Free Summer Fun Activities for Kids
|June 26, 2012||Posted by thecheapskatemom under fun, kidsandpets, summer|
by Hannah Walton aka The Cheapskate Mom
What activities can a parent on a budget with a bored kid to do?
Welcome to the long. hot days of the summer season - the kids are home from school , the sun is shining – and you've already been to the park five times this week. Summer vacations – oh so long ago – used to mean that kids helped parents on the farm. Since most of us now buy our food in neat little plastic packages, we are left with a lot of time to fill … and a lot of us parents can't afford summer camp right now : it's simply not within our budgets or doesn't fit with our savings plans.
Commercials would have you believe that the only way to have fun with your kids this summer is to frequent the water parks, amusement parks, new movies and buy a pool. I say that free fun for kids still exists in the modern world : get creative and focus on fun – let's face it : the world's a much bigger place than a water slide, a Ferris wheel and a Pixar flick.
I present to you a list of ten simple activities to do with the kids. I hope you have fun!
1. DIY Movie Making Fun
An imaginative and educational fun activity! If you have a video camera – be it fancy or smart phone – you can make a movie with your kids. If you have a lot of kids and friends – everyone can pick roles like set designer, prop master, cinematography, make up artist, costume designer, etc (I might let the kids take turns directing scenes to avoid a war!). Have a rule that the kids need to use found/recycled items for props – no spending allowed!
Celebrate their accomplishment with a red carpet night – let everyone dress up and find a red carpet ( even red streamers or a red blanket will do) and make sure to take photos of the cuteness!
2. Geo-Caching Fun
Get active and find treasure with your smart phone and the help of Geocaching.Com ! Geocaching is a modern day treasure hunt in which people hide water-tight boxes (like Tupperware) and log the GPS coordinates onto the geocaching website. Find a geocaching app for your smart phone – and look up nearby caches in your neighborhood… when you find the cache, you can take a "treasure" by leaving something behind for the next person! Geocaching is super fun – you may even find money for a snack later ( I have!).
3. Indoor Drive-In Theater Fun
If it's raining out and everyone is getting a teeny bit stir crazy – never fear – an indoor drive-in movie theater is here (courtesy of cardboard boxes and popcorn!). Grab some big (ish) cardboard boxes, some paint or markers or what have you – and have the kids make their very own cars for the big night. Let them decorate them however they want! Make them comfy with pillows and blankets. Line the cars up in front of the TV and have a fun movie night – maybe watch that Disney flick "Cars" (check Netflix or the library) to make it a bit more special?
4. Gardening Fun
Grow your own food – indoors or out – by starting a mini garden. You can start a garden with just some dirt from outside, a plastic container (like a soda bottle or milk bottle), and seeds (you can save seeds from your peppers or plant a clove of garlic so you don't need to buy seeds!). This activity will keep on giving as kids jump with joy from the first sprout to harvest – not to mention all the responsibility and patience that gardening teaches.
5. Museum Fun
Your local library is a resource – for even more than just books and films. Lots of time – libraries offer free museum passes – just sign up in advance and have a blast with this excellent community resource. Make a day of it and pack a special lunch to eat outside
6. Finger Painting Fun
If you've got paper – heck – even newspaper – and you've got food coloring, flour and water – you've got an afternoon activity of finger painting for free! You can make your own finger paint - and then have a blast ! ! Make thumb print animals, make a "book", learn about the color wheel by exploring mixing colors, or make a collage by using scraps of old fabric and magazine cut outs in addition to the finger paint.
7. Soda Bottle Sprinkler Fun
Got Hose? Got Water? Got Old Soda Bottle ? You've now got a totally awesome sprinkler for kids ! Kids will be delighted and have a blast – a fun way to cool off from a hot summer's day.
8. Water Table Fun
Grab an old baby tub or a plastic container (or a bunch of them!) and add water. Then just add toys and let the kids have fun playing with water. Playing at a water table is a great (and cool) way for kids to learn about their environment.
9. Fort Building Fun
Get old school and get out the extra sheets and chairs for some ultimate creative on a shoe string fun. Kids love (oh heck – I still love) to build stuff – what's more fun then making a sheet fort? Don't forget the flashlights!
10. Pizza Making Fun
Cheese + Tomato Sauce + Flour + Yeast + Water + Oil + Pan + Oven : have fun mixing, punching and shaping the dough ( I remember once my mom and I made a pizza shaped like the USA!). I've got a recipe for DIY pizza dough and once for mini deep dish pizzas you can make!