with fun game ideas, arts, and crafts, indoor and outdoor activities and finding free places to go near you.
Keep the kids from being bored and driving you nuts with these fun activities for kids in the summer months or days off school. The best part is they won’t cost you anything!
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60 Fun Free Things to do with Kids Screen Free
Free Places to Go
There are so many great activities for kids in your local community and tons of them are free. Here are some of our favorites.
We love going to the library to find new and exciting books to read. It’s also a great place to rent free movies and video games.
Before you go check out their website to see when they are hosting free events for kids. Often there are storytimes and group activities they sponsor with no charge. You’ll find they have events for all ages from babies to teenagers so you can keep all your kids entertained.
Most libraries also have reading programs the kids can join and get prizes for reading books.
Look at the websites of the park districts in your area and see when they offer free events. You don’t usually have to live in the town to participate in events open to the public. Most have holiday events and summer events kids will enjoy.
See if your local town is sponsoring free concerts, movies in the park or family events like Touch a Truck.
Look to see if any of the larger museums in your area offer free days. Often they will have a day once a month that is free or discounted.
Next, see if you have any smaller museums you can explore without entrance fees. Often towns have small history museums you can explore and learn all about the people who lived in your area.
Many of the local malls are trying to get people to visit by hosting free family events. Also, look to see if they have a free indoor play area for the kids to run around.
Visit a Zoo
Visit a free zoo with the kids. There are several fun free zoos around the country your kids will love.
- National Zoo in Washington DC
- Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago
- St. Louis Zoo in Missouri
- Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro, CA
Nature Preserves & State Parks
Check out your local nature preserve or state park to see if they offer any free classes for kids or free ranger lead hikes. They often have a small nature center with local animals for the kids to visit too. Check their website for free events.
This summer let the kids bowl for free through a program called www.kidsbowlfree.com. They can bowl 2 free games a day at participating bowling alleys.
Indoor Activities for Kids
Keep the kids entertained at home when your stuck inside in the winter months or rainy days. Also, check out our popular 5 Great Rainy Day Activities for Kids.
Cook a Meal
Let the kids help pick out a dinner idea and make it together. Get inspired with our 25 Family Meal Ideas for Busy Weeknight Dinners. All are easy meals for the kids to help make with you.
Kids love to help make something sweet so take some time to bake together. You can make it from scratch or buy a box of brownies and have fun mixing it together.
If you want a no-bake recipe to make together my kids love making Oreo Balls and decorating them for different holidays.
Want to make a quick snack together try these kid-favorite no-bake peanut butter energy balls.
Have a Lego Challenge
Give the kids a box of lego pieces and 10 minutes to build something. Then have the kids show off what they made. Do multiple rounds by making different parameters such as creating a moving vehicle, buildings or animals.
Playdoh & Moon Sand
Let the kids build and play with Playdoh and Moon Sand.
Build a Farm or Zoo
Use wooden blocks or lego blocks to create your own Zoo or Farm. Use plastic farm animals or zoo animals you already have to populate your zoo.
Homemade Race Track
Use tape to create a race track on your floors. If you use painters tape it won’t leave any marks on your floors. You can also use cardboard boxes as a ramp to make the cars go faster.
Part of the fun will be spending time creating your race tracks.
Create some sensory activity boxes for your kids. These can get messy so use a plastic table cloth or old newspaper to protect your table.
- Fill a plastic bin with shaving cream and small drops of food dye. Then give kids plastic forks to make designs.
- Dinosaur Bin – Hide small dinosaurs or small plastic animals for the kids to discover in a bin of sand.
- Construction Trucks – In a bin of sand or wood chips add small toy construction trucks
- Water Beads – Fill a bin with different color water beads.
- Frozen Bin – freeze some small toys into ice cubes then put the frozen cubes into a bin with water.
Mazes and Crossword Puzzles
Find some free printable mazes, crossword puzzles or workbook pages for the kids to do. You’ll find tons of free printable games on Pinterest.
Spend the day visiting family and friends in the area. What kid doesn’t love a trip to Grandma’s house?
Create a treasure hunt for the kids to go on all around the house. Write up a few clues for them to follow to find a small prize at the end. Not sure how to do that just print a few treasure hunts already created on Pinterest.
If you have older kids have them create the treasure hunt for their siblings or friends.
Do a science experiment with the kids at home. A simple one to do is the Erupting Volcano.
Volunteer as a Family
Find a local nonprofit that will let kids volunteer and sign up. It’s a great day out with your family giving back and you won’t be spending any money.
Indoor Games for Kids
Kids pretend the floor is hot lava you can’t touch. They put pillows on the floor and try to cross the room without touching the floor.
Break out the music and let the kids dance. When the music stops they freeze and anyone that moves is out.
Board Game Marathon
Pull out all the board games or card games and start playing. Let each child pick a game they want to play and enjoy a fun day inside.
Hide & Seek
This is a fun game to play in the house, in a backyard or park. Kids will love running around trying to find each other.
Create an obstacle course for the kids to run inside or outside with things you have at home
Inside have the kids make their way around furniture, pillows, dolls and anything else you have inside.
Outside use cones, playground equipment, hula hoop, bikes, and sports equipment. It doesn’t have to be huge and intricate just something fun for them to run around.
Minute to Win It
If you want some fun quick games to play try Minute To Win It Games. Each one only takes one minute and the kids will love either racing the clock or their sibling.
Paper Airplane Challenge
Have the kids each design a paper airplane and then race the planes. Make it a science experiment by adding on paper clips to see what the added weight will do and changing the design on each new plane.
Nerf Gun Targets
For the Nerf Gun loving kids set up some simple Nerf Gun Targets in your home or back yard to play. This one was easy with solo cups and miniature army men you probably have at home.
Work together as a family to complete some puzzles.
I’m Bored Jar
Keep the kids busy with an I’m Bored Jar. Fill up a jar with fun activity ideas for the kids to do. Make it a game and let them pull out a new activity whenever they’re bored. Use our free printables in 36 Things to Do When Your Kids Are Bored to fill up your jar and learn how to make it.
I Spy Game
Play the I Spy game with the kids. They can search their surroundings in the house or in the yard to find the clues.
Arts and Crafts with Kids
Paint / Fingerpaint
Break out the paint and let the kids create a masterpiece. I fun way to paint is to cut an apple in half and make paint stamps.
Collect leaves in the yard and glue to a large piece of paper to make a leaf collage.
Have the kids draw something they see outside, their family, a place they like to visit or their favorite character.
Make Your Own Book
Let the kids create a story and draw pictures to go along with it. Then staple it into a small book for them to look through.
Let the kids find some rocks in the yard and paint them. Then use the rock creation as decorations in the backyard.
Use paper plates or paper lunch bags to make puppets. Let the kids color and glue items onto the plates and bags to design their puppets. To make the paper plate into a puppet glue a popsicle stick to the bottom.
When they are done let the kids perform a puppet show for you.
Outdoor Activities for Kids
Keep the kids active by heading outside for fun games and activities.
Head out on a nature walk. It could be in your local nature preserve or just on a walk around your neighborhood. See how many birds and different animals you can find.
On your nature walk search for things on a scavenger hunt. It will make the walk more of an adventure. Check Pinterest for free printables.
Take pictures on your walk of your child’s favorite things. Then print out the pictures and let your child make a collage or small photo book.
Geocaching is a huge treasure hunt in your own town. Use the Geocaching App or GPS to locate the geocache near you. The app will show you a map of all the geocache in your area.
Head to the Beach
Spend a day at the beach hunting for shells and building sandcastles. Enjoy your day at the beach with these cool beach hacks for kids.
Let the kids see how many bubbles they can catch without popping. They see if they can blow the bubbles into a hula hoop or chalk-drawn circle.
Let the kids use your driveway to create beautiful chalk drawings.
Use your chalk to draw a hopscotch game on the driveway.
Glow in the Dark Games
Play glow in the dark tag or hide and seek with glow sticks.
Fill up some water balloons and have a water balloon fight.
If your kids love sports turn it into a water balloon baseball game. The pitcher throws three balloon pitches. If the batter hits it they advance to first base. If they miss the three pitches their out.
Water Gun Battle
Fill up the water guns and have a water gun battle. Great way to stay cool on a hot summer day.
Kids love digging for bugs under rocks and stones and around your backyard. You can get a bug holder and magnifying glass to study the bugs you catch.
Nerf Gun Battle
Take a family bike ride around the block or head to a local bike trail in the area.
Head out at night to look up at the stars with the kids.
Find a New Playground
Kids will love finding a new playground to explore in your area. We were so excited when we found Maggie Daley Park in Chicago. It’s an amazing playground and if you’re in Chicago make sure to check it out.
Feed the Ducks
Head to a local lake or pond and feed the ducks.
Head to a local lake that allows you to fish. Often kids don’t need a fishing license in local town ponds where you throw the fish back.
Go on a Picnic
Pack up lunch and head out on a picnic. Bring a frisbee or a ball to play with and enjoy a nice day out.
Run Through a Sprinkler
Break out the sprinkler and let the kids run through it to cool off.
Slip and Slide
Let the kids get wet sliding down a slip and slide in your backyard.
Fly a Kite
Head to an open park and enjoy flying a kite on a windy day.
Camp in Your Backyard
Save money by camping in your own backyard. Grill some smores and pitch a tent to sleep in.
Have a Snowball Fight or Build a Snowman
In the wintertime head out to build a snowman or make snowballs for a snowball fight. Let the kids build a snow fort to hide behind and store their snowballs.
Head to your local public sledding hill and swoosh down the snow.
It’s amazing how many fun free things to do with Kids there are without screen time. I hope after reading this list your inspired by some new activities for kids. The indoor games for kids and arts and crafts will keep you busy on rainy and cold days. While the outdoor activities will have you playing outside all summer long.
If you have more great free activities for kids please share with us in the comments I love to hear from readers.
More Ideas of Things to Do with Kids
- 20 Fun & Easy Minute to Win It Games for Kids – Quick games the kids will love to play.
- 31 Days of Boredom Busting Indoor Games for Kids – Free Printable Activity Calendar
- 8 Easy Elementary School Party Games Kids and Room Moms will Love – Simple classrooms game ideas for school parties
- 5 Great Rainy Day Activities for Kids – Fun ways to keep the kids busy on rainy and snowy days at home.
- 40 Awesome Fall Activities for Kids – How to enjoy fall with the kids.
- Guide to the Best Kids Birthday Parties – Best party themes, savings and party games for kid’s birthday parties.
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