Is it just me or does summer seem to last longer every year? I always seem to run out of things to do to keep the kids entertained sometime in July, so this year I was determined to keep back a few ideas for late summer! If you are like our family, money for extra activities gets a little scarce around this time, too, so I decided to share a few of my secret weapons to battle summer boredom. Beware, some of these activities may cause you to get wet, or have fun, or both!
This is by far my kids’ favorite activity! We have kiddie pools and sprinklers that we bought last year or even earlier, but if you don’t have these don’t worry…a garden hose works just as well! Grab clean spray bottles, sponges, buckets and every water pistol you can get your hands on. Create stations around the back yard for different events and get creative with whatever you have.
*Fill buckets with water and put sponges in, then place the wet sponges on your head and race your kids, trying to keep the sponge from falling off.
*Set up paper plate targets and blast them with water pistols. Prizes make the game way more fun, so give out little trinkets to the winners!
*No sprinkler, no problem! Let the tallest person in the family stand in the middle of everyone else and become a human sprinkler by placing their thumb over the end of a garden hose. Move the hose around in the air and, voila! Instant water fun!
I won’t lie, this is my FAVORITE go-to for summer fun! Of course, every library has different resources depending upon where you live, but here’s a sample of what our local library offers.
*DVDs and CDs you can borrow for FREE. Movie day, anyone?
*Free MP3 music downloads.
*Audiobooks that are perfect for listening to with the lights out and the curtains drawn.
*Awesome summer reading program that allows kids to earn free prizes for reading. Plus, they have tons of related activities like arts and crafts projects throughout the summer. More free fun!
Of course, my favorite free thing at the library is the books! I even download ebooks from my library when I can’t get over there to get an actual book. AWESOME!!!
Sammiches, my friend…the staple lunchtime food at my house during summer break. When I was a kid, my family would grab our cooler and head to the lake, stopping only for a loaf of bread, jar of mayo and a pack of bologna. Those were the best sandwiches ever simply because we ate them picnic style up at the lake.
Now we do the same thing, only if we can’t get to the lake we just go to the local park. It’s easy, free fun and the kids love it! Pack a few extra treats like cupcakes or cookies and just try to get them to get back in the car when it’s time to go 🙂
Check out the free local museums and attractions in your town and the surrounding area. Bonus points if you score a free museum or activity that has air conditioning! If you live in a bigger city this is probably going to be easier than if you live in a small town (like me!) but thanks to the Internet you can still find free fun in your area. Try Googling ‘free attractions’ or ‘free activities’ and your city name or zip code.
Another great way to entertain the kids is to go for a walk around your town. You see so much more on foot than you can ever experience from a car or bus! Stop and talk to people you meet, and really get to know your home town!
Did you know that you don’t even need a tent to go camping? Well, you don’t need one if you go backyard camping! Build a campfire and roast some marshmallows, then sleep out underneath the stars.
Sleeping bags on the ground are exciting for younger kids, and older ones may want to grab a lounging garden chair for something a little more comfortable.
If ‘glamping’ is more your thing, just enjoy the campfire and then move the camp indoors. A living room floor can be just as much fun as a grassy bed, and you can snag the sofa for extra comfort!
So, there you go…five ways to have fun with your kids without spending a dime! Memories don’t cost a thing, but they are priceless when they are good ones! Go make some memories with your family today, and don’t let money stand in your way!
How do you spend time with your kids when money is an issue? Or, do you make a point to show your kids that there are lots of free ways to have fun?