If you had told me six years ago that I’d be the proud owner of a hot glue gun & I’d actually enjoy arts & crafts projects, I would’ve rolled my eyes at you so hard 🙄. I guess motherhood truly has a way of bringing out the creative side of you 🤷♀️. Probably has something to do with all of that “making a way out of no way, while getting no sleep” practice we get so much of 🤔🤪
Anyhoo, I got in a little $Free.99 arts & craft fun with our oldest three children, while our 1-year-old took a nap (some of our materials would have been choking hazards for her). To make robots, sharks & a bunny, we used all materials we already had around the house (hot glue gun, scissors, markers, empty toilet paper rolls, tape, buttons, paper, twine, ribbons & some puff balls from an old Christmas ornament).
These are not my original ideas: we got the robot & shark ideas from Pinterest, and our oldest daughter came up with the bunny on her own 🤗.
If you’re looking for free & easy craft ideas to do with your kids, you should definitely try these. The kids enjoyed making them, it was good motor skills practice for them AND they got in tons of pretend play with their finished projects. (Lots of shark attacks & robot talk, so be prepared for that for the next few hours 🤪🤣).Enjoy!
I overhear any one of these phrases & I instantly think of my childhood with a smile 🤗. The thrill of the chase is just plain ole universal, timeless, $Free.99 Family Fun. Never gets old!
Here’s two variations of the game “Tag” you can play with your kids:
• Shark: One player is the shark & all the other players are shark bait lol🦈. Everyone spreads out & they can either hide until they’re ready to run or just run around from the shark in plain view. The object of the game is to make it to the designated “home base/safe spot” without getting caught by the shark. When I was a kid, home base was usually the front porch. Once a player made it to home base, it was always fun to taunt the shark by running off home base to be chased again 🏃💨
• Freeze Tag: One player is “It” and has to chase & tag the other players until everyone has been tagged. Once tagged, a player has to “freeze” on the spot & can’t move again unless another player gets near enough to unfreeze (touch) them. Makes it a bit harder for the player who is “It” to get (and keep) everyone tagged but well worth the effort to up the ante on a classic game of Tag🤘
So all of a sudden, our 1-year-old has graduated from “crayon eater” to Artist & now her favorite thing to do is color, color, color. Her favorite canvas is actually the wall (thank God for magic erasers! 😬) but I’m doing my best to get her more excited about coloring on paper, instead lol.
This is a sheet from a $2.00 Despicable Me coloring book I picked up. Below, I have listed a few websites that offer free printable coloring pages & I’ll continue to update this post with links as I find more 🤗
• www.coloring.ws This one has fun educational printables (like the alphabets), popular character printables (like Pokémon & Barbie) & much more.
• www.crayola.com. Fun character printables for the kids (Trolls, Finding Dory, Cars, etc) plus adult coloring pages so parents can join in the fun 🤗
All parents are busy. None of us have unlimited time or resources to share with our kids. But we make the most of what we have & we try our best to make the moments count ❤️
$Free.99 Family Fun tip: When our kitchen table starts to look like it’s about to collapse from the weight of old paper arts & crafts projects, this is what I do: I take pictures of the projects to remember them by, I display some of them on the fridge & then I ask my 5-year-old if he wants to cut up the rest with the scissors ✂️ While I declutter, I throw out challenges to him like can you cut out a square for Mommy, how about a circle, let me see you cut a straight line, etc. 💥BOOM💥 That’s how you multitask like a pro 💁😆 I cleaned up, he practiced his cutting skills & he enjoyed showing off & receiving praise & attention from Mommy 👍
✨We all had a playroom growing up. It was called “outside.”✨
Looking for some easy Free99 Family Fun? Just get outside & play! Challenge your kids to a race & you can either have fun showing them that you still got it, or THEY can have fun making you eat their dust cause you’re getting too old to keep up with them 😩😂
If you want to spice things up, here’s a few fun ways to add a twist to the fun:
1) Backwards Race: Everybody runs backwards. Harder & funnier than it sounds! Your kids will crack up when everyone starts to fall all over themselves 😂
2) Three-legged Race: Break up into teams of two. Stand side by side with your partner & use a scarf to tie your right leg and your partner’s left leg together so that you’re stuck to each other. Race other pairs who are tied together the same way. Again: harder & funnier than it sounds to coordinate the movement of your “third” leg with another person lol
3) Wheelbarrow Race: Break up into teams of two. Have your partner get down on all fours & then pick up their feet, holding one foot in each of your hands. Your partner’s hands will remain on the ground so that you’re holding them up & moving forward as if pushing a wheelbarrow. Have fun racing the other teams!
Here’s a little #tbt to me racing my baby boy last year & my hubby going up against our oldest two kids. I let baby boy win 😜but I’m not telling who ate the dust sandwich in my hubby’s race 😚🤐👀
This #free99familyfun activity is always a hit: Cover a table with white paper (tape down the sides so it stays put), set out some art supplies & let the kids go crazy.
The little ones love it, but those blank white spaces tend to bring all ages to the table (even if only for a short while 😜). Your art supplies can be as simple as @crayola crayons, colored pencils, or even regular pencils. OR you can try this simple DIY paint recipe: add a few drops of food coloring to condensed milk & stir. Voila! You have non-toxic paint which is especially awesome if you have a baby like mine who loves to eat everything! 😩😆
Whether you are a new step parent, caregiver, long distance grandparent, biological parent, or maybe even a parent reconnecting after a long separation: spending time (no matter how short) connecting with a child through play can break the ice, build bonds between you, and create life long memories. That’s the power of connecting with kids through play ❤️
Juggling is an easy & fun $Free99 Family Fun activity because you can use stuff you already have at home! Here’s a few $Free.99 Family Fun tips from my own experiences:
Keep things light-hearted & just have fun with it. Don’t put too much emphasis on skills because this is something that really just improves over time. Depending on your child’s age, their hand-eye coordination may or may not be particularly strong enough to juggle successfully ❤️
Start with small, hand-sized balls, scarves or bean bags.
Start off with throwing one ball from your left hand up into a tight arc-like motion, being careful not to throw the balls any higher than your head. Catch it with your right hand & pass the ball directly to your left hand without throwing it in the air.
Once everyone gets the hang of that, add a second ball. Hold one ball in each hand. Throw the ball in the left hand up into the arc towards the right & when it reaches the top of the arc, pass the ball in your right hand directly to your left hand. As soon asthe first ball lands in your right hand from the arc, quickly keep the cycle going: left hand throws balls up, right hand passes the balls to the left hand.
If you guys master this, then you can tackle juggling three balls. You use the exact same motions.
For visuals of these instructions, do an online search for learning to juggle objects & you’ll find lots of video tutorials on this subject.