Beat the Heat: 10 Indoor activities that don’t cost you or the planet

We love summer! It brings sunshine, warmth and for us teachers: holidays. This means lots of time outside soaking up the sun with our kiddos. While all that vitamin D is lovely, sometimes we need a little break from all the heat. Coming up with fresh indoor activities can be tough. So we pooled our heads together and compiled a list of our go-to indoor activities that won’t cost you money, and won’t cost the planet either!

1. Recycled Bottle Cap Sort

All you need are various bottle caps, and some toilet paper rolls. This is a fun activity for younger ones to practice their colours and fine motor skills.

2. No Bake Baking

Kids LOVE to help out in the kitchen, and you get to enjoy a sweet treat too. If you are worried about making your house hotter, make some “no-bake” treats! Our favorite are energy balls. There are many recipes online but we usually just use what we have in the pantry (ex. peanut butter, oats, flax seed, craisins and honey), roll them up and throw them in the fridge.

3. Waste Free Grocery Shop

Make it a family challenge to only purchase waste free/package free items. It can be fun for the whole family!

4. Upcycled Crafts

Crafts don’t have to be expensive or wasteful. Old packaging and other unwanted items can easily be turned into a fun craft! Check out more awesome ideas on instagram @recycleandplay.

5. Puzzles

This is a fun activity for the whole family. As a kid we used to keep a working puzzle out at the cabin that family members would pick away at over the course of a weekend. Don’t go out and buy a new puzzle, thrift stores are full of used, and even unopened puzzles. My daughter isn’t old enough for the 100 + piece puzzles but she enjoys her little wooden ones (also easy to find used!).

6. Dress Up Bin

This is any easy way to spark imagination and creativity. Most of the photos from my own childhood are of my siblings and I donning our newest dress up bin look. It doesn’t have to be fancy, and you don’t have to buy ANYTHING. In our house it’s just a cardboard box full of random items I would have likely donated otherwise (old purses, sunglasses, cheap hats, out of style scarves, and of course old halloween costumes and props). My parents had a massive bin that had everything from my mom’s old bridesmaid dresses to those foam fingers you get at a sporting event.

7. Card Games

My daughter isn’t old enough to play an organized game of go fish but she loves to look for the match to the one she has in her hand. As I kid some of my favourite memories are playing “war” with my mom and “crazy 8’s” with my grandpa. All you need is an old deck of cards!

8. Recycled Car Shoot

This one is just as fun to make as it is to play with! All you need is a cardboard box, toilet paper rolls and some tape or glue!

9. Visit your Local Public Library

Depending where you live, the cost of this activity may vary slightly. But most public libraries are free, or at least reasonably priced. It is one of my daughter’s favorite places to go. They have an amazing children’s section with not only a large selection of books but plenty of toys and little reading nooks. We make a morning trip out of it by walking there, reading, playing and walking back. She loves to pick out books and gets to enjoy them for a few weeks, and then we go back and repeat. Not to mention, there are plenty of books for mamas and papas to chose from too!

10. Tired Toy Swap

Nothing excites kids like a new toy to play with, but it doesn’t have to be NEW to be novel. Gather a few toys that are tired or outgrown and take them to your local thrift store. While you are there you can shop for a few new toys to take home. My daughter is pictured playing with her thrifted wooden farm blocks for $2. This way you don’t add to your clutter, the landfill, or the plastic toy industry. WIN, WIN, WIN!

What are your favourite indoor activities that don’t crate waste?

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