We’ve all been there. It’s hot, the kids are bored, and our wallets are empty. There comes a time when each one of us has to get creative and come up with things to do for cheap or for free. Unfortunately, creative ideas often come in as slowly as the money does. Because of the need for fresh activity ideas, we decided to write this blog post to give your idea bank a little extra savings.
Through this post, we hope to give you some ideas of things that you can do with your children this summer for free, or within your budget. We also hope that you’ll give us your ideas so the idea bank will increase because we know we can all use a little help in this arena.
The first step in deciding any activity is looking at your personal budget to decide how much money you have to spend. The next decision becomes what we can do with what we have.
Keeping their minds engaged
Sometimes the challenge of summer activities becomes, “How can we keep our kids engaged in the learning while passing the time in a productive way?” In this category, we have a few suggestions to allow you to have fun and make memories with your kids, while helping them to continue their learning.
- Have a reading marathon with your kids. Keep your pajamas on late and see how many books you and your family can read within a specific period of time. Then turn around and write your own story as a family.
- Museums or zoos are great money smart activities that help your kids to continue learning while making a lasting memory. You could even go to the library for a local story telling.
- Visiting a local fire station is always fun and very informative.
- Going insect hunting around your yard and take pictures of all of the bugs you found. After, you can try to identify all the insects you found.
- Do a science experiment.
- Learn about constellations, and then watch the stars to try and identify the constellations you learned about.
- Go to a local workshop for kids. Many local stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s have workshops for kids to learn different handy skills for around the house.
- Play a trivia game.
- Build a rocket from a kit, and fly it with them.
- Participate in a local nature program.
- Teach your children about finances such as how to use a credit card or how to make a budget.
Release the Energy While Cooling Down
The summer is notorious for hot days. Simply going outside can help your kids to be more active, especially when they have fun activities to do that won’t make them too hot. Here are a few ideas to help kids be active, and also to cool off.
- Go on a hike.
- Ride bikes.
- Buy or make some popsicles.
- Buy or make some lemonade and hold a lemonade stand. This would give you a good opportunity to teach our kids about saving money and how to run a business.
- Go to a pool. You could even set up a mini waterpark in your backyard with a tarp and some water and turn the sprinklers on. Have a water-balloon and squirt-gun fight. If the kids start getting sick of the kiddy pool, add some bubbles to switch it up.
- Create an obstacle course.
Just Plain Fun
Every child wants to have fun. Here are a few ideas just to have some fun together. Summer is a great opportunity to really spend quality time with your children and make lasting memories.
- Paint or draw together. Chalk provides another fun and interesting way to vary the art projects. Finger painting is also fun for every age. Another option is to do splatter paint, for those of us that lack in the creative department.
- Create a fort in your living room out of blankets or cardboard boxes. Roast marshmallows over the kitchen stove and have an indoor campout. Or set up a tent in the backyard for a fun campout.
- Have a sunrise or sunset picnic at a park or beach.
- Have a scavenger hunt. You can vary scavenger hunts to do several throughout the summer. A fun idea is to take pictures along the way to remember the fun times you had. Create a treasure hunt for them (leaving clues around the house or yard).
- Bake cookies or other goodies for a neighbor. You could even volunteer at a local nursing home or hospital.
- Create a scrapbook. Create a family book, with information and pictures about each family member.
- Make a movie with a camera and computer.
- Make play dough from scratch.
- Paint a room or do other crafts.
- Visit a pet store.
- Make your own instruments.
If you decide that you would like to take your kids to something that costs more than is in your wallet, payday loans can be a good alternative. This is also an opportunity to teach your kids about finances and how to properly use money, save, and build credit. To gain other ideas on teaching your kids how to budget, check out our other blog post: “How to Teach Your Children How to Budget” Though your budget may have constraints, you can still provide a fun and memorable summer for your kids.