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for grandparents & those who love them


Fun ‘No-Money-Needed’ Activities For Grandkids

I love finding an activity I can do with my grandchildren that doesn’t cost money and doesn’t require electronic entertainment devices! Here are a few of my favorites.

Bug collection:
Whenever my grandkids and I are outside, we watch for dead insects. (I know….morbid.)Whether it’s grasshoppers, spiders, beetles or bees, we carry them home and glue them to a piece of cardboard. There, we can look closely at their colors and unique features and look them up if we don’t know their names. It’s extra fun each time our collection takes someone by surprise, as “Eeewwww  – gross!” rings through the house.
Nature crafts:
Collect unique leaves, acorns, bark chips, weeds, etc. and use them to create beautiful crafts. They can simply be glued to paper or used to construct free standing art work.
Planting things you eat:
We’ve enjoyed planting things like pineapple, avocado pits, potatoes and apple seeds. We usually have to research how to do it, but learning about it is easy with the internet.  Just search ‘growing pineapple’, for example, and give it a try.  Watching your own plants grow is the best!
Ripped paper crafts:
Rip any type of paper you have in your house into small pieces :  tissue, newspaper, magazines, cards, paper cups, napkins, etc.  If you want to expand more, add string, glitter, buttons or things from your junk drawer.
Glue a collage – as simple or elaborate as you like.
Building and/or bowling using plastic or paper cups:
Harmless and quiet and very entertaining.  Let your grand kids stack paper or plastic cups into towers and bowl them down with a soft ball.  My grandchildren have filled hours of creative fun playing with these cups. We’ve also set them up around the house pretending they are wild animals and children ‘hunt’ them with their nurf guns. (hey, I’m from Wisconsin….we hunt there.)
Turn a story into a play:
Turn any favorite story into a play.  Come up with simple props and let the creativity begin!
Teach your grandchildren a skill you learned growing up:
Whether it is a sport, skill, talent or hobby – teach it to the children in your life.  I learned sign-language when I was a kid, and taking the time to teach my grandchildren some signs is fun for us all.
Make something in the kitchen together:
Cooking, baking or decorating cookies provide great memories. Real young children love to play with measuring cups and spoons and a sink full of water. (your floor ends up getting washed as a side-benefit)
Cardboard box creations:
Forts, race cars, boats….there’s no limit to the things a cardboard box can be turned into.
As you read these ideas, your own memories of fun – ‘no money needed’ – activity may come to mind. Pleases add a comment and tell about it.
Sue is the author of

Books available at:  www.grandma-sue.com

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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