Friday, January 27, 2012

Frugal Friday: More than 100 Frugal Winter Family Activities

I'm always on the lookout for free or cheap activities to do with the kids - at all seasons of the year. Today I'll be listing activities specifically for winter since that's the season where I live. I hope this list inspires you with ideas so you can go and have some fun with your family!
Here's a picture we took last year of a really neat ice formation that we saw.
  1. Homemade Bouncy Balls - These look so fun to make using regular household supplies
  2. Cardboard Tree house - Our boys loved making this a few weeks ago. We actually made two and they have been well-played with. We go buy "guys" out of the vending machines at the grocery store for 25cents and use them to populate the tree house. They are little action figure aliens, bok choy boys, bugs and baby dinosaurs (my favorite). They are the cheapest and most played with toys in our house.
  3. Marble Run out of a Cereal Box - Can't wait to try this one out - how fun!
  4. Winter night walks - our family loves to go on walks at night in the winter. Just bundle everyone up, pick a destination (a park or hill are our favorites) and walk. Enjoy the quiet, crisp night air. When you get home, make some hot chocolate and bundle up in blankets to warm everyone up.
  5. Sledding - If you live where there is snow, sledding is a fun, cheap activity to do as a family. I have to admit, I think we enjoy it as much or more as the kids.
  6. Cloud Dough - this looks kind of like "moon sand" but made at home out of flour and baby oil!
  7. Homemade Hover Craft - Who doesn't love a good science project? This one looks like a real winner!
  8. Marshmallow Animals - Made out of marshmallows and toothpicks. Don't they looks so cute? 
  9. Snow Playdough - our kids love playing with play dough - here's an easy recipe where you can mix in glitter to make it look like snow. Here's another site that did the same thing.
  10. Go to the library - This is just about our favorite thing to do any day, rain or shine. Our boys love it. Also the library will often offer free classes or story times for kids.
  11. Dance - turn on some music and dance! We love to dance to my husband or I playing a crazy song on the piano. It makes for a lot of fun.
  12. Read a chapter book together - we've read the first three books from the wizard of oz series and our boys love it! It's fun to read together at night before they go to bed.
  13. Make some slime together - wow, this looks like something our boys would really enjoy. Or here's a glow-in-the-dark variety.
  14. Have a pizza party - we have one every Friday night and watch a fun movie. Here's a cute snowman pizza that would be perfect for winter!
  15. Marble Race Track out of Pool Noodles - now this looks cool! 
  16. Make Snow Flakes - cheap, homemade fun! I love these 3-D ones - we made them last year and they were really easy and looked awesome.
  17. The Penny Game - If you live in an area that has tall buildings, you might try out this game that we love to play in the winter. Find a building that has a large stairwell (we use one with 13 stair flights but 8-10 would be fine too). The stair flights have to be open in the center for this to work. Climb up the stairs (or take an elevator if you're lazy, but we usually do this game to get the winter wiggles out). Each family member selects a penny with a different year (that's how you'll distinguish between them). Then each of you drop your penny down the center of the stair well and then go down the stairs to find out who's went down the farthest. You can have prizes for whose went the farthest on one drop, who had the least number of drops to the bottom, etc. It's really fun.
  18. Make a Snowman - or have a contest to see who can make the biggest or cutest or funniest snowman.
  19. Make Valentines - this is a fun activity to do. There are tons of good ideas on the web. Here's a few favorites: Potato Stamp Valentines, 101 Valentine Ideas, Another Cute idea
  20. Snow Paint - add food coloring to water and put in a spray bottle, then go out and paint your yard!
  21. Find a free e-book to listen to 
  22. Make Cardboard swords & Armor - always fighting on the good guy's team of course
  23. Play Hide and go seek indoors
  24. Play I Spy - here's a cute paper one
  25. Make a treasure map and go on a Treasure Hunt
  26. Make Snow Ice Cream
  27. Have some fun mattress jumping - This kind is legal cause Mom said so! :)
  28. Build an Indoor Fort or Playhouse - with blankets, sheets, chairs. Use your imagination!
  29. Paper Airplane Contests - or try these whirlybirds or strawplanes
  30. Make Can Robots
  31. Build Balloon Powered Racers
  32. Play Charades - act out an animal, person or thing and everyone tries to guess what it is
  33. Build a snow fort, or igloo or have a snowball fight - the best kind of memories!
  34. Borax Snowflakes - these look easy and fun to make.
  35. Marble Run out of Paper Towel tubes
  36. Color
  37. Cardboard Castle - Love it! Similar to the tree house. Or how about Merlin's castle
  38. Make your own movie with a camera - write the story line and all and act it out
  39. Make Snowman Pancakes - Super cute!
  40. Make an indoor mini golf course
  41. Make Some Rockets and blast off to space!
  42. Go Ice Skating indoors - use paper plates to slide your feet around the room or wax paper like this
  43. Make Puffy Paint out of Shaving Cream and Glue
  44. Go on a hike - There are lots of places you can still hike in the winter! Just bundle up and go.
  45. Have a snow ball fight with socks - or make snow balls out of nylons, stuffed with batting and tied off.
  46. Make a Toy Car Race Track or Town out of Fabric, a shower curtain, or even out of paper!
  47. Make Paper Dolls or Paper Boys - here's some cute ones
  48. Build Something with Boxes
  49. Make Snowflake Tortillas - Fold and Cut a tortilla into a snowflake. Melt butter and put on it then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and broil until crispy - a fun, yummy treat!
  50. Have an Ivory Soap Explosion - put some soap in the microwave and watch it explode? Wow. 
  51. Try to maneuver through a maze of "lazer beams"
  52. Have a talent show - everyone share their talents
  53. Make Pirate Hats & Play Pirates
  54. Shovel someone's walk, make someone cookies or doorbell ditch something anonymously - do some service!
  55. Mini Marshmallow Poppers
  56. Have a checkers or chess competition
  57. Not Enough Snow? Build a Tree Man!
  58. Get a couple refrigerator boxes and build a rocket, a house, a castle - the possibilities are limitless!
  59. Old Fashioned Yarn dolls - I remember making these as a girl!
  60. Color Mixing - Color ice cubes with food coloring then melt them together to learn how colors mix
  61. Marshmallow Play Dough
  62. Play Dress-ups - my favorite activity growing up!
  63. Plan a party
  64. Play Make-up for girls
  65. Make a car track - out of an old rain gutter, or just a cardboard box
  66. Make a Train - or make a life-sized one using big boxes and let the kids sit in them
  67. Record yourself with a web cam - see who can make the funniest face or sing a song the silliest
  68. Water bottle ring toss
  69. Have a Picnic in the living room
  70. Make Cereal box guitars and rock to some good music
  71. Put on a magic show - learn some magic tricks
  72. Make some mini bow 'n arrows
  73. Make Some Puppets and put on a puppet show - here's one I found of beauty and the beast, here's another of Florimel the magnificent
  74. Play Spy Games and make secret messages in invisible ink
  75. Make an indoor hopscotch course
  76. Have a wrestling match
  77. Pillow Fights! The best!
  78. Have a campout in the front room - tent, pretend campfire, make smores (in the oven, toaster oven or microwave if you have a browner), etc
  79. Write a story - one person starts, each person adds to it.
  80. Make Marshmallow Shooters
  81. Make Some Popsicle stick magnets
  82. Make your own bowling alley - using socks stuffed into toilet paper rolls and a soft ball
  83. Make some bean bags and have a bean bag toss
  84. Do the bunny hop or the chicken dance
  85. Play Simon Says with actions - dancing, jumping, skipping etc. 
  86. Act out a nursery rhyme and see if the family can say it from memory
  87. Make Woven Heart Baskets for Valentine's day
  88. Have some hopping turtle races
  89. Turn out the lights and make some hand shadows in the dark
  90. Make Snow Angels
  91. Read a story and have the kids illustrate it themselves (without looking at the pictures)
  92. Photograph some snowflakes
  93. Make some gifts or cards for someone who needs a little brightening
  94. Make some icicles
  95. Trace your body outlines on butcher paper and color
  96. Visit your neighbors - just because!
  97. Create some ice spikes in your freezer!
  98. Put together a puzzle
  99. Make some snowman robots
  100. Read some funny jokes and laugh!
Update: These have been added to the list since it was originally created

101. I love this idea of a Snow Picnic! - What a fun way to enjoy winter.
102. Don't have snow? Make your own! Defrost the freezer, make it with ice cubes and a blender or make fake snow with diapers and play away!
103. I love this idea of freezing a bubble - how fun!

Here's some websites I found with even more great ideas:

Do you have any ideas? We'd love to hear from you. Then go out and have some fun!

Linked to Frugal Fridays


Cheryl said...

Great ideas, thanks! Here is one that I shared on my blog

I'd love to have you come over and share this post!

Heather {Healthy Family Cookin} said...

How Cute! I love it Cheryl. Thanks for sharing!

Marianne said...

Here's a link to The Toymaker website--it has lots of ideas of "free" toy ideas. I especially like this marble mouse toy.

Heather {Healthy Family Cookin} said...

I love it! Those are so cute!

Popular Posts


Related Posts with Thumbnails