Friday, June 3, 2011

9 Inexpensive Activities To Keep Your Kids Entertained This Summer

School's out for the summer and now mom has to entertain two kids who get bored very easily.

I know my kids have plenty to do around our house, but the same toys, bikes, books and swing set can get boring after just a few weeks spent at home.

I need to have a game plan for summer activities and they need to be fun, affordable and last longer than 10 minutes.

Here's Nine Ideas To Help Keep Our Monkeys Entertained This Summer:

1. Check out your local library and book stores for their summer reading programs. At our library, the kids can earn small prizes, such as free coupons for pizza and ice cream for reading books through out the summer. They also have a summer schedule for special story times and other activities. A side bonus, our local bank is offering the children $10 for reading just 10 books over the summer.

2. Look for local fairs and festivals for low cost games, food and activities. We love to hit the local harvest festivals in the summer time for strawberries, peaches, and apples. Local towns, libraries, malls and fire halls also host carnivals and festivals as fundraisers. Keep your eyes and ears open for local activities.

3. A Park A Week – One day each week, my kids and I try a different park. I don’t mind driving a few extra miles to try a new park, since it keeps them from getting bored with the same park every week. We pack a lunch, snacks, drinks and sunscreen and head out early in the morning to avoid the hot afternoon sun.

4. Hit the amusement parks in the late afternoon and save considerably on the admission fee. We live near a huge amusement park that is a bit pricey. A whole day at a big amusement park would be too long for my three year old, so we go after 5pm when the price reduces considerably and it is much cooler than at mid-day.

5. Host a theme party. Invite your friends over for an ice cream social or a banana split party. On nice evenings, my hubby starts a bonfire and we invite the neighbors over for s'mores for the kids and Coronas with lime for the adults.

6. My kids will be participating at our church's Vacation Bible School(VBS) this month. It is a week long morning camp with a biblical focus and plenty of fun activities, games, snacks, crafts, and music. Many churches will be starting to advertise their VBS is the upcoming weeks. It usually runs Monday through Friday in the mornings or in the evenings. It is also usually free and open to the community as most churches welcome non-members.

7. Check out your local movie theaters for their summer time specials. A theater in my area offers a FREE showing of Rated G movies on Tuesdays and a FREE showing of Rated PG movies on Wednesdays starting in June.

8. As the above picture depicts, one of my kids' favorite things to do in the summer is run and play in the sprinkler. That Elmo sprinkler was the best 50 cents I have ever spent at a yard sale.

9. If you are stumped for ideas, check out this list to see if your city was included in Staycation Ideas From All Across the Country.

What inexpensive activities do you have lined up for your family this summer? Please share your ideas in the comments.

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  1. I love all these ideas. We are also doing most of them. I just picked up our library reading chart yesterday! We are lucky to live near the beach, so going there is free and wonderful. But we also take advantage of backyard fun like the sprinkler, slip-n-slide, bubbles, bikes and sidewalk chalk. All good and cheap fun.

  2. Here's a list I made 2 years ago -

  3. What a great list, I can use this for the summer with my Granddaughter. Thanks.

  4. I love these ideas and did most of them when my daughter was young. My favorite of all time was taking the slide from the swing set, sticking the end in a small blow up pool, run the hose water down from the top and viola, a water slide. I think I liked that one better than the kid!

  5. Have done all the activities with the kid and love them. The festivals are great. My fav was setting the sprinkler up and running a hose down the slide landing in a kiddie pool.

  6. Gave my 2 year old a spray bottle with water in it. He played with it for over an hour and didn't let go of it. Occasionally we'd ask him to go water a certain plant or to "clean" the fence with it. Best $1 I spent. He's even asked me to fill it up when he found his spray bottle around the house since then.


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