Did you know that you probably already have a sensory tub in your home? Most of us do. Any kind of container where you can pour something in for kids to explore can become a sensory tub. I bought some clear shoebox sized containers at the dollar store and I use them for many kids activities. So grab a tub (bigger is good too) and throw materials in there for exploring. A cheap favorite? Uncooked beans. I use whatever is on sale. Dump them in your tub and give your kids some cups, spoons, little toys to hide, anything that would be fun. You would be surprised at how long this will entertain children. They are getting some good practice at measuring, scooping and pouring too! This will require supervision especially if you have the kind of kid who would stick a bean up their nose. I have that kind of kid.
A tasty snack and a fun kids activity? Yes! I love easy kids recipes and they don't get easier than this one. Grab some bread from the refrigerator and get some cups (I love cleaned cups that applesauce comes in) and pour 1/4 cup of milk into each. Then add some food coloring - more drops for bolder color- and mix. This is fun for the kids to do. They love watching the milk change from white to a bright hue. Give the kids some watercolor paintbrushes to "paint" the bread. When they are done, pop it in the toaster oven for a few minutes until the bread gets toasty. My girls are picky eaters but loved eating their masterpieces.
So there you have it, some easy and frugal activities for kids. Next time your child says they are bored or have nothing to do, don't go out and buy more expensive toys that will add to the clutter. Use what you have and make some memories along the way.