Crafts, Games, and Fun on a Budget

Having fun does not need to break the bank. Here is a list of budget friendly DIY games and play. Take some time to bring the whole family together to enjoy some creative thinking, design, and fun.

How to Make Your Own Play dough
(A friend shared this recipe with us a while back... thanks MT)
2 cups warm water
2 cups of flour
1 cup salt
2 TBsp oil (vegetable/olive)
1 TBSP cream of tartar

Mix all ingredients together in a pot over low heat.  When dough starts to clump, remove and let cool.  When cooled pat until smooth. Add food coloring or scented oils to make this even more fun to play with. Store in an air tight container. If playdough starts to dry out, just add water.

Arm & Hammers PlayClay:
(we've used this recipe for playdough, ornaments, jewelry and other decorations). We are going to make ornaments for the grandparents using the playclay, and putting our sons handprint in the clay and then writing a little message.
2 cups Arm & Hammer baking soda
1 cup corn starch
1 1/4 cups cold water

Mix baking soda and corn starch in a pot. Add water and stir over medium heat about 10-15 mins. When it starts to clump remove from heat and let cool under a damp cloth. When cooled pay smooth.  To make an ornament, jewelry, etc. make whatever shape you want and then let the clay air dry over night or pre-heat oven to lowest setting and then turn off and "cook" play clay for 10-15 mins.

Make Your Own Memory Game: 
This is so fun and easy to make. Let your kids creative juices flow.
Find empty shoe boxes and cut multiple squares, circles, or whatever shapes you want. For every two pieces either draw the same picture, print the same picture, write a word, letter, or number. Once you have finished this enjoy the game. Turn all your pieces over and see who can find the matches.

These are great for music, dance, or for outdoor events. Gather some empty, clean, dry water bottles. Add rice and/or beads. Seal shut and you have a quick, easy, shaker. You can also add glitter, paint, and buttons to the inside for a more decorative look. And you can tie ribbons, or bows around the outside.

DIY bean bags: 
Create your own game using sock bean bags. Gather all your lonely socks (you know you have them, the ones missing their matches) and fill them with beans. Sew the other end shut (if you don't have a sewing machine, pull out the needle and thread, its not as quick but does the job).
Now you can create any game you want. Since its getting cold out why not put out some pots and pans and try your own Bozo bucket game. or put a ruler on one side of the room and see who can throw or slide the bean bag the furthest. So many options!

Board Games: 

See if you and your family can work together to create your own family board game.  Figure out the rules, game pieces, theme, colors, board design, and timer/dice/spinner. Then have each family member, or group work on one aspect of the game until the game comes together. Then enjoy playing your game and see how fun your creation really is.

Hide and Seek in the Dark:  

(an old family favorite) This is a fun game at any age. All you need is some willing family members and literally play hide and seek with the lights out (at night of course). Have young ones? Break into teams and/or use a flashlight to search.

What am I missing... I would love to see what other families are doing to have fun on a budget!