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Fun Things to Do With Kids—Whether You're a Mom, Dad, Aunt, or Uncle

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I have many interests and an inability to make up my mind about which one to focus on. That's how I came up with my name: ControlledChaos1.

Having Fun With Your Kids Without Spending a Lot of Money

There's lots of fun things you can do with kids where everyone involved will have good time, but coming up with them on the spot can be quite hard. In fact, the younger the child, the less they care about the activity; they just want to do something fun... with you. The inspiration for this article came from having a niece that seems to spontaneously visit from time to time. So if you're someone whose niece, nephew, etc. likes to visit without warning, then you should find this list useful.

I have no doubt that the fun activities below will be put to good use, but don't let it get to you if you can't think of anything to do when a child asks, "What do you want to do?". Sometimes when you walk around with no plan, a fun time can still be had by all. Thanks for being curious enough to check this article out, and never forget the main goal when a child comes to visit—HAVE FUN!

Fun Science Experiments for Younger Kids

Why Are You Here?

Board Games For Kids and Adults

fun-things-to-do-with-kids
  • Checkers is a fairly simple game to learn that teaches how to plan ahead. It's a great way to teach children something that is kind of hard to teach in any other way... strategy.
  • Monopoly is a game that my niece wanted to play when she was fairly young. It's best to simplify the rules at first and adapt to the actual rules as they become better at the game. She wins about fifty percent of the time now. A great family game if you have a few hours to kill.
  • LEGO, while technically not a game is something that kids can use to build wonderful things with (as long as you have enough of them). The best thing about these blocks is that girls and boys enjoy playing with them.
  • Jenga teaches patience and precision, so it is best played by children who are older and have control over their motor skills.
  • Twister is always a game that can make people laugh. Just remember that you can't let your guard down when playing with kids; people can get hurt.

Life Hacks for Kids

Quick Ideas for Spending Quality Time With Your Kids

A lot of people know the activities below, but coming up with them on the spot or with little notice is not always easy. It's always good to have a list to consult. Some of the projects are perfect for girls, some for boys, but most can be done with either. Most can also be done at any time during the year; though there are a few exceptions (you'll probably be able to identify those).

  • Hide and Seek is a fun game that can be played anywhere and by anyone. Be sure to set some boundaries on where people can hide, so smaller kids don't get lost.
  • Taking a leisurely stroll is a great way to see some wonderful things while teaching kids to pay attention to everything.
  • Building a snow man or snow cave (the size is up to you).
  • Roasting marshmallows or hotdogs over a campfire.
  • Take turns reading a book to one another (children's books are the bomb).
  • Washing the car is always fun - especially on a hot summer day.
  • Doing housework together while listening to cool music.
  • Painting or coloring rocks to decorate the outside of your home. The bigger the rocks the better. The more colorful and more random the colors the better.
  • Writing a short film together (and eventually shooting it).

Toy and Craft Ideas You Can Do With Kids

List of Movies Kids Will Love

GirlsBoysEither

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Goonies (1985)

NeverEnding Story (1984)

Labyrinth (1986)

Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Matilda (1986)

Sky High (2005)

The Incredibles (2004)

The Princess Bride (1987)

The Iron Giant (1999)

Despicable Me 2 (2013)

13 Going On 30 (2004)

Old Yeller (1957)

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Kid Friendly Activities That Are Fun, Creative and Educational

The best moments in life often come from tiny experiences between someone you love. You can't always predict what those moments will be, but doing things that didn't cost one thin dime have been the ones that I remember most.

  • Teach them how to use certain tools by making or fixing something with them. Making a bird feeder and then watching birds can be a lot of fun for little kids.
  • Catching fireflies in a jar; just don't forget to have holes in lid and let them go before you go in for the night.
  • Let them teach you something that you don't know and then you can teach them something they don't know. Don't know what that is? Ask them.
  • Plant something that will continue to grow or come back over the years. Trees, perennial flowers, herbs or vegetables are wonderful choices.
  • Create a collage. What the heck is a collage? Well, it's a piece of art made from a collection of different materials (magazine and newspaper clippings, string, bottle caps, really anything that can be glued onto a board). You can use safety scissors and there really is no way to mess this up, just explain all this to the child before starting. Hang it on the wall when your finished. The child could even sign it.
  • Visit a library, pet shop or just go window shopping for Christmas ideas.
  • Go on a walk and just look for unusual things. As long as you both pay attention, you're bound to find something, and if lucky enough, you'll find something that will make an everlasting memory between the two of you.

A Song Kids Love to Dance To

Making Word Search Puzzles

My Mom loves these things, and this is a project that me and my niece love to make when she visits. All you have to do is come up with a fun topic such as "Colors", "Breakfast Foods" or "Silly Words". The child will have fun just coming up with a bunch of words with you.

If you want to go old school and get a piece of poster board, lightly grid out the squares with a pencil and put in the letters, this will make a wonderful gift that they may want to hang on wall. Just put in a letter in each square however you want (forwards, backwards, diagonal) and when there is no more room for more words, fill in remaining blank squares with random letters or symbols. Erase the lines and you have a hand-made word-search puzzle. Add in some artwork, stickers or personal messages if you want. Don't forget to let the creators sign it at the bottom.

The simple way to do it is to do a search for "word search puzzle maker" and choose a site where you type in your list and print off the finished puzzle. Coming up with a list with the child is half the fun, anyways.

Salt Dough Ornaments

Important Points About Salt Dough Ornaments

  • The ingredients for this concoction is fairly simple and consist of 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt and 1 cup water. Put the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix.
  • Slowly add water while stirring until the dough forms into a clay-like material.
  • Empty contents of bowl onto oven safe parchment paper and you won't have to move dough, just place paper in your pan.
  • Roll or form dough to desired thickness, shape and size.
  • Cookie cutters with inside textures or designs can also be used or you can just make shapes with your own two hands.
  • Don't forget to poke holes in dough with a straw or place wire loops in them for hanging, otherwise you won't be able to put them on your tree.
  • Bake low and long (no higher than 200 degrees for 2-4 hours, depending on thickness). When shapes are rock hard, they are ready.
  • You can air dry the dough, but it may take several days. I've put mine in my car during warm weather before. When rock hard they are ready.
  • After painting, be sure to seal it with some kind of clear acrylic sealant to make them last for years and years. My family still has some that are over forty years old, if you can believe it.
  • One last tip... you don't have to wait until the holidays to make them; my family has made them all year round before themed to the month we were making them in.


Build A Terrarium

Try your best to explain how the terrarium will work and why the plants won't die. A little research is required, but a lot of learning and fun will be had by all. Some kids will want to add animals to the mix; I would advise against this unless you believe they will be able and willing to devote the proper time to the project.

Still More Cheap Things To Do With Kids

  • Have your niece, nephew or kids help plan your costume for Halloween. The one major caveat is that you've got to follow through and wear it or you'll likely break their hearts. Going out trick 'r treating with them will be a night neither of you will soon forget.
  • Geocaching is a fun, real-world treasure hunt where the goal is to find objects that other people have hidden by using your cell phone and solving clues. In most cases you are urged to leave something in the place of whatever prize you take for the next person to find.

© 2017 Don

Share Your Kid Friendly Activities

Don (author) from Tennessee on April 23, 2019:

You should never look an activity as just the activity alone. A lot of the kid activities below can add up to hours of fun if you take your time. Explaining to the child or children the hows and whys as well as mixing in a few old stories from your childhood can go a long way. You'd be surprised how quickly time passes when people actually take their time and have some fun.

Madison on April 21, 2019:

Thank you this was pretty helpful, but most things here would be 10 min things to do with family members....hat should I do when the shirt activities

??

Phil on January 02, 2019:

Whatch movies go to the movies take them shoping go play bowling arcade games laser tag play board games other gamez go on golf cart ride round go on four wheller get muddy likes gooing mudding in big lifted trucks

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on May 22, 2017:

Thanks for the ideas. Sometimes our creativity runs out and we need this kind of help.