One of the good things about toddlers is that you can get away with taking them out and not spending a lot. My toddler is quite easy to please and we go out quite a lot, but as a thrifty Yorkshire lass I also like taking him places which are light on the wallet too. These are some of my tried and tested free things to do with a toddler without spending any money, but without compromising on toddler fun too.
1. Feeding the horses
My toddler loves feeding the horses, so if we have a bit of time to spare we will have a wander up to a field near our house and feed the horses. He loves talking to them, throwing carrots to them (narrowly missing their heads at times), and giving them a little stroke. There is something lovely about seeing toddlers get excited about seeing animals. I have got a 6 year old son too, and whilst he is happy to come and feed the horses too, he doesn’t get as animated about seeing the horses galloping over to see him as my toddler.
Cost – 35p for a bag of Tesco’s Essential range carrots. Alternatively, you can feed them grass if you don’t want to splash out on carrots.
2. Go on a bike ride
My toddler is a bit of a whizz on his balance bike, so we like heading out on a bike ride when we get the chance. We are quite lucky in that we have a ‘Greenway’ near us which is a converted railway track which is wide, flat and traffic free for him to ride on. He keeps jumping off his bike to have a look at the cars going underneath the bridges we cross so we don’t break any speed records, but we have a great time out in the fresh air.
Cost – Free!
3. Go to the park
A park is often the saviour of most parents, and I’m no different. My toddler loves nothing more than running around outside, sliding down the slide and going on the swings. If I’m lucky, I can bump into one of my friends at the park so I can chat to them whilst I am supervising my giddy toddler racing around.
In the summer, I often take a picnic which we both love. My picnics aren’t very exotic, and usually comprise of a couple of cheese sandwiches and some yogurts but toddlers love the simple things so we’re both happy with that. I have got a pocket kite which I keep in my bag too, which I get out if it is windy – sometimes I try and show off my kite flying skills but it usually goes horribly wrong with the kite ending up in a tree.
Cost – Free!
4. Storytime at the library
There are loads of free events going on at local museums, but one of our favourite afternoons out is to the local library to take part in their weekly storytime session. All the children sit on a reading mat whilst the librarian reads them a story. There is usually a little activity after the story such as colouring which my toddler loves as he likes being ‘creative’. There are sometimes noisy storytime sessions with singing and musical instruments which are fun too.
Whilst we are there, we enjoy browsing through the story books and choosing some to take home to read. I love libraries – they are such calming and relaxing places to be so I’m always taking my boys there.
Cost – Free!
5. Go puddle jumping
I don’t know if it is a boy thing, but my toddler loves going out in the rain with his wellies on and jumping in puddles. I’m not as enthusiastic as him about going out in the rain, but after living in Yorkshire for most of my life, I’m fairly used to the wet stuff. We’ve got some waterproof trousers which he wears so he doesn’t get wet and we can stay out longer, and it’s great to get him out in the fresh air as much as possible.
Cost – Free!
Jo is a Yorkshire born and bred mum of two little boys, occasional marathon runner and once RTW traveller. She blogs about holidays and days out for babies and toddlers at Kiddieholidays.