Like most families, we love to save money. But once the kids are out of school, it's sometimes hard to keep them entertained without spending. But there are ways to have summer fun on a budget.
Each spring, I sit down with my kids and together we compile a list of fun things to do for the summer. It's a great way to get the kids involved, and give them some things to look forward to this summer.
Hit the web
Check out some local websites and see what kinds of activities are being offered. Your local library, park district, museums and even the local pool may have free admission days or activities planned. So a little planning ahead can really pay off.
Pack it up
Kids love the park, so what better way to spend an afternoon than pack an easy, kid friendly sack lunch and head to the playground. Bring a blanket, a good book and the kids and enjoy an afternoon in the sun!
Plant a garden
My kids love helping out in the garden. This year, we have given them a section to call their own. They actually enjoy weeding and watering, and it keeps them busy. And the bonus will be the produce we can snack on later in the summer! Here are some tips on How To Garden with Kids.
Put on a parade
One thing we used to do as kids, is put on a bike parade every summer. All the neighborhood Mom's would get us kids together, and everyone would bring items to decorate bikes; crepe paper, balloons, streamers, the list was endless. We kids would have a great time decorating our bikes, then parading them around the block. Afterwards, we were all rewarded with popsicles!
Create an outdoor adventure
Kids love roughing it. Even if you don't have the time or the budget to plan a camping trip this summer, your kids can still camp out in the back yard. If you have a tent, you can set it up in the backyard and even if you don't you can simply put up a fort, made of some old blankets. Set the kids up with sleeping bags, flashlights and everything they need for their adventure and let them spend the afternoon camping outdoors! Older kids can even spend the night in the wild if they're brave enough! And don’t forget to make camp fire foods like Fruit and Smore Cones!
For more ideas, you might want to look back to this Outdoor Activity post by a Quirky Momma. She has more great (inexpensive) ideas to share.
The key is to get creative and create your list with the kids. Keep the list handy for those days when there just doesn't seem to be anything fun to do!