30 Ways To PLAY With Your Kids

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

How often, as a parent, do you sit on the sidelines watch your children play?

How often do you join in?

Frankly, it is hard for most adults to play with kids. To get down to their level and interact with them at THEIR pace. Adult responsibilities get in the way a lot.

I have found quite a few different ways to incorporate PLAY while still getting my responsibilities accomplished. All with very cheap items that you probably already own.

Card Games

Card games are fun! Grab a deck of cards and teach your children to play Go Fish, War or Uno.

Dress Up

Instead of simply watching your child play dress up, join in! Put on a fancy dress or suit and have fun.

Sport Games

Get outside and throw a ball! It's exercise and it's FUN!

Turn your tub into a mermaid castle or a pirate ship

See who can come up with the most outlandish story.

Board Games

There's so many great board games for children. Play one instead of watching a movie.

Vinegar & Baking Soda

It's a science experiment and really cool! Bonus: it's an excellent way to clean a shower!


Cooking dinner? Invite your child to a game of restaurant. Have them color a menu while the food is cooking. They can also join in the cooking process and be a chef!

Dance Party

Dance like no one is watching! Your children don't care if you're any good at it.

Have A Race

Having a race is good cardio for you and burns out energy for them.

Scavenger Hunt

Tired of hearing "I'm Bored"? Go on a scavenger hunt.

Puddle Jumping

When is the last time you got really muddy by jumping in mud puddles? Next time it rains, bring your children out side to get wet and muddy.

Sidewalk Chalk

So many options...hopscotch, tic tac toe or a creative drawing.


They never stop being fun!

Spa Day

Wish you had a day to pamper yourself? Declare a Spa Day for you and your kids. Break out the face masks and nail polish!

Go on an "adventure"

Anything can be an adventure for a kid. Your backyard is a jungle...can you find the elephants? Or is it a archaeological site? Can you dig up any dinosaur bones?


It's relaxing, even as an adult.


Do you need time in your garden? Have the little ones help you weed or give them their own special garden to take care of.

Play House

Let them turn the tables on you and be the parent. Bonus: the way they talk to you is most likely how they interpret how you talk to them. It's a pretty enlightening game.

Cleaning Race

Cleaning is fun. Especially when it's a race!

Grocery Store

Let your children go grocery shopping in your pantry. Ring them up and bag up their groceries!

Kid's Yoga

Check out
. It's a workout for kids AND adults.

Mail Delivery Person

Who doesn't like getting a handwritten letter or card in the mail? While you're paying bills or catching up on your own letters, have your kids write letters to their grandparents or friends.

Pet Groomer

Do your animals need a bath? Seems like a perfect time to play pet groomer.


Clean the house and dress up to go to a ball. No judgement if you skip the cleaning part.

Build A Fort

Recapture your youth and build a fort. You can go all out and have a camping trip indoors if you'd like!

Slumber Party

Pick out a good movie and get some popcorn and enjoy cuddling while watching a movie. Bring out the sleeping bags into the living room.


Yes, to children laundry is fun. Take advantage of it now. It doesn't last.

Build A Space Ship

Or a boat or anything out of a box.


You don't have to go to a bowling alley to bowl. My daughter discovered water bottles and apples work just as well! I suggest using something non-food though.

Random Parties

I just saw a
the other day. It's a GREAT idea! Check it out. Anything can be an excuse for a party. It's a Monday? Why not have a party?

What were your favorite games to play as a child?

Originally posted on Adventures In Frugal Land.