Summer is here and you might be trying to figure out what to do with your kids for their time off from school. Yes, there are camps and classes that you could sign them up for, but those all cost money, sometimes a lot of it.
If you are on a tighter budget, you have to be careful about how much you spend during the summer. You need to find cheap and free ways to keep them busy.
You really don’t have to spend a fortune each summer just keep your kids entertained. There is a lot you can do in your home and in your own community without having to break the bank. Take a look at some of these ideas, and see what works for your family.
Kids love water and there are many ways to get your kids in water without spending too much. A splash park is a great way to spend some time in the hot sun. You might find one at a park or even a shopping center.
Bring a sack lunch, plenty of towels, and your kids, and get ready to enjoy a fun-filled afternoon staying cool for very little cost. Invite some friends and have a fun playdate.
If you have a community pool you can use free of charge, take advantage of that. If you have to pay, check and see about a summer pass. Sometimes buying one of those will save you a lot of money all summer long. Our city pool offers a military discount on a pool pass.
If nothing else you can set up a sprinkler or a kiddie pool in your own yard.
Kids love to explore and what better way to do that than on a nature hike. Make sure to put on your bug spray, bring lots of water, and bring your camera for photos along the way. Check with your local park system to see if they have any guided hikes during the summer. Make sure you stay on the trails and don’t go anywhere you feel is unsafe.
You can also go on a more casual walk around your neighborhood or other community location. If your kids are old enough, have them bring their bike or a scooter. You can spend the whole day out walking and riding bikes. Just don’t forget to apply the sunscreen.
If you have a dollar theater, make sure to check out what kid’s movies they have playing. If you don’t, your regular theater might have a special kids program during the summer with free or $1 movies. They might be older ones that your kids have already seen, but it can give them the movie experience without having to spend too much.
You might also check and see if your city has a movies in the park night where they show a movie on a big screen after the sun goes down. That can be a lot of fun for everyone in the family. They are usually free and you would just need to bring a picnic dinner for your family as well as a nice blanket or chairs to sit on.
If you are wanting to take your family on vacation, camping is the most affordable option, assuming you already have a lot of the camping gear. If you don’t, you might be able to rent from a Gear to Go on your military installation. Campsites are not too expensive and you can have a lot of fun being in the outdoors. If you don’t want to leave your home, you could also camp out in the backyard.
Host a Play Date
Why not host a play date in your home once a week? You could also do a themed playdate. Such as water or food fun.
Meet up with other parents and plan to rotate houses during the summer. Your kids will love the playtime with friends and you can have some adult time with the parents.
You could go on Pinterest and find some fun crafts for the kids to do. There are plenty of ideas out there. Once a week you could also host a craft day. Everyone who comes can bring the supplies and you can all work on them together.
A yearly pass will cost you money upfront, but it might be worth doing so. You can get passes to the zoo, science center, amusement park, or the local gym. Find out what would be best for your own family and think about how often you would go.
If you know you want to spend a lot of time at the zoo, getting a pass to the zoo will allow you to go for “free” all summer long. Check for specials or discounts before you pay for the pass. Also, make sure to check for blackout dates so you don’t plan a trip on a day you won’t be able to get in with your pass.
As you can see, there are quite a lot of activities you can do during the summer without having to break the bank. What would you add to this list?