Kids are expensive, there is no doubt about that. Luckily, entertaining them does not have to be.
When summer comes around, parents often get panicked about what to do with their children. Trust me, as a parent I understand the fear. A bored kid is a bad kid, they will literally drive you nuts. Thankfully, you do not have to let them get bored and keeping them entertained does not have to cost you a fortune.
Here are some of the best cheap and free activities that you can do with your kids that they will love.
1. Tour Of Parks
You want to see a kid’s eyes light up, ask them if they want to go to the park. A few swings, a slide and maybe a climbing wall and they are in heaven. Imagine hitting a different park each day of the week. It is easy to do and Google Maps will help you do it.
Just search for your address and pull up the map. Now just scroll around and see the areas highlighted green. It should be easy to spot all of the parks around you. Make a list and take your kid to a different park every day. of the week. Do this for an entire week or an entire month. Your kids will love it.
2. Story Time
Everybody loves a good story and your kids are no exception. Take your kid to a free story time and let someone else entertain them.
You can find free story times at most libraries and some recreation centers. Check your cities calendar of events and see what they offer. While you are at it, check out the calendars of neighboring cites as well. Another good source of story time readings is book stores. Barnes and Nobles, for example usually has a weekly event.
3. Groupon Activities
Got to love Groupon, and Living Social for that matter. Where else can you get activities for up to 75% off, sometimes even more. I just checked out my local Groupon and I found discounts on bounce house parks, kiddie gyms and even children’s art classes.
If you are looking for kid ideas, you should be checking these website on a weekly basis at least.
4. Homemade Water Park
A trip to a waterpark for a family of five can easily cost 250 dollars or more with food and drinks. Save the money and create your own water park.
Take a sprinkler and a homemade slip in slide and you have yourself a party. Kids do not need a fancy water park to have fun. Young kids appreciate the simple things in life, they haven’t become as materialistic as us yet. That sprinkler and slip in slide are super cheap and will entertain them for hours again and again. Want to kick it up a notch, throw in a water balloon fight at the end to wrap up the day.
5. Go To The Dollar Theatre
Not all movies have to cost $10 a piece. Who cares if the movies are old or even if the kids have seen the movie before. How many times do your kids want to watch their favorite movie anyway? Enough times for you to get sick of it. They will watch a move again and again, especially on the big screen.
Going to a dollar theatre over a regular feature theatre can easily save a family of five 400 dollars over the course of a summer.
6. Go On A Nature Walk
Find a local park with a nice walking trail. Challenge your kids to see how many different species of animals, insects or plants they can find. Take pictures and go home and look them up on the computer.
Get a pair of cheap binoculars and look for birds. Kick that up a notch by checking out a book on local birds from the library and bringing it with you. See how many birds you can identify.
7. Have Craft Day
You don’t have to buy more than a few glue sticks and maybe some construction paper. The rest can be sourced from around the house. Think like a kid, just about anything can be turned into a craft. Old boxes, ribbons, string, wrapping paper, bits of cloth and of course popsicle sticks and paper towel rolls. Find a nice big “cleanable” area and spread everything out. Then just let the kids go crazy.
In most states it i free for children to fish. With a cheap $10 snoopy fishing pole, you and your kid or your kids can have a great time fishing and making memories. These are the kinds of things your kids remember when they grow up.
9. Free City Events
Your city or town probably has a rather active social calendar. Even the smallest town will put together movies in the park events or street fairs. Even if it is something that you don’t find interesting, your kid would probably love it. Kid’s love doing just about anything, until they become teenagers at least.
Check your city calendar and the city calendars of every nearby city and look for free events.
Tina’s Final Thought
You do not need money to have a good time with your kids over the summer ot anytime for that matter. Just look back at your own childhood. Chances are that the memories that yuo remember most are the free ones.