Family · Fun

7 Easy (mostly FREE) Ways to Make Playtime New Again

Because we share our play space with our rec room and home office, it takes some creativity to make each its own designated space. It turns out just moving around furniture can make the space feel fresh and new. This inspired today’s post about 7 easy ways to make playtime new and entertaining for your child. If your kids are anything like mine, they have far too many toys. Due to the quantity, they don’t play with half of them. So, with some creativity, I was able to make their space new again. I gave it a name: a cafe. And intentionally arranged the toys. Look how cute it turned out!



Due to this inspirational reorganization, I realized there are several other ways that I make playtime fun and fresh in our household. Read below for more on this tip and other ideas that will keep your children busy for hours.

1. Rearrange the Play Space

Of course this is the one that inspired this post. We were hanging out in the basement, and I suggested we make their play room into a cafe. The girls were super excited. By rearranging the space and intentionally placing certain toys, I was able to create a FUN new space for ZERO money. We already had all of these unutilized toys that needed to be seen in a new light. Think about what toys you already have–doctor kit, beauty items, construction tools, or art supplies. These could all be made into engaging spaces if you lay them out intentionally. For example, take a laundry basket and make it a hospital bed for the babies. Use the doctor kit and arrange the tools on a shelf or table. A box of bandaids, and you are set!

2. Rotate Toys

This is the easiest thing to do to keep playthings entertaining and costs nothing. I put toys in the closet for a month and pull out other toys my children haven’t seen in a few weeks. This makes the toys very appealing because they feel like a new toy again. Some examples of toys that I hide away are puzzles, playdough and playsand, a trainset, and paint. Every time my girls see these items, they are busy, uninterrupted for at least an hour. For a 2 and 5 year old, I’d say that’s pretty good.

3. Trade with Friends

Do your friends have kids? Maybe the neighbors? Find someone with a child close in age and swap some unplayed with toys for the week. At the end of the week, set up a playdate and swap back.

4. Teach Money Knowledge and then go to a Rummage Sale/Thrift Shop/Resale Store

This one will cost money, but not enough to break the bank. Have your child complete a not required–but helpful task–around the house. Pay your child X amount of money. Then, go to a rummage sale, thrift shop, Goodwill, etc. Let your child spend the money on a new toy. When he is tired of playing with it, sell or donate it. The cycle continues.

5. Reenvision Everyday Items

Think about all the ways you can use regular household items: boxes, containers, utensils, etc.  Kids LOVE non-toy items to play with.

  • Create a game show by taking a bucket and ball to see who can throw the ball in the bucket the most times.
  • Freeze small trinkets in an ice cream pail or tupperware. On a hot day, chisel away or let the ice melt freeing the items.
  • Fill a bucket of water outside; let kids play with it. Throw in a sponge or small containers. Add dish soap and make wands from pipe cleaners. Now you have homemade bubbles.
  • Turn pots and pans upside down, grab a spatula or wooden spoon, and have a concert.
  • Put out a few tupperware items, a whisk, empty boxes of mac and cheese, and be chefs.
  • Just go with the old fort idea. Gather all your sheets and blankets, place them on top of chairs or other furniture, turn on a movie and hide out of a few hours.

Really get creative. The possibilities are endless for this one.

6. Create New Rules to an Old Game

There are so many versions of tag. Try blob tag where you tag a person and then connect hands. Now you are both it and must tag others until only one is untagged person is remaining. Or set up two chairs a short distance apart. That is where a person must run to be “safe”. Let the kids be creative and come up with some of their own ideas. I’m sure they will be even better than mine.

7. Design a Scavenger Hunt

Depending on your child’s age, this will need to be modified to work.  For younger kids, draw pictures of the objects. For older kids, use this to practice reading words. For even older kids, give them a camera and have them practice taking photos of items they find or draw a picture and have the child find the item and write the word next to the item. Give your child a bucket and a list of things to look for and send them off on a hunt for the items on their list. If doing this outdoors, things like leaves, flowers, stones, pinecones, and sticks could be on the list. If stuck indoors, kids can find a pen, paper clip, black sock, toy soldier, and envelope. This activity can keep changing to continue to keep kids entertained. If you have multiple kids, they could each have a list and race to see who finds the items fastest.

What ways do you like to make playtime new and exciting for your child? Let the reading community know by posting an idea or two in the comments. As always, thanks for reading. If you like today’s content, feel free to tweet, pin, or share.   #365daysofnew


One thought on “7 Easy (mostly FREE) Ways to Make Playtime New Again

Feedback encouraged. Feel free to leave a reply.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s