Infants, toddlers and preschoolers need constant stimulation and socialization as part of their healthy development. For the parents who are at home with their little ones, and perhaps limited on funds, there really are so many free activities and events that are available in almost any community.
- The library – I chose this to mention first because it is something I feel all children should get acquainted with. Growing up, libraries were an important part of our lives, so it makes sense to carry on that tradition. Libraries are not only free, they also have a history and charm that E-readers and big box book stores lack. Most libraries offer events, story times and more.
- The beach – If you are fortunate enough to live anywhere near a beach, use it! There are so many ways for a baby (older kiddos too) to enjoy and explore a beach. The sand and the water provide sensory stimulation as do the sights, sounds and smells. Learning can be had with counting shells, creating sandcastles and pointing out colors. And of course it’s the beach, so…WIN!
- Local farmer’s markets – You don’t have to necessarily buy any of the fresh, organic goods from the farmers market to get an activity out of it. Stroll through the market with your tots and let them browse the stands. Again, counting, identifying colors and shapes and maybe discussing how or where they grow. Fresh air will always do a family good too.
- City events – Throughout the year you’ll find plenty of family fun within your community. Free concerts, movies in the park, parades, car shows and much more. Take advantage of these activities which typically offer something for all family members to enjoy.
- Pet adoption events – Not in the market for a new furry family member? No problem. But if you aren’t allergic and have the time, why not make a pit stop for the kids? Animals are typically well received by little ones, especially if those animals are furry and playful. Let the kids pet a kitten or feel a wet doggy nose. You may get giggles in return. Plus, many studies have shown that babies exposed to pets have a lower rate of asthma and allergies. Sounds like a legitimate reason to go play with some cuddly fur balls! Check out your local animal shelters or rescues for info.
Those are just 5 that came to mind, but there are surely many more free activities to be found in your community. So, get out there and explore your cities, enjoy your towns and above all else, build memories with your kiddos.