Let the summer fun begin
Summer is only two weeks old and you may just be ready to send your kids back to school because they’re hounding you for something to do. But, let’s face it, a trip to the movies simply to do something while keeping cool is no cheap date anymore.
And, while we’d all love to channel our inner Martha Stewart to come up with some amazingly fun and creative ideas to keep the kids entertained, sometimes it’s just not that easy.
The good news for you is that we’ve done a little research and we’ve come up with 10 creative, fun – and best of all cheap – ideas to make sure this summer is fun while not breaking the bank.
Enjoy this amazing list of fun and inexpensive ideas to keep summer fun for your kids and other kids you might know.
- Glow-in-the-dark bubbles. If you feel like you go through bubbles by the gallon over the summer, try making your own. Mom.me shared a collection of super-easy DIY bubble recipes — including one that makes your bubbles glow in the dark!
- Simon Says… ART. You remember the classic “Simon Says” game of instructions for kids, right? Just give it a new artistic spin for rainy day fun. Think Simon Says… draw a squiggly line with yellow paint. Or Simon Says…make a circle with a blue crayon. The possibilities are endless.
- Rediscover your local library. Sign the kids up for a summer reading club and keep the children’s library schedule of activities on your fridge to keep track of story hours, classes and performances throughout the summer. Bonus: It’s air-conditioned — and most activities are probably free. All Things Fadra suggests a multimedia visit: “I usually include trips to the library where we can pick out a mix of books, DVDs, and video games for free. The media stuff helps make it not feel so ‘school-like.'”
- Plant a garden. It’s a great way to teach kids about where food comes from, and if they have a stake in growing their own vegetables, chances are they just might eat them. Before you plant, check out Women & Co.’s “5 Ways to Save Money in Your Garden.”
- Cook with kids. Once they’ve harvested those vegetables that they’ve grown in their garden, have them help you prepare them for the whole family to enjoy. Little ones can pitch in by mixing sauces and tossing a salad; older kids can help you plan a menu and do some of the cooking.
- Plan a backyard movie night. April from Mom.me (@Momdotme) offered this simple, yet brilliant, summer party idea. Hang a drop cloth from some trees, lay out some blankets and pillows on the lawn, pop some popcorn and your backyard becomes a cinematic wonderland. For step-by-step instructions check out http://mom.me/playroom/8193-toddler-talk-backyard-movie-party/.
- Finger knitting. It’s easy, inexpensive, and keeps their hands busy. @DawnMcAvoy shared this how-to video that will teach kids to master the basics in less than 7 minutes.
- Leaf art. Bored with finger paint? Jill from Mom It Forward suggests incorporating nature into your kids’ palettes by having them collect leaves for their next art project. “You can paint them and make a beautiful picture, or try painting with the leaves as brushes. It’s so much fun and the kids get to be messy!”
- Make new friends. Search Meetup.com for local events in your area, and sign up for alerts from groups that organize kids’ events in your neighborhood. Or check out local parenting blogs for event calendars and top activity picks. MommyPoppins.com, for example, offers guides to NYC, NJ, LI, CT, Boston and LA.
- Go old school. Think back to your childhood memories and how you spent the lazy, hazy days of summer. Sidewalk chalk, Slip ‘N Slide, freeze tag, kick the can and catching fireflies never get old. “It’s amazing to watch your kids play the way that you used to,” shared Kelly.