Summer Fun On A Budget

It’s hard to believe that summer is only a couple months away and before you know it, the kids will be home from school.  For some parents, that puts you in a panic of “what am I going to do with my kids all summer?!?!?”  Here are a few ideas and tips that I have used over the years that have made the summertime enjoyable for both myself and my kids….oh yeah, and I didn’t break the bank either!


 

  • Create a Daily Schedule:  Although the idea of sleeping in and waking up whenever you and and your children feel like it all summer long, the reality is that more chaos will ensue unless you plan properly.  Creating a Daily Schedule will help you keep your sanity and your kids will actually feel less stressed knowing what the day will bring.  NOTE: It doesn’t have to be the SAME schedule each day, but consistency certainly helps.

summer fun picture chart

  • For younger kids, use pictures like this one:(free printable picture cards here)
  • For older kids that can read, simply use a chalk board or dry erase board and write the schedule each day.
  • Sample Schedule:
    • Breakfast
    • Chores
    • Free Play Time
    • Project (craft, cooking, science, etc.)
    • Snack
    • Games & Outside Play
    • Lunch
    • Water play
    • Workbook/Quiet Time/Reading Time
    • Free Play
    • Snack & Short TV Show
    • Dinner

Summer Chores

2015 Chore Chart

 

  • I don’t know about you, but it’s hard to fit chores into our daily schedule during the school year.  The kids are swamped with homework and activities and at the end of the day I just want them to relax and be kids.  I want them to go outside or play a game.  So…when summertime comes around, it’s time to instill those good habits of completing chores and participating in the general upkeep of our home.

Projects

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  • Use what you have around the house to come up with projects.   It’s amazing what you can do with plastic cups, paper plates, straws and a camera.  Some of our favorite projects:
    • Cooking (Popsicles, smoothies, cookies, trailmix and of course cheerio necklaces)
    • Bubbles (giant bubble wands, colored bubbles on paper, bubble popping)
    • Crafts (painting with colored ice cubes, giant chalk drawings, cards and letters to send in the mail)
    • Check out Pinterest for lots and lots of budget friendly ideas!

Games

  • We love a friendly game or two in our house.  Keep it simple and enjoy the time connecting and having fun!
    • Scavenger Hunts (Photo Hunts, Treasure Hunts, Collections)
    • Obstacle Course (time each other for those that are more competitive)
    • Backyard Maze (grass getting long? mow a maze and run through it before mowing the rest of the yard)

Water Play

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  • You don’t have to have a pool to have water play time!  The hot afternoon is a great time to get wet and cool off.  We have a small pool, but here are some other ideas:
    • Water Balloon Toss
    • Water Balloon Baseball
    • Limbo using a hose
    • Sprinkler
    • Water Bottle Squirt Tag
    • Car Wash
    • Bicycle Wash
    • Wet Sponges and Targets

Quiet Time

bridge

  • We order the Summer Bridge Books every year and the kids complete 4 pages a day. We also participate in the local Library Summer Reading program where the kids earn prizes for reading (reading together as a family or listening to a book in the car count too!)

Field Trips

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  • The summertime is a great time to see new sights and try new activities.  There are lots of inexpensive places to check out when you’re ready to tackle a “Field Trip” day:
    • Creek Stomping (pack a lunch, wear a bathing suit and go walking in a creek)
    • Playground Review (visit different playgrounds and have the kids journal their reviews)
    • Library Programs
    • Get a group together to visit a zoo or museum and get the group discount rate
    • Check out Kids Bowl Free and find a local bowling alley
    • Try a real treasure hunt and go Geochaching

Got any good Summertime Boredom Busters?  Please share in the comments! 🙂 Mama Nice

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