No Cost Activities For Toddlers

When I kicked off Money May—a month of no spending—the biggest challenge was figuring out how to keep my son entertained. What activities could we enjoy together, especially with the cooler weather settling in?

With him attending daycare two days a week and having one full day with Dad on weekends, that left us with four days a week usually spent out and about. I’m not one to stay cooped up at home, but I realised I was splurging unnecessarily on outings. Did we really need to be constantly on the go?

So, I decided to compile a simple list on Notion of all the activities we could try without breaking the bank this month. You can track our progress on my board here, and I’ve also gathered inspiration from other blogs on a Pinterest board.

Here’s a glimpse into some of our adventures so far. I’ve discovered that a simple walk can transform into so much more when seen through the eyes of a child. Those curious little eyes are taking in the vast world around them, inspiring me to find adventure in the everyday. While it’s tempting to fill our days with busyness, slowing down and enjoying simple moments together is truly invaluable.

Our first escapade was “The New Playground Hunt”. On sunny days, we venture out to explore different playgrounds. Finding the hidden gems can be tricky, but I’ve tapped into Instagram to follow local mums and uncover their favourite spots. Armed with snacks and coffee, we set out on our playground quest.

After enduring an exceptionally hot summer, the arrival of cooler weather meant indoor activities were back on the agenda. Enter the “Masking Tape Race Track”—a simple yet entertaining afternoon diversion. Toby shares his dad’s love for monster trucks, so I fashioned a race track out of cheap masking tape while he napped. Once he woke up, we raced our trucks around the makeshift circuit.

A few days later, with my husband pulling a marathon shift at work, we embarked on “Nature Adventure Walks.” Nestled in the Perth Hills, we’re blessed with breathtaking walking tracks. But even a stroll around the local park can become an adventure with a bit of curiosity. I pop TJ into the pram, and we set off, pausing to admire trees, birds, and all things nature. It’s a simple, cost-free adventure that sparks his inquisitive mind.

Later that afternoon, we unleashed our inner artists with “Rock Painting”. Scavenging for rocks around our property, we returned home to create colorful masterpieces. It was messy, it was fun, and it definitely called for a post-painting bath!

Next up, we ventured into the kitchen for a baking session. While previous attempts to involve TJ in baking fell flat, this time was different. As I tackled the art of bread-making, TJ eagerly joined me, standing on his toddler stool and lending a hand. It’s become a cherished bonding activity, and a sneaky way to introduce more veggies into his diet.

And yesterday, we transformed our living room into a cozy haven with makeshift cubby houses. Clad in our PJs, we gathered pillows, cushions, and blankets to build our forts. Inside, we read books, played with trucks, and shared countless giggles. The mess was worth every moment of joy.

Money May may be about cutting expenses, but it’s also taught me that the best things in life truly are free—especially when shared with loved ones.

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