Ok, school is almost out (9 days of schools left) and we all wonder – What can I do with the kids to keep them busy, have fun, but not spend a lot of money. I came across a great website that list 14 cheap summer activities for kids. I thought it had some great ideas. If you have some activities that you always do with your kids in the summer, please share.
Day 1. See a “one dollar” movie at the theater. Alternative: Have a movie day at home by streaming a classic from Netflix.
Day 2. Sprinkler day. Delay your sprinklers for one day so they come a little later in the morning. This way everyone can get on their bathing suits and have fun jumping through the sprinklers on a hot day.
Day 3. Attend “story time” at your local library.
Day 4. Set up a lemonade stand. This is probably my favorite idea because of the lessons in entrepreneurship involved. Loan your kids $10 as “seed money” for supplies, or better yet, let them use their own money from savings. This way they don’t get used to the idea that borrowing leads to prosperity. Take the kids along to the grocery store one morning and let them pick up the lemons, sugar, cups, and a couple bags of ice to keep in a cooler. Yes, Crystal Light lemonade works, too, but is less authentic and more expensive. This is a great way for neighborhood kids to work together, as they can divide into teams to man the lemonade stand, make the lemonade, handle the money, etc. Please remember that an adult needs to be with the kids at all times, both inside and outside the house, so have a neighbor help.
Day 5. Teach your kids to fly a kite. Check your 10-day forecast and look for a windy day in the coming week. Pick up an expensive kite for the kids.
Day 6. Make homemade play-doh. I haven’t run a cost analysis on this recipe to determine it’s “frugalness,” but I can tell you it is a lot of fun!
Day 7. Bake a cake. I remember having a ball helping my mom bake something when I was young.
Day 8. Build a “fort” in the living room. When my son was smaller he got the biggest kick out of playing in giant cardboard boxes. We would color them, and cut “windows” out for him to look through. A living room “fort” could be as simple as a few kitchen chairs gathered in a circle with a large bed sheet thrown across them and draped to the floor.
Day 9. Go bowling. These days, bowling can be an expensive activity. Call the lanes ahead of time and ask if they have any summer specials (certain days may be cheaper). Also check those coupon mailer packs for coupons for free games. To keep costs down, just let the kids bowl – you can work on your game another time.
Day 10. Declare a “bored” game day. I learned to play chess, checkers, backgammon, and poke one summer while staying with my grandparents. Few kids today don’t realize you can play games without a computer. Most of these old board games are inexpensive in their basic form
Day 11. Have a water balloon fight. The kids participated in games like a water balloon toss – they start close together, but take a step back with each toss to increase the distance. The last one to break the balloon is out. With that was left, the kids had an all-out water balloon battle.
Day 12. Create a “mini-me.” Find a piece of large poster board, or large heavy-duty paper (such as a butcher paper) wide enough for your kids to lay down on. Use a dull pencil (less chance for boo-boos) to trace their entire body to the paper from head to toe. Now let the kids decorate the kids to look like themselves in the same clothes they are wearing, same color eyes, hair, etc. When they are finished, help them cut out their mini-me for proud display.
Day 13. Pajama day. I feel like having these days as an adult! Stay in your pajamas all day long. Make pancakes in the morning, bake a pizza for lunch, and lounge around watching movies.
Day 14. Spend a day volunteering your time. A good way to wrap up your two-week blitz of summertime fun is to allow your kids to donate their time to a worthy cause. Contact a few local charities and find out which ones will allow kids to volunteer some time over the summer (under your supervision).
Have fun this summer. Remember they are only little for such a short time.