101 Free Activities for Your Kids and Family

Spend oodles of quality time with your kids without spending a dime

children with pots and pans on their heads
PeopleImages / Getty Images

Free kids' activities help you spend quality time with your children without the pressure to spend money. As you plan to incorporate these free kids' activities into your time together, remember that what's most important about quality time is what comes after.

Some of the activities require materials such as food or craft items, but each activity is designed to be done using whatever you happen to have on hand.

Free and Fun Activities for Kids

Let these fun and free kids' activities serve as a first step toward engaging your children in deeper conversations strengthening the bond you share.

Outdoor Activities for Kids

Enjoy the great outdoors with this fun activities you can do outside:

  • Build something out of trash/recycling items.
  • Catch fireflies.
  • Climb a tree.
  • Collect leaves and then try to identify them by researching them online or at the local library.
  • Draw on the sidewalk with sidewalk chalk.
  • Go bird watching.
  • Go to the park.
  • Have a catch.
  • Have a picnic outside.
  • Have a water balloon fight.
  • Help your child practice a sport they enjoy.
  • Jump on a trampoline together.
  • Listen to your favorite songs together and sing along.
  • Make life-size drawings of each other on the back of some old wrapping paper.
  • Make swords out of rolled up newspaper, and have a pretend sword fight.
  • Pick flowers and press them in wax paper.
  • Plant seeds from something you've eaten, such as an apple or watermelon.
  • Play I Spy.
  • Play in the sand together, at the beach, a local park, or your child's own sandbox.
  • Play tennis.
  • Put on skits for your neighbors.
  • Ride bikes.
  • Run through the sprinklers together.
  • Sit outside and look at the stars.
  • Swing on the swings together.
  • Take a trust walk.
  • Take a walk in the woods.
  • Take your dog to a dog park or visit the local Humane Society.
  • Teach your child how to ride a bike.
  • Visit a garden.
  • Visit a skate park together and watch older kids do tricks.
  • Wash your car together.
  • Watch your child play a sport or take them to see a friend's game.

Indoor Activities for Kids

On a cold or rainy day, these indoor activities give you some creative options to try:

  • Bake brownies or cupcakes together.
  • Build animal families out of homemade play-doh.
  • Build Legos together.
  • Conduct kitchen science experiments.
  • Create a special place in your home for displaying your child's artwork.
  • Create memory boxes for your child's favorite pictures, artwork, and mementos.
  • Do a puzzle.
  • Draw caricatures of each other.
  • Eat breakfast together.
  • Exercise together.
  • Go to a free event for kids' sponsored by your local library or a book, craft, or hardware store.
  • Have a spa night with oatmeal-honey facials.
  • Have a tea party.
  • Have something unusual for dinner like air-popped popcorn and fresh fruit.
  • Help them clean their room.
  • Help your child fix a broken item or toy.
  • Help your child send an email to a grandparent, aunt, or uncle.
  • Let your child choose what to display in the place mentioned above.
  • Let your child style your hair.
  • Let your child teach you about something they know or do well.
  • Listen to an audio CD together.
  • Look through old photo albums together.
  • Make a care package to send to a relative who lives far away.
  • Make a family tree.
  • Make a meal together for someone else.
  • Make a slideshow of your favorite digital photographs.
  • Make a special breakfast "just because."
  • Make a "tent" out of sheets.
  • Make bookmarks.
  • Make ice cream floats for dessert.
  • Make milkshakes or smoothies.
  • Make necklaces out of colored pasta shapes and dental floss.
  • Make pancakes in the shape of your child's initials.
  • Make up a silly song together.
  • Make your own memory game out of family photographs.
  • Make your own treasure map.
  • Paint your nails together.
  • Play 20 Questions.
  • Play a board game.
  • Play a video game together.
  • Play school or office together.
  • Play store, restaurant, or ice cream stand together.
  • Play with dolls together.
  • Pull out a box of toys they haven't played with for a while.
  • Race matchbox cars.
  • Read your favorite childhood picture book together.
  • Rearrange their bedroom furniture.
  • Record a new voicemail message together.
  • Roleplay how to handle a tough situation, like making friends, or saying no to peer pressure.
  • Scrapbook together.
  • Share a memory about how you handled conflict or stood up to a bully when you were a kid.
  • Style your child's hair.
  • Take turns reading to each other.
  • Teach your child how to cook.
  • Teach your child how to play solitaire or chess.
  • Teach one another some new dance moves.
  • Teach your child a song you sang as a kid.
  • Teach your dog tricks.
  • Tell your child three things you really like about them.
  • Visit a local music store and sample each other's favorite artists.
  • Visit a nursing home.
  • Visit the library.
  • Volunteer together.
  • Watch your child's favorite TV show or movie together.
  • Write a story together.
  • Write encouraging letters to each other and then mail them three months from now.
  • Visit a free public museum.
  • Write messages on the mirror for one another with soap.
Was this page helpful?
2 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Craig L, Mullan K. Shared parent–child leisure time in four countries. Leisure Studies. 2012 Apr 1;31(2):211-29. doi:10.1080/02614367.2011.573570

  2. Lee TY, Lok DP. Bonding as a positive youth development construct: A conceptual review. The Scientific World Journal. 2012;2012:1-11. doi:10.1100/2012/481471