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Do you want to get outside and enjoy the spring weather with the family, but your budget is tight? Here are 25 Spring activities for families that are either free or low-cost.
25 Spring Activities For Families On A Tight Budget
1. Go Outside And Play In An April Rain Shower
Grab some rainboots and raincoats or if you don’t have those, grab the kids’ oldest shoes and outfits that you don’t mind mud getting on and then get outside while the April showers are falling. Splash in the puddles. Catch raindrops on your tongues. Look way up and watch the drops as they fall. Close your eyes and listen to the sound the rain makes as it hits the ground.
When you are all done, go inside the house, get dried off and then warm up with homemade hot cocoa. Finish the family time by gathering on the couch and reading aloud books about rain and spring.
Here are 3 Children’s books about rain:
2. Plant Flowers
The saying is “April showers bring May flowers” so that makes spring the perfect time to plant flowers. Visit your local plant nursery to find what grows best in your area. Or take a chance and sprinkle a packet of wildflower mix in an area of your yard and see if any pop up.
3. Plant A Vegetable Garden
It is said that picky eaters are more willing to try new vegetables if they take part in growing them and spring is the perfect time for testing out that theory. Again, your local plant nursery is a great place to visit in the springtime to find out what grows best in your area and when to plant it.
If you don’t have a big yard, you can still try your hand at growing a few veggies. Many vegetables grow well in pots, including tomatoes and lettuce.
4. Fly A Kite
Most towns have at least one park that has a large enough area free of overhead obstacles for kite flying. Spring is the perfect time to head there and let your kids try flying a kite in the spring breeze. You can invest in a good sturdy kite that should last you several seasons and have everyone take turns flying it or head to your local dollar store and pick up a couple of cheapos that should last a time or two.
5. Take A Nature Hike
Spring is a great time to get out there and hit the local trails. Just make sure to watch for ticks if they are prominent in your area. You can buy a tick spray and apply it before your hike, but you still need to give everyone in your family a once over check for ticks and have someone do the same for you once you are done your hike.
6. Go Hunting For Earthworms
I grew up on Vancouver Island where it rains often in Spring and one of my childhood memories is going out after a rainstorm to look at all the earthworms that were now out on the ground. They were out because their burrows would fill with water and thus they couldn’t get the oxygen they needed to breathe. Adults might think earthworms are kind of creepy, but kids generally love them.
So moms and dads, get past your “icky” feelings about earthworms if you have them and let your young explorers get out there after a rainstorm and watch the earthworms. Compare sizes and colors as you watch them inch along. Then go inside and google earthworm information together and find out more about earthworms and all they do for our planet.
7. Go On A Nature Photoshoot
There are some fantastic photographers with Instagram accounts. Without the kids around, search for hashtags like #puddlegram #springblossom etc. and then share them with your kids and go out and see if you can add to the feed with pictures taken by your budding photographers. Always double check feeds before letting your kid see it, they change quickly. Still, if your child shows an interest in photograph Instagram can be a great place to feed that talent–when caution is taken, of course.
Not a fan of Instagram, but still want to expose your children to great photography? Go to the library and check out photography books with spring themes to them. The pictures in them won’t change, so once you have looked through it and approved it you know it isn’t going to change by the time you hand it to your child.
8. Go On A Family Bike Ride
If you don’t already have bikes, this could be an expensive spring activity, but perhaps you can borrow some from friends. Looking for inexpensive bikes? Try yard sales, Facebook marketplace, or even Craigslist. Read up on what makes a quality bike first if buying one you plan to keep for years. There is quite the difference in comfort between a cheap bike and a quality bike. That said, young children outgrow bikes fast, so quality doesn’t matter as much for kids’ bikes.
9. Playground Hop
Use the Google maps app to find all the public playgrounds in your area. Make a list of them and hang it on the fridge. Every day that it is springtime beautiful, pick a park and go. Better yet–invite friends along.
10. Perform A Few Spring Science Experiments
Here is a list of spring science experiments you could try with your kids.
11. Take Part In Free Events
There is a world of free to be found out there in your community. General free events can be found at local churches, libraries, and community centers. There could be a free Easter play at the local church, a free Easter egg hunt held by your local community center and a free spring craft class held at your local library.
12. Read Up On How Birds Build Their Nests And Then Leave Out Nest Building Supplies
There is a wealth of information on the internet about what you can leave out for birds to make nests out of as well as pictures of nests made by birds from things left out for them. Of course, you could also head to your local library for books on the topic.
13. Search For Egg Shells
Even though I am over 40 years old, I still look for wild bird eggshells on my Spring day walks. I love snapping pictures of them and then doing internet searches to find out what type of birds laid them. I am guessing kids would find this fun too!
14. Decorate Easter Eggs
A dozen eggs and some food dye can make for a pretty inexpensive family fun afternoon. Search Pinterest for ideas.
15. Paint And Hide Rocks
Last year painted rocks started appearing all over the places where I run and ride my bike. It is a pretty cool trend. I did a bit of research, and for the best-looking rocks, it is recommended you take the time first to wash and dry the rocks. Then apply sealer to them (here is a spray on type sealer). Let the sealer dry and draw on them with either acrylic paint or paint markers. After your art dries, coat with another layer of sealer.
Don’t have these materials? Make do with what you have. They are just rocks!
16. Make And Blow Bubbles
Bubbles are so much fun to play with and are so simple to make. Of course, if you just don’t want to mess with making your own, the premade bubble solution is pretty inexpensive. When I ran a family daycare, I invested in no-spill bubble containers with wands like these and was very happy with them. They were not 100% spill proof, but they sure did cut down on spills and made bubble blowing a lot less messy.
17. Go On A Hunt For Spring Flowers
Can you find a daffodil, a pansy, or a tulip blooming in your neighborhood? Go for a walk together and see if you can!
18. Go Camping
Camping as a family can be as simple as setting up a tent in your backyard to paying for a camping spot at a State Park and dragging the travel trailer out there. Use the supplies you have or borrow and stay within your budget, the value is found in the memories made–not the money spent.
19. Build A Bird House
Create an environment for bird watching right in your backyard by building a birdhouse together as a family and hanging it up in a quiet area of your backyard. You can either buy a birdhouse kit or make your own using scrap wood from other DIY projects.
20. Cloud Gaze
Grab a blanket and lay it out on the grass on a day where the sky is a mix of cloud and sun. Invite everyone to lay down on the blanket and watch the clouds roll by. Ask the kids what they see in the clouds. What does the shape of each one remind them of?
21. Have A Paper Plane Contest
Gentle spring breezes make the perfect flying conditions for paper airplanes. Have a contest to see who can fly theirs the furthest. Get ideas for new designs from books or online articles.
22. Go To A U-Pick Strawberry Farm
Strawberries are cheapest when bought in season and sometimes even cheaper when you pick your own, so why not make a family event out of visiting a local u-pick strawberry farm? Afterwards work together in the kitchen turning the berries you picked into strawberry shortcake or strawberry jam.
23. Join A Community Clean-Up Day
Does your community throw a family clean-up day? If it does, see if your family can volunteer together to rake parks, replant community flower beds or whatever help they need.
24. Make Dirt Cake Or Dirt Cake Bark Together
25. Color Spring Coloring Sheets
Google free Spring-themed coloring sheets and my guess is you are going to have plenty of free coloring sheets to choose from. Print them out and gather the coloring supplies and the kids. Sit down at the table and color together. While you color, use the time to discuss what you want to do off this list during the spring season. Use this link to sign up for my newsletter and get a free printable version of this list. Hang that list on the fridge with the things you want to do as a family highlighted. Cross them off as you go and may this Spring be full of precious family time.
For a list of 52 different websites, apps, and stores our thrifty family uses to help us keep our expenses low, click here to visit our Thrifty Tools Resource Page.
3 More Posts For Families On A Tight Budget:
- 10 Ways To Create Some Serious Wiggle Room In A Tight Budget
- 25 Free Or Low-Cost Ways To Keep Kids Busy This Summer
- 20 Thrifty Ways To Spend Quality Time With Your Child
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