Instead of spending tons of money on lavish gifts and expensive places to entertain your children, why not look for some alternative ideas to entertain your children. You can travel the world in your own back yard and fly to space while sitting on the swing set. The sky is the limit when it comes to imagination, and it will not cost you a dime to entertain your children for hours.
Things You Will Need
a basket or a container
Pack Up. The yard is a wonderful and magical place to explore for children. To make it easier on yourself when you take the kids outside for the afternoon, pack up the items you will need. Get a large wicker picnic basket or a large container that you can fill with several drinks for the children and several drinks for yourself. Include sun block, sidewalk chalk, snacks, bubbles and anything else you think you may need outside with small children, for the period of a few hours or more. Toss your home phone and/or your cell phone in the basket, as well. This will help to prevent missing important calls that you may or may not be expecting. You may want to consider placing a camera or a camcorder in your supply stash. I know this is not a trip to the world famous zoo or the awesome new theme park, but you might be surprised at what you wish you would have gotten on camera or film. When you need any of these items you can reach in the basket and get what you or the children need at the moment, instead of having to run inside. This will keep you outside instead of playing the running in and out game, as many children love to do. Bring a small shopping bag into the yard with you for any garbage that you accumulate while playing outside.
Make sure you have plenty of entertainment for yourself and your children. Examples of entertainment that children enjoy are: a swing set, a slide, a sandbox, a kid size swimming pool, and adult size swimming pool and/or many riding tools, including big wheels, power wheels or training wheel bikes.
Enjoy nature. Sometimes you and your children can just play with the nature surrounding you. Sticks make great magic wands and dandelions make awesome pixie dust for children. Imagination can entertain a child for hours if properly encouraged. If your child likes to clean, give him or her a rag, a little bit of water and tell your child to make their wagon, big wheels or sliding board shiny. They may do this for hours, if you refill the water supply often enough for them. You can also help your children to create a mystery soup using their imaginations to pretend the leaves are chicken and the flowers are salt and pepper. Give them a stick to stir it up. Pretend it is hot when they want to feed you, this might make them giggle. Small children will enjoy blowing on the pseudo soup, and you will be making precious memories entertaining your children, that will last a life time.
Play games. Race with your child and always allow one of your children to win the race. Play tag and/or count the flowers. Other times you can play games like Ring Around the Rosie or hide and seek. Allow the kids to help you pull weeds and water the garden and/or other outside plants. Children may love this, for it makes them feel special to be doing such an important mommy or daddy kind of job.
Designate a spot to dig. Many children love to dig, so designate a spot in the yard where they are allowed to dig as much as they feel the desire to dig. Keep the buckets and shovels outside at all times to prevent losing them in the toy box or the bottom of the closet and tracking outside dirt inside. You might be surprised at what might be found underneath the earth in your own back yard.
Sometimes all a child really wants to do is spend time with their parents. It is not the amount of money you spend or how often you purchase gifts for them that makes the child feel special. Sometimes it is only the amount of time and the quality of time you spend with your child that matters. If all else fails, take them for a walk and either you can talk the entire time or allow them to talk. Entertainment does not always have to put a hole in your wallet. Do not allow the moments to pass you by.