Kids aren’t the easiest to entertain during summer vacation. What might work one day may only keep them occupied for 10 minutes the next. It can be difficult to control your kids and keep them out of your hair, especially if you work from home or need to get chores done – so you have to do something to keep them occupied. This list of budget-friendly or free activities can help you give your kids activities that will keep them busy all summer long.
1. Use Activities Around the House
You probably have plenty of activities around the house that you’ve forgotten about. Whether you own board games or endless craft supplies, there’s some fun to be had by staying indoors and working with what you already own. For this activity, you’ll need popsicle sticks and a cup or jar to hold them in.
Once you write all the activities you can do inside on these sticks, you can let your kids draw one popsicle stick each day. That way, they never run out of fun activities to do, and you don’t have to pay for new entertainment every day.
2. Go to the Library
More than 171 million people visit libraries in any given year, and for a good reason: They offer you the opportunity to borrow media for free. In a time when it costs money to do almost anything, libraries remain one of the only places you can go where you’re not expected to buy anything.
Plus, it’s an easy way to get your kids to read the books they enjoy without buying them brand-new every single time. Aim to go to the library at least once a week so your kids can check out the books and DVDs that call to them.
3. Set Up Sensory Stations
Sensory stations can help younger children experience different things. By using an outdoor space you have already available, you can set up a bowl of water and put different things in there, like food dye or aquatic toys. You could also use a sandbox and toys that allow your kids to dig in the sand. This way, they learn to experience the world around them while staying in the safety of your backyard.
4. Take Your Learning Outside
If you have time to help your children experience new things, you can start with flora and fauna in your backyard. Get acquainted with what kinds of plants and small animals live in your region, then task your children with finding them outside.
Make sure you come equipped with plenty of fun facts to satiate their curious minds. Learning firsthand outside in nature can change children’s minds about learning as a whole. It’s a perfect way to keep them engaged over the summertime.
5. Have Materials on Hand
Every day, you can pull something new together to allow your children to play with. Surely you’ve got some crayons and construction paper somewhere? If your children work well with limited materials, consider laying out something new for them to work with every day. This way, they’ll be distracted and create something brand-new while flexing their creative muscles.
After they’ve finished being creative, you can allow them some time to watch movies or play video games.
6. Plant a Garden
One of the most enriching things you can do with your children is to plant a garden together. Do some research on what grows well in your area, then get to planting. Your family could harvest fruits and vegetables straight out of your garden and cut down on your weekly grocery bill. If you like to purchase organic food, you can grow your own in your backyard.
7. Go Swimming
Chances are good you know someone with a pool. If you don’t, you can always visit the public pool. Swimming is a great way for your kids to release their pent-up energy. It’s also an excellent way to get out in the sun and soak up some vitamin D.
Swimming can help with toning muscles and improves both your mental and physical condition. Your kids will enjoy trying out new swimming techniques and have fun in the sun.
8. Write Letters
What better way to catch up with your relatives than by writing them old-fashioned letters? This activity gives your children a great opportunity to communicate with their relatives and practice their penmanship all at once. Older relatives may love to have written correspondence with your children. Letters are a form of communication that last forever, so you can be sure that your loved ones will cherish any notes they receive from your children.
9. Know Local Programs
When in doubt, getting involved with your community should help you find something for your kids to do. Plenty of communities host public gatherings or classes that your children may find interesting.
All you need to do is look at your city’s public calendar and find out what events are happening in your area. Anything from painting classes to movies in the park could thrill your kids and give them something new to look forward to.
10. Let Them Be Bored
Sometimes, the greatest activities come from the minds of bored kids. If you let them be bored, they have to become resourceful and find something to amuse themselves in the world around them. Still, it gives them a chance to be imaginative and foster the creativity they might not get once they’re back to a strict routine in school every day. So, letting them be bored and come up with a solution themselves is one of the best things you can do for them.
Summertime Goes By Fast
Summer is a great season to spend with your kids. People have started to spend more time outdoors, and you can always stay up later enjoying fun activities together. You don’t have to occupy your child every hour of the day, but having low-cost and budget-friendly activities available to them can help the days go by much faster. Then, you can relish the slow afternoons and evenings when you and your family can bond with one another.