Hailey and I like to keep ourselves busy. A day or two at home is fine, but more than that and we’re both clawing at the walls in need of change of scenery. Whether it’s play dates or walks, I need something to do for my sanity and her stimulation.
However, unless you get a membership, $16 here and $10 there can add up quickly. So while we enjoy these outings occasionally, we also make use of all the free fun there is to be had outside the house!
Library Story Time – Our library has a couple of story times through out the week. There are story times for kids 0-2 and for kids 2-3 and 4-5. We’ve been to all of them. Hailey loved to participate in her age group (clapping to songs, shaking the egg shakers) and was fascinated watching the bigger kids in the other groups.
Barnes and Noble – Our Barnes and Noble has a large kid section. I’ll let Hailey crawl around and we’ll read whatever book she pulls off the shelf. Sometimes I’ll grab a magazine while she plays at the train table they have set up. Often times there are other moms there, too, so the kids play together. They also offer free story time, so check out your local Barnes and Noble to see what they offer.
Playgrounds (different ones) – We love our local playground. They have a separate toddler area with Astroturf, which is perfect for Hailey. However, sometimes we both like to shake things up and try out new spots. It’s funny how just going to a different playground can make things so much more exciting for both of us. Use Playground Mapper to find all the playgrounds close to you.
Pet Store – For a toddler, it’s like a free zoo! I discovered this one by accident when Hailey and I were picking up food for Koda. I pushed the cart pass the ferrets and the fish tanks and Hailey lit up, pointing and emphatically saying Dah! Dah! (that). I’m working on teaching her FISH. Right now it sounds like Dah!
Farmers Market or Plant Nursery – Our local farmers market always has so much to look at. This fall they had pumpkins and mums set up, perfect for Hailey to crawl through and explore. I plan on going back when there are Christmas trees and playing hide and seek! If you don’t have a similar spot near you, try Lowe’s or Home Depot’s plant section. Looking at all the different colors, smells and textures is sure to entertain your toddler for a while.
What did I miss?
Where is your favorite free play date?