Senior Resources » 10 Thrifty Tips for Entertaining Your Grandkids on a Budget

10 Thrifty Tips for Entertaining Your Grandkids on a Budget

grandmother and granddaughter wearing tutus in the kitchen and dabbing
Image Credit: Shutterstock

All grandparents love their grandkids and want them to go home happy, well-fed, and entertained! And while there are a lot of fun activities you can enjoy together, some are a little pricey. Fortunately, there are still ways you can entertain your grandkids on a budget! Here are 10 thrifty ideas to get you started.


1. Go to the park.

playground equipment, colorful, on a bright sunny day in the suburbs
Image Credit: Shutterstock

I have fond childhood memories of my grandparents taking me to the park every Saturday. They’d push me on the swings and help me across the monkey bars when my arms inevitably gave out somewhere around the middle. Taking your grandkids to the park is a surefire way to give them those lasting memories they’ll carry in their heart forever. Best of all, it’s FREE.

2. Have a picnic.

picnic basked with orange lillies on top next to a red checkered blanket that has a juice cup and watermellon slices sitting on top, all on a green grassy field
Image Credit: Unsplash

Remember the days when you and your family would pack a basket and head to a freshly-cut lawn for a picnic lunch? Why not revive that tradition with your grandchildren? Make some sandwiches, slice some fruit, and head to the park or maybe your own backyard. Not only is this a cheaper alternative to eating out, but you’ll make some priceless memories!

3. Play board games.

two children sitting on a wooden floor playing Monopoly
Image Credit: Unsplash

Board games may not be as popular with kids as they once were, cast aside in favor of their sleeker, digital counterparts. However, there’s still a lot to be said for good, old-fashioned board games like Monopoly and Scrabble. If your grandchildren are a little younger, give Candyland or Guess Who? a try.

4. Have a tea party.

Tea party with grandkids.
Image Credit: Unsplash

Do you have a fancy tea set that you display but don’t ever use? It’s time to change that! Having a tea party with your grandkids is a foolproof way to create precious memories together—and have a lot of fun in the process. Better yet, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a lovely tea party! You probably already have an assortment of tea bags in your cupboard and ingredients to make sandwiches and other goodies in your fridge!

5. Paint together.

art supplies sitting on a wood surface next to blank paper
Image Credit: Unspalsh

If you have old paint supplies lying around, why not put them to good use and have a little painting party with your grandkids? Not only will you be helping them foster their creativity, but you can have a lot of fun, too! And, who knows? You may be helping the next Picasso or van Gogh discover their talent!


6. Take a walk.

Grandmother out on a walk and picking flowers with her grandkids.
Image Credit: Unsplash

The best things in life are free, and we happen to feel that nature and quality time with loved ones fall into that category! The best way to combine those two things? Take a walk with your grandkids! You’ll be getting good exercise, and you can enjoy the sort of scenic views that money can’t buy.

7. Baking.

baking christmas cookies
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There’s nothing quite like homemade chocolate chip cookies, and we’re sure your grandchildren agree! The next time you decide to do a little baking, why not involve your grandkids in the process? Chances are, they’ll enjoy helping, and you’ll be grateful for the assistance. Plus, this is yet another excellent way to spend time together without breaking the bank.

8. Have a movie night.

Popcorn for movie night with grandkids.
Image Credit: Unsplash

Going to the movies nowadays is expensive. In addition to the cost of the ticket, you’ll probably also purchase some popcorn and snacks, and you’re suddenly out fifty bucks! The solution? Have a movie night at home! Rent a movie or pop in a DVD you already own. You won’t have to spend any extra money on concessions, and you and your grandchildren will have a fun, relaxing evening that you’ll both be sure to remember!

9. Visit the community pool.

close up of swimming pool water with a beach ball floating
Image Credit: Unsplash

If you have a neighborhood or community pool close to you, use it! It’s the perfect form of entertainment during those hot summer months. We’re confident your grandkids will agree!


10. Plan a scavenger hunt.

scavenger hunt with grandkids
Image Credit: Unsplash

Scavenger hunts are a fun—and free—way to spend an afternoon! Many websites offer FREE printable lists that you and your grandchildren can follow. Or, if you want to get extra creative, make up your own list!

If you’re looking for more thrifty tips, then check out these articles:

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Originally published May 17, 2024


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