Monday, June 6, 2011

15 Fun Things for Kids 5 and Under

If you're anything like me, you start to stress about what to do with the kids once they're out of school for the summer. I have 2 boys, ages 5 and 2, who are super-active and always looking for something to do. Now that the unofficial start of summer is here, I need a list of ideas to keep my guys busy. I can't guarantee these will keep them busy for the whole day, but at least it's something to do for a little while. Here are some free, or almost free, things that I hope will help pass the time:
  • Sidewalk Chalk One of the greatest ideas ever, in my opinion. A simple piece of chalk could keep them going for a good hour.
  • Bubbles This is also a no-brainer for my boys. And if you get one of those bubble machines, you don't have to blow or wave a wand at all.
  • Sprinkler/Kiddie Pool Anything with water is another great way to spend an hour or so. We even have a spiderman water slide that we break out every once in a while just to mix things up a bit.
  • Paint (a birdhouse, rocks, seashells) Anything you can think of, kids love to paint it. Make sure you buy washable paint though - sometimes those little Picassos get carried away.
  • Beach Head on over to the ocean or lakefront and plop down in the sand. Try going early in the morning or later in the afternoon to stay out of the daytime sun, and let the little ones dig away.
  • Park Swings, slides, climbing, open fields - all guaranteed for a little summertime fun.
  • Ball/Catch There are soooo many different types of ball games to play that any kind of ball will do. Dollar Stores are also full of different paddle ball games and balls to entertain even the pickiest child.
  • Dress-up A great way to spend a rainy day or the middle of a heatwave. Take out those Halloween costumes or let the kids wear mom & dad's clothes, accessories, shoes, hats. You can even make some pirate hats, prince and princess crowns with paper and crayons.
  • Public Library/Bookstore Most local libraries and Barnes and Noble stores have at least one free program for kids every week. Some have story time, some have story and craft. You don't even have to go for the program. Just go and let the kids pick out some new books for the week.
  • Bike Ride This is guaranteed exercise for you if you're riding or walking. This includes trikes, big wheels, ride-ons, strollers. Go for a walk or a ride through the neighborhood or in the local park.
  • Picnic Pack a basket full of goodies from your own pantry and a blanket and head to the yard, park, beach or living room for your own instant picnic.
  • Tent Party Whether you have a tent or not, this is always a lot of fun. Either pitch your actual tent in the yard or in the living room and pretend you're camping, play games, tell stories. If you don't have a tent, prop up a sheet between 2 chairs and you've just made your own.
  • Scavenger Hunt This can be done many, many times over. Come up with new and different things to hunt for in the yard, at the park, in the bedroom. Find something brown, something wet, something with wings, something hard - the list goes on and on.
  • Kite Flying If you don't already have a kite, most stores sell them pretty inexpensively and the fun lasts for quite a while. Take it to the beach, the park, any open area and watch her fly.
  • Stickers When all else fails, break out the stickers. Kids of all ages love all different kinds of stickers and I always have a few packs in my craft box. Make a sticker book or a sticker board. Use glitter glue to decorate the cover of the sticker book. Personalize it and then let the kids sticker away.


  1. Great ideas! My girls are 3 and I use most of those ideas for them, too!! This morning, to waste some time and get them out of the house, I brought them to the Pet Store and let them walk around...they LOVE that and it's FREE! :-)

  2. Haha, I think I've done all of these...TODAY. Great post! I'd love to share it on my FB if that's okay with you!!

    Google won't let me sign in, but this is =)

  3. I’m following you from “I love my online friends blog hop”. I look forward to your follow back.

    My Blog

  4. New follower from the Blog Hop Skip and Jump hop :)
    The Job of Mommy

  5. This is a great list! We have "real" kits, but my daughter loves to make her own even more!

    Carla @ Jansen Family Adventures

  6. This is a great list and the days I entertained my kids (and grand kids) with the simple things in life seems like it was the days they had the most fun.
    I'm hopping over from Thurs. Have a Cup of Joe and
    following you via GFC