Tuesday, July 29, 2008

10 Free or Low Cost Activities to Do with your Kids this Summer

Stumble Upon ToolbarLiz is on a "Mental Summer Vacation" for the next couple of weeks... Please enjoy The Best of Pink Lemonade...

It's coming.... heading your way.... for some of you, it's only days over the horizon.... for others (like me) you have a couple more weeks before it hits.... No, it's not a storm, or a natural disaster... (although it certainly can feel that way sometimes) it's the end of school - the beginning of summer vacation! Have you even given any though to what your kids are going to do? You could sign them up for a whole list of camps, lessons and playdates, shuttling them about here and there. At some point, you'll become exhausted - but you'll justify this to yourself... "this is better than having them sit around playing video games all day and crying 'I'm bored' every chance they get"... But is that really what's best? Are they getting the downtime that Summer vacation was intended for? I don't know about the rest of the country, but Summer vacations are getting shorter and shorter here, we get out of school in the middle of June, only to return in the middle of August - not much time to spend with the kiddos - and as my Little Miss Lauren puts it "I'm going to have all the fun I can get - I need more fun!"

This Summer, instead of over scheduling the kids, relax with them, play with them... you just might have a really fun summer yourself! Here are some ideas...

  1. Is your home full of clutter? Are you trying to get the kids to control their own clutter? Check out Camp Gonna Wanna Fly Now, courtesy of Flylady. Flylady will lead you through the whole process of setting up a "camp" for your kids - only this camp won't teach them to make macrame plant hangers - this camp will teach them to help out around the house while they have a blast, and who couldn't use a little more of that?

  2. Befriend a Firefighter - Bake them cookies (or pick up some popsicles), and deliver them to your local fire station. The firefighters will truly appreciate the surprise... your child will meet some heroes, and learn about giving to others.

  3. Make a rocket with a soda bottle and baking soda - find out how at Wiki How.

  4. Go on a picnic with your kids at a local park or beach,or even the backyard!

  5. Check out Free Tours (such as factory tours) in your area (my kids love going to the jelly belly factory!)

  6. Be entertained. Many libraries offer free story times, puppet shows and events during the summer - they're usually free - so check them out.

  7. Make a scrapbook of everything you do this summer - include your kids drawings along with snapshots and things collected. It will be a great conversation starter when they return to school.

  8. Check out your local visitors center. There are probably lots of things to do for little or no money that your kids will love (and maybe they'll learn something new too!)

  9. Teach them to sit down and write a letter - this is becoming a lost art with email and text messaging, but wouldn't a Grandparent or faraway Aunt love to receive a handwritten letter from your child?

  10. Start a postcard collection from everywhere you visit. If you can't find a postcard at a particular destination, snap a picture that best represents the place and when you get home, your child can design their own postcard with the photograph.

These are just a few ideas - I'm sure you can come up with many, many more. Just remember the most important thing.... Let the kids be kids, they don't need every second of the day scheduled - they need time to be a little bored sometimes... time to have a chance to think up something to do - that's when kids think up the games that end up being the most fun. Being just a little bored sometimes fosters creativity, imagination and memories that we can treasure for a lifetime.

Turning Lemons into Pink Lemonade!

Posted by Liz of Pink Lemonade

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Jess said...

Lovely ideas! I'll have to try of those out with my boys.

Kimmylyn said...

Love the post card idea!!! And I totally forgot about the rocket you can make at home!!

The Healthy Mom said...

Those are great ideas. I am always looking for low cost ways to entertain my kids. We have a community swimming pool that only costs a couple of dollars to get in and it is within walking distance. My husband and I are taking the kids there on Friday. Great tips! Thank you for sharing.

Cascia @ Healthy Moms