It can be tough figuring out what to do with your kids when you’re a single mom. Sometimes you want to get out of the house but don’t necessarily have the budget to do a lot of activities because let’s face it, so many activities for kids you have to pay for.
When I became a single mom, I know I struggled because a lot of the play dates we would attend cost money because of where they were held at. I also struggled with not knowing where to take my kids when I wanted to do a fun activity with them that didn’t cost me money. I wanted to get out of the house and I wanted to get my kids out of the house but I wasn’t sure what we could do.
There are also times you don’t always want to leave the house or you can’t. But what often happens when you’re stuck in the house is that it can seem like groundhog’s day. You do the same things over and over with your kids and it stops being fun.
So for all you single mamas out there who want to get out of the house and don’t want to spend the money, I feel ya! Or if you are looking for different ways to have fun with your kids inside the house, I got you covered! And I have compiled a list of 20 places and fun activities you can do for free! So pick your favorites, get your kids and have fun together!
1. Park- As soon as the weather gets semi-nice, I start scouting out parks in my area. The park is great because your kids get to socialize, and exercise! If you have a little one who is crawling, just starting to walk, or eats everything, you can look up parks with turf ground to avoid dirt and wood chips!
2. Spray/splash park- If you have these near your area this is a fantastic alternative to pools! If you have littles that are too small to swim in a pool you can take them to a splash park where the water sprays out of the ground or out of tubes and it is on turf ground too. Also there is no standing water that your child could accidentally fall into!
3. Library- There are lots of fun things you can do at the library. There are free classes you can sign up for, (usually siblings are allowed to come too). You can read books with your kids and take home your favorites. Many libraries now have a kid section that is interactive! They have IPads, toys, and I’ve even seen some with slides in them! It’s a great alternative to when you can’t play outside.
4. Forest preserves- You can hike, have a picnic, and play at the playground!
5. Take a walk- Keeps you close to home if you need or want to be, but it’s still nice to get out of the house!
6. Building a fort- I had no idea how much kids love forts until I built one on a whim. My kids had a blast! They used it as a cave and brought toys and play food in there. Then they used it as their “safe base” when playing tag! A great idea for when you’re inside the house.
7. Having a picnic (inside or outside!)- Eating anywhere except the table is very exciting for kids!
Movie night with the family- A really nice option when you are too worn out to do anything but snuggle your kids!
8. Playing tag- We play inside and outside!
9. Look for free days for local museums- I’m obsessed with museums but can’t afford the prices to get in on full pay days. But they have free days once in awhile and I make sure to take advantage of them!
10. Some places let you go for free if your child is under 12 months and some even under 24 months! I use word of mouth from other moms I know to figure out where these places are. For example, there is a bounce house place near where I live that is free for children under 24 months. There is another sensory play place that is free for children under 12 months. So it’s worth looking into!
11. Beach- I like this option when I have another adult that can come with me. So if their aunt or gramma comes with then it’s more fun for me because I have more eyeballs on my kids. Sand castles and splashing in the water are guaranteed fun for everyone.
12. Scavenger hunt- So my version of this, (since I have little kids) is telling my daughter to go find something in the room. For example, a toy cat and then she has to find it and bring it to me then I send her to find something else. She has a lot of fun using her “owl eyes” to find the treasure!
13. Dance party- We love to break it down in my house. We have dance parties all the time and it is so much fun. The kids love to dance along and it just gives everybody good vibes to dance, dance, dance!
14. Tea party- We have pretend tea parties and real tea parties. I substitute the tea with milk or water and we have crumpets, (little cookies or crackers). Sometimes we pretend we are princesses or superheroes!
15. Cook a meal- A great way to include your kids in meal preparations. I explain the process, let my oldest pour the ingredients into the bowl, stir, and other age appropriate things. It’s exciting for them to help make food and then get to taste it when it’s done!
16. Make and play with a sensory activity- We make things like slime, moon sand, and water beads and then play with it. This is definitely something that can keep everyone busy for a long time!
17. Water table- There are many uses for water tables and we like to play with soap and water, water beads, and moon sand to name a few. There is pretty much no limit what you can put in a water table so it makes a great activity that you can switch out with different sensory items.
18. Dig or plant in the yard- Gardening helps kids understand how plants grow, where some food comes from, or what bugs eat certain plants. While they are learning about that stuff they are digging in the ground which is super fun!
19. Free zoos- Check your area for free zoos or free days for the zoos in your area. Zoos are a nice full day activity!
20. Mall play areas- Many malls have little kid play areas. This is another nice option for if you have shopping to do or if you guys are looking for fun stuff to do on a rainy/snowy day!
Yes mama it is possible for you and your kids to get out of that rut of doing the same ol’ thing every day in the house. Or not knowing where to go because every fun place costs money! This list can provide you with endless hours of fun for you and your kids without having to spend anything!
One Last Thing!
I’m excited to announce this is the first month in a 7 month series that will feature other single mom bloggers to provide a single mom resource!! Each month we will discuss an aspect of single mom life.
Check out this page to read about other ways to save money as a single mom! Single Mom Resource 101
Do you have awesome free activities you love to do with your kids? Comment and share them!