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11 Hobbies for Kids that Won’t Break the Bank




girls plant flowering pot plant in ground

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Even if you’re on a budget, fun doesn’t need to be in short supply – there are lots of activities for you and your kids that won’t break the bank.

Take a look at the 11 best, most affordable hobbies, below!


Why Do Kids Need Hobbies?

So, why do kids need hobbies? First off, hobbies can provide some old-fashioned fun, which is good for the soul. Second, it will help your children to learn about who they are, and to develop a healthy sense of self.

In a practical sense, hobbies can teach kids skills that they can use in life later.

Finally, it’s extremely bonding for kids and parents to take part in some enjoyable hobbies together. What more can you ask?

1. Origami

When you first think of origami, you may not think of it as an activity for kids – many origami creations can be a bit complex, even for adults, after all!

Luckily, there are also many creations that are a good deal simpler.

For example, frogs (which can actually hop!), as well as flowers, butterflies, paper airplanes, ‘cootie catchers,’ and fish, are all perfect for the origami beginner.

2. Flower or Leaf Pressing

Perhaps you have a child or two that bring you flowers to admire and smell? If so, flower pressing was made for them!

This can be a perfect activity for the flower-rich months of spring and summer.

All you need are some likely flowers, and a few affordable supplies, like facial tissue, flat cardboard, and printer paper.

Press them, dry them, and plastic-seal them to create a lovely book together.

When autumn comes along, and the last roses are gone, the leaves will start to change color.

The variations of scarlet, yellow, and red leaves can also create a beautiful leaf pressing book!

3. Candle Making

Most kids can appreciate nice smells, and the light of a candle couldn’t be cozier (especially for kids that are scared of the dark).

When making candles, first, you pick your base (paraben wax, soy, coconut oil, or another combination).

The other options you can leave to your little ones: what scents shall they have? What colors?

They can even put certain, non-flammable decorations – like candy sprinkles – in the wax!

Then, choose your mold (even a recycled old jar will do), place the wick, and pour.

children sculpting from play clay

4. Sculpting Fun Things with Polymer Clay

Kids are very tactile in their learning manner. Things that will keep their interest are ones that engage the senses – like sculpting with polymer clay!

Polymer clay is an ultra-soft, easy-to-shape clay that comes in countless colors and varieties, including sparkly/shimmery or glow-in-the-dark.

All that’s needed to get your kids sculpting are their hands, sculpting mats (cheap place mats or even wax paper will do), some blocks of clay, and an oven to bake in.

Sculpey polymer clay bakes hard at low temperatures in the oven, so their precious creations won’t get squished or dry out, either!

5. Gardening

Gardening is a hobby that has vast amounts to offer.

By allowing your children to garden, you can help them get in touch with the earth (and all it provides for us), teach them about responsibility (planting correctly, watering on time, etc.), and, last but not least, illustrate the rewards of hard work (like super-sweet, garden-fresh strawberries).

All you need to start your kid gardening are some seeds or baby plants, and a little, personal patch of tilled earth and potting soil.

6. Soap Making

You’d be surprised how much kids – who may not always be the most enthusiastic about baths – can enjoy making their own soap.

There is no doubt lots of moms started the hobby on their own, only to find their kids wanted to join in, too!

The scents, colors, and sparkles that can be added are likely to catch their interest, and they’ll probably want their own bedazzled, super-fragrant, or tie-dye bar.

The most affordable kind of soap, and the easiest for kiddos to make, is melt-and-pour.

Let your kids melt the soap, color it with some mica powder, fragrance it, and pour (into the soap mold shape of your choice).

family hiking in a forest

7. Hiking

Hiking is a great way to entertain your kids, while encouraging them to get some exercise and fresh air.

Choose kid-friendly hikes that offer rivers to play next to or that end in an exciting view!

Be sure to bring along plenty of water and a fun and healthy snack (like chocolate chip trail mix).

If you’re a bit of a nature buff yourself, you can teach your children the names of birds and flowers, the uses of herbs, and poisonous plants to look out for.

Turning a hike into a wilderness adventure couldn’t be easier (not to mention affordable).

Nature does most of the work – presenting beauty and opportunities to play and explore – itself.

8. Raising Butterflies

Do your children like butterflies? Perhaps they’d like to raise their own! For kids, always eager for a new and fun hobby, this one can present a world of wonder.

To raise butterflies, all your kids will need is a butterfly raising kit, which should come with caterpillars, a butterfly tent, butterfly food, and more!

If you’re looking for an even more affordable option (as these kits do cost about 30 dollars), you can also look for caterpillars for your kids to raise in ventilated jars yourself.

All they will need is romaine lettuce, a water mister, and they will need to regularly replace the greens in the jar (to prevent mold).

9. Foraging

Foraging is an activity that can be fun for the whole family!

Go out into nature and gather berries, mushrooms, dandelion greens, herbs, flowers, or whatever else you like… then, go home and make something delicious out of it.

You can turn freshly picked berries (those that make it home anyway) into a pie as a reward for your hard work.

The rest of the bounty can be made into soups, jams, salads, etc.

Soon, your kids will look forward to the next time you can go foraging and berry-pick!

10. A Puppet Show

Have your kids make homemade puppets and put on their own puppet show!

These puppets can be crafted from socks, oven mitts, and the like (making them super affordable).

Let your kids glue-on some googly-eyes, draw on some silly faces, etc.

You can create a puppet stage for them by cutting a large hole in a tall cardboard box.

Soon, your kid’s personalized puppets will be ready to put on a show!

parents playing with children while camping in the backyard

11. Camping in the Backyard

Campsites can be a bit costly, or hard to reserve during the ideal time of year.

You can forgo the hassle once in a while by camping out in your very own backyard, too!

All that you need is a tent and some snacks, and perhaps a grill or something similar to roast hot dogs and s’mores over.

You can watch the stars with your kids, have some fun reading or playing games, and then snuggle up in sleeping bags together.


So, what are your thoughts? Do any of these hobbies look like ones that your kiddos might enjoy?

Maybe you have an outdoorsy-type or a butterfly-lover.

Perhaps they’d be proud to make their own candle or soap bar.

There are plenty of unique hobbies you can introduce to your kids – ones that are lots of fun, and won’t break the bank, either!

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