Best Child Games and Activities for Less Than $15

crayola crayons graphic
crayola crayons graphic

Remember your favorite games and activities from your childhood? They were low-tech, but fun, active - and relatively inexpensive. If you don't have the green to dish out for the latest video game, or you just want to try an activity you know you can understand and play, too, check out the 10 classics below - for just $15 or less.

1. Board Games: Try Monopoly Jr. . This game teaches kids essential strategy and math skills, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. It costs $12.99.

2. Jump rope: Is your kid spending too much time indoors? Try this traditional and fun exercise for indoor and outdoor play. Or, try the Skip It? They're still out there. And yes, they still require some coordination... Try this less expensive version, the Skip Ball, for $4.99.

3. Paper Dolls: Remember how fun it was to just create worlds of your own? Paper dolls are inexpensive way to get your child's imagination going. You can print out your own from websites or pick up a book like Cicely Mary Barker's Flower Fairies Paper Dolls, $6.99.

4. Toy cars: Have a wannabe motorist in your family? Hot Wheels cars are still a great deal at $9.99 for 10 cars.

5. Play Doh: Remember how much fun you had playing with this substance? Did you ever mix all the colors together? Enjoy this remnant of your childhood with your child. It's squishy. It's non-toxic. It's limitless -- and your kid won't get in trouble if he or she decides to tear their creation apart.

Play Doh offers has some great playsets, including this one for summer, the Play-Doh Magic Swirl Ice Cream Shoppe, ="http:>

6. Trading cards: Baseball cards started it all. But what does your child love to do? There are cards for nearly every interest, from SpongeBob SquarePants (2.99) to Twilight ($5.49).

7. Books: They're great when you're on the run, it's OK if they get dirty, and they won't put a big dent in your budget. Want to share a classic you remember from your childhood. Try out Hop on Pop or Baby Farm Animals ($3.99)

8. Start a collection: From a stamp collection to a book of pressed flowers, children can collect all kinds of things that cost very little. All that matters is that the collected items have meaning. What did you collect when you were a kid? Share your interest with your child, and offer to help as your kid develops his or her own collection.

9. Cook: Remember the first time you made cookies with a loved one? Cooking together can be a fun activity with your child. Make sure to prepare some things in advance, such as measuring ingredients, and allow enough time for a mess. It can be a great time working together.

10. Play a sport: Surprisingly, the bare-essential sport equipment isn't that expensive. A Wilson football is $14.99. A Spalding basketball is $12.99. Your child not into land sports? Try swimming. Good-quality Speedo kid goggles cost just $9.99, and a Speedo latex cap costs around $1.69. But if you're looking for something super-cute, try out one of these Water Gear Critter Caps.

11. Coloring Book and Crayons: You don't even have to buy a coloring book, if you don't want to. There are some great coloring pages online at A standard pack of crayons costs as little as 99 cents, but a big box of colors - the envy of all kids - costs around $7.00 on

12. Yo-Yo: Teach your kid how to walk the dog or sleep - with a yoyo. Duncan has some nice classic yo-yos that cost just $4.99.

13. LEGOs: You built castles and skyscrapers, starships and battleships with them. Why not pass along the imagination to your child with the fun of building with Legos? Bigger sets cost a bit more, but you can get a Lego starter kit, such as this LEGO Castle Building Set, for just $9.96.

14. Sidewalk chalk/Hopscotch: Let your child's imagination soar -- on your sidewalks. Crayola has a big sidewalk chalk set of 52 colors for just $9.99. Sidewalk chalk and a couple friends also make for a great game of Hopscotch. Don't remember all the rules? We've got you covered - check them out here at

15. Pail and shovel: Remember when you were on the beach as a kid? A pail and shovel was enough to make a castle. But you can upgrade that pail and shovel with this cute Melissa and Doug Sunny Clicker Crab pail and shovel for just $9.99.

For more money-saving tips, check out Eye on Parenting Wednesday for websites with great deals on athletic equipment.