This Affordable Or Free Kids Activities For Your Backyard post is sponsored by Wicked Uncle. Because we’re all looking for affordable backyard fun, right!?! As always, all opinions are my own.
If you’re limiting travel this year with everything that’s happened, we’ve got some great ideas for you!
We’re a family who enjoys a great stay-cation. That also means, that we love finding affordable or free kids activities for our backyard too. And by ‘backyard’, that could literally mean your backyard. Or it may possibly mean a local park, playground, or beach. Because let’s face it, sometimes we don’t have a backyard of our own. And that’s okay! This list will still be a great help to you!
25 Affordable Or Free Kids Activities For Your Backyard
Finding ways to keep the entire family occupied may be easy if you have an unlimited budget. But for most of us, we either have (or want) to watch finances. So finding affordable backyard fun or free kids activities for your backyard is ideal. We like not having to go far as well as not spending too much money. But still having a ton of fun, of course! I don’t mind investing in a few great products that will provide hours, months, and even years of fun. So here’s a lis of 25 affordable or free kids activities:
1: Flower Picking
Pretty self explanatory. Take a little walk and gather some wildflowers to decorate the table for supper. Or find a local public garden to tour.
2: Chalk Art
Creating beautiful chalk art can be pretty easy with just a little inspiration. And I haven’t met a child yet who doesn’t enjoy this activity in one way or another. When I did daycare, we’d play ‘judge’. I’d chose a letter from the alphabet and then the kids would have to work it into their drawing. Each round would take 5 minutes or less so both boys and girls of all ages enjoyed. (If you want to draw a REALLY cool tool, check out this Rainbow Unicorn Horn Chalk!)
***Pro Tip: I keep a small ziplock baggie in the van with a few pieces of large chalk in it. You’d be surprised at how often it comes in handy!
I wanted to list this activity near chalk art because we always use chalk to draw our hopscotch boards. This activity is great for anywhere. Just a couple weeks ago, we were waiting for a parade to start and I drew a board on the street right in front of us. It kept the kids (and a few passer-byes!) busy for almost an HOUR! (Of course, the road was blocked off for the upcoming parade. I don’t normally advise creating play spaces in the middle of the street. 🙂 )
4: Toss Around The Football
Getting kids active is super important. So grab the football and join them in a game of toss. But to make it extra fun, check out the Nerf Aero Vortex Ball. Not only does it look cool, it actually HOWLS as it flies!
Kid tested AND approved. This ball has a built-in hand grip so you can target your passes better. Plus, its long-distance tail helps to send it flying further than a regular football. But as I mentioned before, what makes it really fun is that the Mega Howler gets it’s name from three separate whistles built in that combine into one awesome noise as it hurtles through the air.
This ball is brilliantly designed and so much fun! Perfect for providing affordable backyard fun.
And because of the size, it’s perfect for taking along on summer adventures too! The boys toss in the van whenever we head to the beach, park, and even church (to play on the lawn after service).
This football is great for a variety of ages. All the way down to our 4 year old and all the way up to my husband and I. We all love tossing it around. The design lets it soar easily through the air. I’m normally terrible at throwing a football and can manage some pretty nice throws with this one!
5: Nature Scavenger Hunt
Create a nature scavenger hunt for your crew to conquer. This could be a lot of fun by including the kids in the list making process. Then hand them each a clipboard and marker so they can track what they’ve all found. (If you’re okay with them collecting the nature items, be sure to send along a paper bag on the hunt.)
6: Create A Nature Collage
If the kids collected some treasures on their hunt, let them create a nature collage. They can glue to paper or create a shadow box. The combined activities of a hunt and collage has kept my kids busy for an entire day!
7: Paint Rock Pets
After finding the perfect rocks, spread out some paint supplies on the ground and get busy making rock pets. Since you’re outside, you won’t have to worry about the messy clean up either! Mother Nature will take care of it during the next rain shower.
A simple game of eye-spy can actually be a lot of fun. And since you can literally play anywhere, it’s a great time passer when waiting for an appointment, traveling, or just hanging out in the backyard.
9: Bicycle Course
While you can just ride your bike around anywhere, consider making a bike obstacle course. Or if you have any local trails, head out on a family bike ride! Riding bike is not only great exercise, kids love it.
And ever since our son got his Mini Hornit, he says it’s even MORE fun than usual. The Mini Hornit is the ultimate lights and sound effects accessory for children’s bikes and scooters. Both durable and waterproof, this little gadget is loaded with 25 fun sounds including:
- Dixie Horn
- Police Car
- Magic Spell
- Lion’s Roar
- Old-Fashioned Bike Bell
- & More
There’s even an optional remote trigger so it’s just like mom and dads bike bell! This push button makes it easier to activate the Mini Hornit while on the move.
10: Jump Rope
An oldie but goodie. Because let’s face it. Classics never go out of style. Never underestimate the fun that a great jump rope can offer. And if you’re looking for a spin on this classic, the Musical Hop Skipper takes care of the swinging.
11: Bug Hunt
My kids are infatuated with bugs. They love to find and examine different species and, a lot of times, aren’t even scared to pick them up. A favorite, of course, is the lady bug. But giving them encouragement to go on a bug hunt is just another great way to provide an engaging, learning experience while having fun.
***Pro Tip: If your kids really love bugs, consider having them head out with some tools and a bug cage to collect the bugs and study them for a bit. Then release back into their habitat.
12: Bird Watching
Grab a pair of binoculars (or not) and head out to look for birds. We love walking around our yard and inside our sheds looking for birds. It’s always fun when we stumble upon a nest of babies and see their little heads popping out. Our kids have spent hours just sitting and watching birds fly around our property. We also have an Eagle nest close by so that’s pretty neat too!
13: Build A Bird House
If sitting down watching isn’t their thing, consider working together to build a birdhouse. My boys love to hammer things so grab some boards and let them work on creating. Or if they need a little direction, there are simple birdhouse kits that have the harder parts already done for you.
14: Play Capture The Flag
This was a favorite growing up. Capture the flag can be played in your yard, at the park, or almost anywhere. When we were kids, we used an old pop can as the ‘flag’. So kids can literally play with what you have on hand. We’d spend hours playing this game several times a week with neighbors and friends.
Sometimes the kids just need to be outside getting fresh air but they don’t want to be active. That’s okay! Set them up at the picnic table with some brainteasers! My kids LOVE these things. (Actually, every adult seems to as well!) So let the kids rest but also give their brains the ultimate workout with this carefully curated metal puzzle collection.
Featuring 10 puzzles made from stylish stainless steel. You can work alone or with friends and family to solve these brainteasers as you attempt to separate and re-attach the pieces, with difficulty levels ranging from easy to difficult. These disentanglement puzzles have been the subject of magic tricks and optical illusions for years, and now they’re in a handy, easily portable box for you! From the “Bird on the Wire” to the “Bermuda Triangle,” you can untangle your cognitive wiring with tactile and mental stimulation!
***Pro Tip: Give the kids a timer too and have them race to solve these puzzles! They can play against themselves or a friend.
I love that Wicked Uncle lists gift and toy ideas by ages too. While these brainteasers fall under a few categories, I discovered them while searching for gift ideas for our 14 year old daughter. Because we all know that teens can be ESPECIALLY hard to shop for!
16: Have A Tea Party
Our daughter and her friends love having tea parties. Frankly, the boys love joining in too. Grab an old quilt, some tea cups, lemonade, and cookies. Pack everything up onto a tray or basket and send the kids out to find the perfect spot. One time, they set up under a tree and discovered a critter above them! Opossum! Talk about excitement! You just never know what will happen during a tea party.
17: Host A Picnic
If tea and cookies isn’t substantial enough, pack up and entire picnic lunch for the kids (or entire family) to enjoy! Our family loves having a couple outdoor picnics each summer. It makes a normal meal extra fun and exciting.
18: Water Table
There’s just something about water that draws people. We have a water table that is a hit every time I bring it out. But don’t worry, you don’t have to go out and buy one to get in on the fun. Just grab a large plastic tub, some spoons, measuring cups, and other dishes, and create a water table.
19: Sprinkler Time – Make Your Own Slip N Slide
Summer can be hot enough that you need to get wet from head to toe. The best way to do that would be with this AWESOME Rainbow Sprinkler.
Just inflate the rainbow, attach it to a standard garden hose and turn on the water. This massive sprinkler measures 93 inches long and a full 65 inches high. Which makes it perfect for your little ones to run through on those hot summer days. The base contains water compartments for added stability, and the sprinkler is easy to inflate and deflate. Now THIS is some refreshing outdoor play for little people!
The combination of the sheer size of this rainbow sprinkler along with the fun colors makes it a huge hit! Adults and children alike are in awe of it.
***Pro Tip: Make your own slip ‘n slide by getting some heavy duty plastic at your local hardware or farm store. (Ask about ‘bunker cover’ plastic. Or if you know a farmer, ask if they have a little bit of ag bag left over that you can have.) Spread over a slight hill and situate your Rainbow Sprinkler at the top so you have a constant flow of water. SO MUCH FUN!
This awesome rainbow sprinkler find was under the gift ideas for 5 year old girls section but Wicked Uncle has tons of other great choices if you need more ideas.
20: Water Fight
Along with the water table, sprinkler, and slip ‘n slide, no hot summer day would be complete without a water fight. Hook up the hose, hand out some buckets, and let the chaos ensue. But hey, at least everyone will stay cool.
Round up the kids for a rousing game of tag. The great thing about this game is that it is so versatile. A favorite of mine as a kid was ‘toilet tag’. When you get caught, you have to kneel down and put one arm up. To get unfrozen, another runner has to sit on your knee and ‘flush’ your arm. Then you’re back in the game. But feel free to choose any theme or style tag you want.
22: Homemade Bubble Station
Giant bubbles have never been easier! We LOVE our WOWMazing Bubble Wand and once the included bubble solution runs out, it’s easy to make your own.
Seriously fun for all ages. We had adults and kids playing with this Astonishing Giant Bubbles solution. The size of the bubbles from this recipe is absolutely amazing.
Print our recipe for now and pin it for later too!
- 5 Gallon Pail
- 3 Gallons Warm Water
- 3 Cups Blue Dawn Dish Sop
- 1 Tablespoon J-Lube
- 3 Tablespoons Baking Powder
- In your 5 gallon bucket, add the blue Dawn dish soap.
- Next add the J-Lube and mix well to combine.
- Then add your warm tap water, one gallon at a time. Be sure to stir well after each gallon.
- Finally add the baking powder, stirring well to incorporate.
- Let your mix sit overnight and be sure to stir well again before using.
**Make at least 1 day (or more) ahead of time.
**Purchase or make your own giant bubbles rope wands.
**Stirring well before use is important. Get down to the bottom of the pail and get those ingredients mixed well again as they settle overnight.
23: Worm Hunt
Dig some holes and search for worms! If you have any luck, take the kids fishing off a local dock! My kids LOVE doing this.
24: Hula Hoop Fun
Sure, using a hula hoop the normal way can be fun. But consider new ways too! Spin on your arm. Use as a ‘jump rope’ skip it and swing around your leg. Or, our favorite way, roll the hula hoop away from you but put a back spin on it so it returns. My sister and I used to spend hours each day competing to see who could get their hula hoop the furthest and have it return.
25: Toss Around This Awesome Ball
For the biggest, bounciest, best quality ball around, you’ll want to snag the Mega Bounce Ball! It does not disappoint!
All you have to do is pump it up with the included foot pump, and you can bounce this big guy anywhere! More than 8′ in circumference and ridged with super grip graphics, this is the most fun you can have on a hot summer day at the park. (Make sure to use the included tape measure to make sure you pump up as big as it says. Our boys stopped because they thought it was ‘full’ and we were actually only HALF WAY done! The ball got SO much bigger when we pumped it all the way!)
Imagine all the games you can play with this giant ball! Death metal soccer, ultra pro dodgeball, even wall ball on the basketball court. Comes with instruction for inflating and deflating – the rest is up to your and your imagination!
Where To Find The Hottest Toys For Affordable Backyard Fun? WICKED UNLCE!
If you’re looking for the best place to find the hottest, most fun toys, Wicked Uncle is it! Their mission is fun. They’ve scoured the globe to find the best toys and gifts for children. And Uncles, Aunts, Grandparents, and Godparents love Wicked Uncle because it makes buying cool presents easy.
What Makes Wicked Uncle Different?
Wicked Uncle is the only toy shop in the world that is not aimed at parents. (Although parents do love to shop with them.) They look after the uncles, aunts, godparents, and grandparents who need to send a present, but are not quite sure what to get. If you don’t have any children, or have some of different ages, gift giving can seem like a complete mystery. What they eat is hard enough to work out, let alone what they want for their birthday! So let Wicked Uncle doing the work. They test out toys from all over and only offer the very best, most fun options on their website.
And not only will they deliver guaranteed fun. Wicked Uncle can gift wrap your present and send it direct with a handwritten card. Their worker elves are great at wrapping! And you even get to pick the wrapping paper design too.
They even include a thank you/ postcard so the child can let you know how they liked their gift! (Plus, there’s a cute joke at the bottom that everyone loves.)
Never Forget A Special Occassion Again
Not only has Wicked Uncle put together stacks of really cool, unusual, and interesting presents that children will love. They can also send you reminders FOREVER so you never miss another Christmas or birthday. Problem solved!
Shop By Age
Because Wicked Uncle only sells the hottest toys, you can be confident knowing whatever you choose will be a hit. However, I also love how easy they make shopping by sorting their inventory by age group and gender. (Of course, some of their products overlap for both boys and girls as well as ages.) They also have a menu where you can ship by category if you know the child loves a specific theme.
SHOPPING…MADE…EASY! Head over to their website for all the categories but here are a couple of quick links:
- Baby Boys
- Baby Girls
- 3 Year Old Boys
- 3 Year Old Girls
- 9 Year Old Boys
- 9 Year Old Girls
- Teen Boys
- Teen Girls
Connect With Wicked Uncle Toys
And For Those In The UK, Wicked Uncle also has a website to serve you!