Keeping kids busy during the summer can seem tricky, especially if you are on a budget. Here is a list of some inexpensive things to do with your kids this summer.
On those extra hot days, why not try to have some fun indoors? Here are some ideas to get your kids started: Hide and seek, treasure hunts, lego challenges, tea party, dress up, create your own play, or a talent show. These activities will help keep your children occupied and let them use their imaginations. What other ideas can your kids come up with?
You may also be interested in reading here for even more ideas of inexpensive things to do with kids during the summer or anytime of the year. (Mixture of indoor and outdoor activities.)
How about some outdoor games? Egg and spoon races, sack races, tag, tug of war, yard games, an obstacle course, or hopscotch. You could even come up with a little prize for each winner. (A “night off” from chores maybe?) Or make fun little trophies (and make sure every participant gets one—be creative!) Consider inviting your kid’s friends to join you and make a day of it.
Baking or Baking Challenge
How about some baking? It can be hard during the school year to set aside time to practice baking with your children. It is usually quicker to just do it yourself, but most kids really enjoy helping in the kitchen.
The other day my two year old son helped me make some sauce for our supper. He really enjoyed adding spices for me. Was it a little messy? Yep. Was our sauce extra seasoned because he really enjoyed adding spices and kept wanting to add “a little more”. Sure, but he was so pleased with himself it was worth it.
If your children are a little older, you could set up a baking challenge for them, similar to Chopped Jr. Plan ahead to have some ingredients on hand they can use, make up some rules, and set them loose in the kitchen.
Staying with Relatives or Having Relatives Come Stay with You
Summer is the perfect time to get in some extra visits with grandparents, aunts, uncles, or cousins. Going somewhere new will give them different local activities to experience, or even just a different house and backyard to explore. Or maybe some of their cousins could come spend a week or weekend at your place. While they are visiting, consider going to some local family friendly spots. Even if they are places you go to often it will be more fun with their cousins.
Are there any local summer camps, or does your church youth group go to camp? Often there are scholarships available to help out with tuition if needed. Summer camp offers a great balance of physical activities and arts and crafts. It’s a chance for kids to make new friends and learn new things. If it is a church camp it also gives your kids the opportunity to learn more about God in a new setting.
I have some great memories of summer camp, how about you?
A Family Game Tournament
Have each family member pick out their favorite game and take turns playing them. If desired, keep a tally of who wins what and award prizes. (Be creative with prizes.)
Movies Around Town or Movie Night at Home
Check with your local library to see if they will be playing any movies for kids/families this summer. You could also check out matinee prices at local theaters, some even have morning show times in the summer.
Or plan a movie night at home, pick out a movie and watch it some evening or afternoon. Make some popcorn and other special treats to enjoy during it.
Make the Most of the Library
Many libraries offer special summer activities and shows. Get a schedule ahead of time and add to the calendar the ones that will interest your family. Make sure to also sign up for their summer reading program. There are usually many exciting prizes and incentives to keep your kids reading all summer long.
There are many ways to entertain your family this summer for very little money and even for free. Let this list be a starting point to get your ideas flowing. Sit down with your family and see what other ideas you can come up with.