20 Cheap and Easy Activities to Do with your Kids Outside


The sun is out! The bulbs have begun sprouting! Is spring really here? It’s time to get outside and enjoy some cheap and easy activities to do with your kids!

As a mama who works a job outside of my home during the day, our evening hours and weekends are filled with getting as much play in as possible (because honestly, the laundry is never going to be done anyway, so why bother?!) The days are getting longer and we’re all in need of some sunshine!

20 cheap and easy fun things to do with your kids outside in your own yard

These ideas use things you may already have on hand or which can be obtained relatively inexpensively from stores like Target, Walmart or any dollar store. Pull out this list of “cheap and easy things to do with your kids outside” when your kids start saying, “I’m boooooored!”

cheap and easy things to do with your kids outside

  • Make your own bubbles. Follow this link to find a number of recipes for homemade bubbles!
  • Pop the bubbles! Come up with creative ways to pop the bubbles…use squirt guns, flower stems, fingers, heads or other body parts to see who can pop the most bubbles.
  • Big, little. Try different wands. Blow hard and blow soft. See who can make the littlest bubbles and who can make the biggest.
  • Bubble races. Pick a partner and then pick a location in the air. Blow your bubbles at the same time and see whose bubble “wins” by reaching the location first (i.e. to the top of the tree fence, to the first branch on the tree, etc.) Any kind of outdoor competition that is a cheap and easy outdoor activity to do with kids is a win in my book!
  • Study bubbles. Pour the bubble solution into a shallow dish and talk about what you see. Blow the bubbles and talk about how the solution changes.


  •  Make your own chalk.  Follow this link to make your own sidewalk chalk.
  •  Practice your numbers – make a hopscotch.  Don’t stop at 10…see how far you can go with your boxes and numbering.  Get creative in your hopscotch designs.Practice your letters.  Play games like tic tac toe, hangman, or write a word and see how many other words you can make out of it (i.e. SUNSHINE: sun, shine, shin, suns, hens, etc…)
  • Fill a square.  Have a sidewalk?  See how creative each person can be by filling up an entire sidewalk square. Reenact Burt’s drawings in Mary Poppins for a cheap and easy thing to do with your kids outside in your own backyard.
  • Trace!  Have your kiddos lay on the ground & trace around their bodies.  Then let them decorate a “life-sized” version of themselves.  You can also trace your shadow for another fun option.


  • Make an obstacle course. Was I the only kid who loved to do this? We’d drag all the outdoor play items out onto the driveway and then time each other going through all the
  • Hula Hoop! Who doesn’t love a hula hoop? Have contests to see who can keep their hula going the longest. Try the hoop around your neck, arms, and knees. Impress your kids with your mad hula hooping skills!
  • Take a ride. Whether it be a scooter, a bike, a wagon, piggyback or a stroller, give your kiddos a ride to the park or just for a trip around the block. Hanging out at a skate park when the teens aren’t there is a fresh twist on cheap and easy activities to do with kids outside.
  • Shoot hoops.  At home or at the park…whether you’ve got an actual hoop or a toddler sized one, practice your jump shots or your free throws.  Work on spelling with a game of PIG or HORSE.
  • Take a walk. Have a pet pup? They’d love a stroll around the block with you. It doesn’t even need to be far. Our two year old LOVES “taking the dog for a walk.” We walk about 3 houses up the block and back and call it good! For a little city exploration, we did a walk on the Davenport Skybridge on a Friday night.  The kids were enamored with the lights, music, river, birds, and TRAIN!
  • Dig in the dirt! Let your kids be messy! Dress them in play clothes and arm them with plastic rakes and shovels. Let them help you clean out flower beds. This is a cheap and easy activity to do outside with your kids.
  • Try something new. Croquet, badminton, or bocce ball? Never tried them? Find a used set at a garage sale or resale shop and give it a try!
  • Go on a scavenger hunt. Whether it be with nature or your neighbors, come up with a list of items to hunt for around the park or neighborhood and entertain your kids for a good hour.
  • Play “I Spy.” while you lie on your backs in the fresh spring grass. Talk about a cheap and easy activity to do outside with your kids!
  • Plant something living.  Pick a plant or some seeds and talk about what you need to do to help make it grow.  Have fun watching it sprout and grow with sunshine, water, and a little love!

What are your favorite cheap and easy activities to do outside with your kids?

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Jessica is a home educator and owner of QC Moms. She lives in a geriatric, temperamental Victorian home with her six children ages 16, 14, 12, 10, 8 and 5. She is passionate about natural living, homeschooling her wild and free children, gentle parenting, and trying to glorify God in her daily life. If there is any time left over, she enjoys reading, her planner, reading, cooking, writing, baking, Netflix and Facebook, reading, and learning new things. She used to write at http://www.farmfreshjessica.com.


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