Keep the Kids Busy Over Spring Break With These 11 Cheap Activities

Have fun and save money at the same time.

Spring has finally arrived. The snow is melting and the kids are eager to get outside. With the seasonal change comes longer days, warmer temperatures and, of course, spring break.

If you are looking for inexpensive activities to keep the kids busy while they are off from school, you have come to the right place. Here are 11 cheap activities that are sure to keep the little ones entertained.

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1. Blow Bubbles

Sure, you could pick up bubbles at the toy store, but did you know that you could make them yourself at home for mere pennies? Combine 3 cups warm water, 1 cup liquid dish soap and 1/4 cup sugar for homemade bubbles on the cheap. You can even create DIY bubble wands with wire hangers.

2. Draw on the Sidewalk

Sidewalk chalk was one of my favorite activities as a kid. There is just something about writing on the ground that is exciting.

Chalk is, fortunately, very inexpensive and can provide hours of fun. When the kids run out of space on the sidewalk let them have at the driveway as well.

As an added bonus, both sidewalk chalk and bubbles can be thrown into a killer Easter basket for less than $10.

3. Paint Rocks

Painting, hiding and finding painted rocks is totally a thing, and I love it. The so-called “painted rock movement” is all about spreading positivity and happiness. Why not get the kids in on this?

Paint is relatively inexpensive and rocks are free. Let the kids unleash their creativity by painting rocks and placing them around the community to brighten someone’s day.

Related: Free Ways You (and Your Kids) Can Be Awesome Human Beings

4. Do a Puzzle

Puzzles are inexpensive and can keep the kids busy for hours. They are a great activity to have for those rainy spring days when the kids are stuck indoors. I am not talking about a 12-piece puzzle that will take the kids two minutes. Get the kids a puzzle that will be challenging, yet doable for them to tackle over their vacation.

5. Get Ice Cream

Although going out for dinner can quickly add up, going out for ice cream doesn’t have to be expensive. Kid-size cones are fairly affordable, sometimes even $1 or less at fast food chains. Ben and Jerry’s actually holds Free Cone Day on April 10 this year.

Better yet, set up a DIY ice cream sundae bar at home. Let the kids choose from a few flavors of ice cream. Set out bowls of toppings such as sprinkles, chocolate chips, mini marshmallows and crushed cookies. They’ll love creating their own unique treats.

6. Have a Movie Night

Although tickets at a movie theater will cost you a pretty penny, you can enjoy a DIY movie night at home for next to nothing.

These days most of us already have a subscription to a movie streaming service such as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Video. So why not make some popcorn and set the kids up with something G-rated that they can enjoy?

Indulge: 15 Simple Pleasures That Won’t Cost You a Dime

7. Play in the Sandbox

Even though your kids might not be visiting an actual beach over spring break, it doesn’t mean that they can’t play in the sand. Beach toys such as shovels and buckets are pretty affordable and can be enjoyed in a sandbox.

Don’t have a sandbox? No problem, simply pick up a few bags of sand and pour them into a long and narrow storage bin — the under-the-bed variety works very well.

8. Play Card Games

Teach the kids how to play classic card games such as war and solitaire. If you don’t have one already, a deck of cards shouldn’t run you more than a few bucks. Even specialty decks for games such as go fish or old maid are fairly cheap. In fact, you can probably pick all of them up at a dollar store.

9. Go on a Scavenger Hunt

Create a list of items for the kids to find and send them off on a scavenger hunt. Keep the list simple and include specific items such as acorns, sticks and pine cones. Or, make your scavenger hunt more challenging by sending the kids in search of sensory-based items — think something soft, something loud and something green.

Learn more: 4 Ways to Pay For Your Child’s Activities Without Breaking the Bank

10. Play With Playdough

Another fun kids activity that you can DIY for pennies is playdough. Combine 1/2 cup conditioner with 1 cup cornstarch and add a few drops of food coloring for an inexpensive and easy homemade playdough. You can even make edible playdough.

Once your playdough is made, give the kids some cookie cutters and let them have at it.

11. Have a Water Balloon Fight

If you get some hot days during spring break, consider letting the kids cool down with a water balloon fight. Water balloons are inexpensive and a whole lot of fun. Kids can help out with filling up balloons with the hose.

You might just want to hide when it comes time for the fight.

Click here to read more about fun and free activities that are perfect for spring.