Entertaining your children when school is out for the summer can become quite expensive, especially if you enroll them in pricey summer camps for a large portion of the time. However, many parents feel that the alternative is to have their children sulking on the couch while moaning about how bored they are, especially if friends are all attending camps. Actually, there are plenty of ways to have cheap summer fun with your kids. Why not try a few of these budget friendly ideas?
Your local YMCA is a family oriented place with plenty of great activities. Your children can go swimming, take a variety of classes and even attend day camps for a very reasonable price. Most YMCA’s have family memberships, which makes the classes more affordable for families with several children. If you don’t have a YMCA close by, check with your local parks and recreation department to see if they are offering events for children and families during the summer months. Many times, they offer low cost art, sports and even cooking classes for kids.
Another great way for your kids to have fun this summer is to set up events in your own backyard. Have them put together a circus. After they’ve practiced the event and have the ring set up, friends and family can make up an audience to view the final result. Don’t forget to add some games and serve some refreshments that match the theme, such as popcorn and corndogs. If your children don’t like the circus, suggest that they put on a play, hold a pet show or set up a fair.
If your children like collecting things, they can make a natural history museum in a spare corner of the house. Then, you can take field trips to local places so that they can create their museum exhibits. Take them on nature hikes so that they can make rubbings of tree bark and leaves. Let them take photos of local wildlife and flowers, but be sure that you don‘t actually take home any wildflowers, since these plants may be endangered. Go to the beach and collect interesting shells and bits of sea glass or visit the areas where your local rock hounds hang out. If you have prolific gardens or you can get permission for them to pick some flowers in someone else’s garden, your children can also press flowers and mount them as part of the display.
If your children are budding entrepreneurs, they may have more fun making money. Why not try a good old-fashioned lemonade stand? Just be sure your town or city doesn’t have any ordinances that would prohibit it before the kids set up. If they need to clean out their closets and toy chests, suggest that they combine the lemonade stand with a yard sale.
Finally, don’t forget about gardening. Growing their own produce can be fun for kids, especially when they discover a two foot long zucchini hiding in the garden bed.
Aurelia Williams is the owner of Real Life Solutions, your resource for free positive parenting tips and information.
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