what do you do with your kids to keep them active and not expensive?

Caila - posted on 07/25/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Im a stay at home mom I have a three year old and want him to have fun and be acitve while exploring I dont have alot of money and want to keep things new, what should I do?

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September - posted on 07/26/2010

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We walk for an hour every night after dinner with our 20 month old and he just loves it! We have a lake right across the street from our house and he loves to check out the ducks and frogs. To keep it new we take a different route each night and sometimes walk to the park up the street, we actually have 3 parks in walking distance so that's nice for change. Walking is fun and great exercise! Maybe you could create a little scavenger hunt to do while you go out for a walk? Playing hide and seek outside is fun too or a water balloon fight! Enjoy! :)

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Plan trips to your local park. Go to the library, see if your library has any children's programming.
Look for a playgroup in your area.
Look for some friends or other parents with children similar in age to get together with from time to time. Take turns hosting play dates at each others houses so no one gets stuck with all the cleaning and supplying of snacks.

Stuff you can do on your own. Spend lots of time outside. Go puddle jumping on the warm rainy days. Finger paint or spray bottle paint outside.

Make play dough. You can find tons of different recipes online including ones you can eat.

We've done things like taken a piece of old hose, drilled small holes into it and tied it across our back yard on a rope, attached it to the garden hose and placed our little splash pool under it to make our own "splash pad" since we can't afford to go to our local one.

Finding an old fridge/stove (any appliance really) box and making it into a play house.
Actually big boxes and kids = tons of fun.

Take old plastic water or pop (clear ones) bottles, fill with water, add desired color using food coloring, add sparkles, sequins and anything else you might think will work well, glue the lid on tightly and then take some electrical tape and wrap it around the lid for an extra deterrent to try and take the lid off. Great fun water sensory bottles are. You can also do this without the water and add things like, rice, buttons, bells, feathers and such.

I have more ideas if you would like.

I've been working in child care for 10 years. My son is 22 months old. My husband is a PHD student. We have little money.

Brandy - posted on 07/25/2010

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Really, with kids that age, it's the simple things that they love. Go for walks and let him take the lead and decide when to stop and look at something and when to run, looking at bugs in the backyard is fun to them, I encourage my 2 1/2 year old to look for things that she likes when we go for walks (twigs, rocks, leaves, flowers) and we use them to make collages and picture frames. Any kind of water you can find for him to play in, even if it's a puddle in the back alley, is great. My daughter and I pick rocks and paint them. Sidewalk chalk. They love picnics at that age. And, believe it or not, cleaning! I give my daughter a cloth and she will go around and dust anything she can find. She loves using the sprayer to rinse the dishes as I wash them and always has to hold the dust pan for me when I sweep the floor. Just a few ideas for you.

Erin - posted on 07/25/2010

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I take My 2 and 1/2 year old to the park and playgrounds, The indoor play areas at the mall. I don't know where you live but sometimes local Libraries have some good activities for young children, mine actually has discount passes to local muesumes in my area. Good luck.

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