If You're Broke & Bored.. Consider This List
Hi there! So if you're like me then you don't have a ton of extra spending money for "activities." I have a three year old and a 6 month old as well as a work from home husband so.. things get a little mundane and stir-crazy around here sometimes!! BUT I'm here to help you out a little and offer some of my ideas and tips to get around the boredom without the need to drop the dough! (I'll be sharing specifically from my city of St. George, Utah but you can adjust them to where you live!) So here's my 10 ideas of things to do when your broke and bored! (With kids!)
1. JUST GO OUTSIDE! Okay before you leave this post thinking "this lady is offering no real tips here, like duh I know I could go outside" Just wait! Honestly with my toddler, even just going out in our yard seems like a super fun adventure to her. We lay out a blanket and either have a mini picnic with snacks, play barbies, read books, play with bubbles or water, or pick flowers, collect rocks. Or if you're just going to watch a movie inside anyway, why not watch one outside with a laptop or portable DVD player (you can find pretty cheap ones) and pop some popcorn? Trust me, the options are endless and it instantly sparks up the day a bit!
2. CHEAP THEATRE Almost every city has one of these and we always forget about them! But they are perfect for little kids who are still being "trained" on movie theatre etiquette. I mean who wants to drop $40 on the movies just to leave with your crying kids and wasted popcorn all over the floor? Not me! We recently went to a movie with a friend and it only cost just over $8 for me and my daughter and a small popcorn, perfect afternoon activity! (PRO TIP: go on a weekday afternoon and it will likely be empty!)
3. EASY HIKE AT PIONEER PARK. I did this the other day by myself with my three year old and 6 month old and it was really fun! It's more of a walk than a hike depending on where you go but it's easy enough to do and my daughter had a blast climbing on rocks, playing in the sand, and playing with her echo in the little caves! It's totally free and an easy way to spend anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour! If the weather is nice, try packing a little lunch and having a picnic! (They have tables or you can bring a blanket!)
4. LIBRARY. We've only recently started going to our library weekly now that I figure she's old enough. Our library holds story time for all ages a few times a week and then also a special toddler time for 2-4 year olds! This is what we do once a week and it's been great! They go over the alphabet, numbers, sing some songs, do a few fun dances and then of course read a couple short books! Then at the end there's always a coloring page or simple craft that they can all do together. It's like a mini intro to preschool! Afterwards we check out a few books to enjoy until we go back the following week!
5. EASY CRAFTS. I'm just going to say right now that I am not an artsy person, and I'm usually too lazy to plan and prep for a cute Pinterest craft so.. we keep it simple around here and she still seems to enjoy it! We just take out some cheap acrylic paint, construction paper, and scissors and she is entertained for at least 45+ minutes! We just paint and cut shapes and even make stuff out of paper plates!
6. NATURE WALK. One of our favorite places to go is the Tonaquint Nature Park. It's so pretty and there's lots of teaching opportunities! I love having her tell me what colors the flowers are and collecting pine ones or cool looking leaves. Also there's a little pond too that has fish, ducks, and even turtles! It's fun to watch them and feed them (we like to feed them frozen peas instead of bread because bread really isn't good for ducks and their bellys!)
7. CHILDREN'S MUSEUM. Seriously the little museum/kids learning center is the best! We can easily spend an hour or two here and it only costs $7 for me and my toddler (if you are really tight on money, they accept any amount just as a donation but they suggest $4 for adults and $3 for kids) I love how this place really encourages imagination and curiosity. They've been doing lots of updates and renovating so if you've never been or it's been a while then you should definitely check it out!
8. BAKE SOMETHING. It's always fun to make a little treat right? I know sometimes with a toddler, it's maybe more hassle and mess then fun for you but they love it! If you want something easy and quick, go for no bake cookies! If you want something that takes a little more time and more help from your child then try some cut-out sugar cookies or even cupcakes that they can help decorate! PRO TIP: if you don't want a ton of sweets hanging around, teach your child a kind gesture by delivering some of your treats to a neighbor or friend! It would be an awesome chance to catch up for a bit too!
9. DOLLAR STORE.
Okay this may be an odd one but I really like dropping into the dollar store once in a while especially around holidays because sometimes you can actually find some decent decorations and fun little crafts that don't suck! And guess what?? They're only a DOLLAR! Haha... anyway..... So we like to just go walk around and I usually let her pick out 1-3 things that she'd like (one of them has to be a non-toy) she usually gets a puzzle, some bubbles and then either a little doll or a dress up skirt/wings or just whatever. It's a fun and cheap way to make her feel special and then we can go home and are entertained even longer with our new things!
10. SNOW CANYON
We love driving up snow canyon especially when it starts to cool down! They have easy enough trails for a toddler and packing a baby but if your spouse is available to tag along, it would likely be easier and more fun! Anyways our daughter loves just running down the trails, climbing up the rocks and of course playing in the giant sand dunes, I mean what 3 year old wouldn't love a giant sandbox?! Make an evening out of it and pack a simple picnic dinner and watch the sunset!
I hope you liked my list and that it inspires you to get out and do more things! What are your favorite things to do with your kids when you are broke and bored?! What do you love to do in your city?