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Free Ways Of Wearing Out A Toddler

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Wearing out a toddler when pregnant is tiring and he is 5 now so I have no idea how parents of younger kids cope!

With the current renovations on the house, new soon-to-be-baby and all the financial constraints that go with it, the budget is a little tight at the moment. With half term just gone, it was up to us to come up with some free ways to stay amused and wear the boy out because that bundle of energy never stops! I hate not being able to go on fancy excursions or visit interesting places all the time, especially at the moment but we definitely enjoyed finding some frugal fun ideas and spending time together regardless.

Here are some of our favourite activities for wearing out a toddler from over half term:


When the weather was nice, we definitely made full use of the sunshine and thanks to some work on our garden, he has an awesome outdoor area to play in. The outdoors is an essential ingredient to wearing out a toddler and after we added some cars and trucks to the sandpit, there was an entire afternoon sorted right there!


This one is probably my favourite and the little guy is really getting into junior Parkrun. Perfect for all sorts of weather (as long as you dress and pack properly) plus you can do it anywhere! We like to go to Tilgate park but we’ve also been doing local walking just to stretch our legs and get out of the house. Walking around the neighborhood also teaches them about their surroundings and is quite a good way to meet the neighbors and get chatting!

Local Parks

We are very lucky that we have so many free parks in our local area that have slides and climbing frames for the little guy who could (and has) spent hours in them. When I am not heavily pregnant I also like to take the opportunity to exercise at the local park and get my quota in, two birds with one stone. If your park is lacking then take a ball, some bats, frisbee, kite or other outdoor games with you to make it more exciting! And don’t forget the picnic!

Water Play

I set the little guy up with buckets, sponges, cups, bath toys (and then he found a stick) and some cardboard boxes and he enjoyed pouring everything from one area to another, getting suitably soaked and having a great afternoon enjoying the sunshine. Plus he kept cool too!

Baking & Cooking

Technically this isn’t free if you aren’t a regular baker but you can always cook and concoct new meals, foods, snacks and desserts to try with the kids using what you have in the fridge or cupboards. Alternatively, you can just get the kids to help you make meals and get them involved in the whole process! My guy likes to help stir, mix or chop things (under strict supervision!) and you would be surprised how helpful this is for wearing out a toddler, plus it’s a great way to teach about food too!

Here are some muffins that we made a few weeks back, we incorporated frozen fruit from the freezer and whipped up a batch that went down a treat! You can find the recipe for these Easy Blackberry, Blueberry & Banana Muffins here.

When the weather is terrible we like to take things inside, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun on a budget too! Our favourite games at the moment are a “golf obstacle course” which involves an improved route that you have to navigate with a tennis ball and plastic golf clubs! (it is definitely a sight to behold).

Our other favourite activity is building indoor forts, although since moving we haven’t had the ability as everything is being painted and refurbed! There is also reading which is a great quiet activity if we are winding down in the afternoon and we have been trying to incorporate it more into our routine! If you are trying to incorporate more reading, I wrote a post on Encouraging Toddler Reading, you should check out.

Other ideas include:

For more ideas and inspiration for wearing out a toddler when you are stuck indoors, check out my Fun & Frugal Activities For You + Your Kids

Wearing out a toddler is definitely a fine art, but it doesn’t have to be expensive and costly! With a little creativity and enthusiasm, you can have plenty of fun and encourage creativity, imagination and spend some quality time together. That being said, we always make a little time for TV too (I’m not a superhero! or a morning person!)

How do you entertain your kids on a budget? 

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