20 ideas for the park – frugal family fun
Park ideas for kids & parents!
Having been a mom for eleven years, I have certainly spent a lot of time at parks. I do love watching my kids have fun, but sometimes I get a bit bored — there, I said it!
Having set aside that confession, I decided to pull together a Frugal Family Fun post with ideas for playing at the park — for all the parents and kids out there who need a little variety.
Mix it up
For variety, I throw the kids (nicely, of course) into the van to visit a new park. They love exploring new equipment and trying to climb, spin and swing in different ways.
Our city has an online list of splash/spray pads we can access for free. In the warmest months, I keep a bag of swimsuits, sunscreen and towels in the van so we can cool off without any pre-planning required.
Some of my favorite pictures of my boys are shots at the park. Chasing them around, trying to get that perfect shot – it keeps me active, almost as much as the kids.
Park activities to try
- Play on the equipment with the kids. Run, chase, slide, climb.
- Bring a bucket and shovel for each child, and at least one to share. Be a park hero.
- Catch the wind in a plastic bag. More fun than you’d imagine on a windy day.
- Have a competition to see who can swing the highest. Perhaps wait until they at least have hair.
- Collect – label one plastic zip-top bag for each child to gather treasures (pine cones, pebbles, leaves).
- Chalk — play hopscotch with the kids, trace each others’ shadows, daydream and draw.
- Race — my boys love to beat me. I used to have to let them win!
- Lie on the grass and look for shapes in the clouds.
- Listen — everyone closes their eyes and names all the sounds they can hear.
- Load up the wagon with baseball bats and balls. Show them what you’ve got.
- Play with marbles.
- Rest — my babies had their best stroller naps at the park.
- Make a friend — kids and adults can meet the nicest people at parks, if we are friendly.
- Bring a few toys. Playmobil guys love to fight enemies in the sand. Cars on the slide are a hoot.
- Play a board game at the park. Years ago, my boys loved this chess set under a tree.
- Scavenger hunt — make a list of specific things kids should be able to find at your park.
- Bring a book — stories come to life when we read them in a new environment.
- Blow bubbles and chase them.
- Help them climb a tree. Our new-ish subdivision requires that we drive a bit for trees that don’t resemble twigs, but it is worth it, especially when it fosters teamwork.
- I promised twenty ideas – and reserved this number for our MapleMoney readers.
Having recently visited with a friend who is moving back to Africa, I was reminded of the privilege we have to safely and freely explore parks in Canada. Frugal fun at its finest.