9 Budget-Friendly Ideas to Keep Kids Busy All Summer
Wondering what to do with your kids during summer break? Here are some budget-friendly ideas such as that will keep your kids busy and happy all summer.
1. Beaches and Parks
Load up on sunscreen and snacks and head to a local beach or park. Let go of the assumption that you’ve already “been there and done that” because, for kids, even small parks and humble beaches hold unlimited amounts of fun.
Some of the happiest times for many children are nights spent with friends. For sleepovers, make sure to have extra beds. Bunk beds, twin full bunk with trundle are all perfect for sharing a room, creating a fun atmosphere and providing for memorable sleepovers. Keep it simple with late-night movies, snacks, and doughnuts for breakfast.
For older kids, camping can be a lot of fun. If you have a tent or two, some lanterns, and a good weather forecast, go for it! Bring plenty of food and plan to let the kids cook at least one meal over the camp fire.
Even if you don’t live in a town with organized sporting events for kids, it isn’t tough to recruit a few children willing to play a game of softball. Get some neighborhood parents involved and make it a regular informal family night. What starts out as a one-time thing could turn into a neighborhood tradition.
Many big movie theater chains offer free or deeply discounted movies for kids on weekday mornings. Check your local movie listings for the specifics in your town. Make it a regular “movie date day” for something to look forward to every week throughout the summer. For bonus parenting points, make the movie a reward for completing the week’s chores.
6. Free Craft Workshops
If you live near a home improvement store or craft stores like Lowe’s, Home Depot, or Michaels, ask about free craft workshops for kids. The kids will have something to look forward to and they may even learn a new skill!
7. Free Museum Days
Most major museums offer “free” days. It’s just a matter of finding out when they are and putting them on the calendar. To keep the budget in check, pack a picnic and skip the gift shop. Even cheesy local museums offer free events, and kids love anything that’s new to them.
8. Bumper Bowling
Bowling alleys are always looking for ways to draw in families. During the summer months, they have to work hard to compete with beautiful weather by offering discounted or free bowling days.
Don’t underestimate your local library’s willingness to entertain young families during the summer. Many libraries have free movie events, reading programs with rewards for kids, and even craft days. When the temperatures climb and the swimming pools are overcrowded, your kids will appreciate some quiet time in the air conditioning.
Understanding how to keep kids busy during summer vacation is crucial to everyone’s happiness, health, and well-being. No matter which activities you pursue, remember that everyone is happier when they are well-rested and well-fed. Stick to bedtimes, even if they are later than normal. Keep meal times consistent, and if you are going to be out of the house for more than a few hours, pack some healthy and satisfying snacks to help resist the urge to blow the budget with fast-food. Most importantly, relax, because summer is here!
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