Want to keep your kids engaged this summer without breaking the bank? Try out one (or several) of these low-cost, high-fun ideas.
Community centers typically organize free programs in conjunction with the school system for preschoolers on up. It’s not uncommon for the programs to offer both breakfast and lunch as well as crafts, athletics, field trips (these do have a small fee), and a variety of educational “mini-adventures.” Some YMCAs and similar organizations also offer these kinds of opportunities.
If the kids are staying home, invest in a good kiddie pool. There are hours of fun contained within a small enclosure of plastic for not much more than about $30. Don’t leave preschoolers and younger children unattended, and keep the sunscreen handy. Add squirt guns, golf balls and bath toys and you have an all-day event.
Turn your yard into an obstacle course
One afternoon you could put together an obstacle course. Obstacles could include splashing through the kiddie pool, weaving between trees, kicking a ball through a hula hoop; let your creativity go!
Nurture their little green thumbs
Gardening can be an inexpensive activity, especially if you can get a neighbor’s extra seeds, or access what you need through a trading community like Freecycle or Craigslist. This can also present a variety of learning opportunities for your child if you are an active participant.
Get artistic and save a little cash by using a few sheets of paper, crayons and glue to make fun multimedia projects with your child. Tree bark rubbings, sidewalk rubbings and rubbings from other textured items can make beautiful and interesting pieces of refrigerator art or, if you are inclined, framed art for your walls.
This summer, build memories with your child through DIY or inexpensive fun.