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10 (Practically) Free Family Activities You Need To Try

Feel like you’ve exhausted every single craft idea and game in your cupboard but trying to forking out for yet another trip to the soft play? The answer is simple: get extra creative at home. From designing family slogan tees to holding a bowling tournament, get inspired by these arty, adventurous and all-inclusive activities. Best of all? There’s not a board game in sight.
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Host a sack race

If the weather’s looking dry, a good old fashioned sack race is a great way for you all to burn off some excess energy. Use recycling or potato sacks, or large pillowcases (that you don’t mind getting covered in grass stains). [Getty]
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Make masterpieces

This one’s simple and will be lots of fun for your mess-loving child. Simply arm him with plain paper (preferably A3) and paint and ask him to finger-paint you and visa versa. Once you’ve both finished, swap your masterpieces and you’ll be left with a handmade keepsake. Just make sure you paint-proof your house with dust sheets on the floor before the creative juices start flowing!
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Do a parent dress-up

Allow yourself to be the victim in your tot’s dressing up games and act as a life-size doll for an hour – your child will love it. [Corbis]
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Hold a bowling tournament

This family game is great whatever the weather. If it’s sunny, head outside and try to bowl over plant pots, or if you’re restricted to your living room then set up a triangle of plastic cups and use a soft ball to avoid breaking anything. You can hide sweet treats under some of the cups/plant pots for added incentive. [Corbis]
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Do some baking

A baking session with your tot is fun and productive – he’ll love helping out and will have a ready-made treat when you’re finished. Need some toddler-friendly recipe ideas? Check here for inspiration. [Corbis]
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Paint a mug

You don’t need to visit some fancy pottery-painting workshop to give your favourite coffee cup a lift – your tot can do it at home for little to no cost. Granted, it may not be a masterwork, but give it to granny as a gift. She’ll appreciate the personal touch.
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Have a dance off

Put on a playlist and have a garden rave together – just make sure it’s not straight after lunch! [Corbis]
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Create a family puzzle

Print out a family photo A4 size and glue it onto some cardboard for reinforcement. Then cut the photo up into a few sizeable chunks and set your tot to work piecing it back together. [Corbis]
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Design T-shirts

Who would have thought so much fun could be had from a plain white T-shirt and some fabric pens? But trust us, your toddler will have a ball. And a great new outfit. [Corbis]
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