Summer fun ideas
1. See a “one dollar” movie at the theater. Many theater chains around the country offer summer movie programs for kids where they offer a “one dollar” movie every day for a week, or on a particular day of the week all summer.
2. Sprinkler day. Delay your sprinklers for one day so they come a little later in the morning. This way everyone can get on their bathing suits and have fun jumping through the sprinklers on a hot day. But not for too long! This is a good time to teach them about conserving water, reducing utility costs, etc.
3. Attend “story time” at your local library. Many libraries also have a story time to encourage a summer reading program. Stories are read out loud and the kids have a chance to interact with the story-teller and answer questions about the book.
4. Set up a lemonade stand. Loan your kids $10 as “seed money” for supplies, or better yet, let them use their own money from savings. Take the kids along to the grocery store one morning and let them pick up the lemons, sugar, cups, and a couple bags of ice to keep in a cooler. This is a great way for neighborhood kids to work together, as they can divide into teams to man the lemonade stand, make the lemonade, handle the money, etc.
5. Teach your kids to fly a kite. Check your 10-day forecast and look for a windy day in the coming week. Pick up an inexpensive kite for the kids. I even recommend springing for the extra spool of kite string on a roller because the string and handles that come with the kites are lousy.
6. Make homemade play-doh. I haven’t run a cost analysis on this recipe to determine it’s “frugalness,” but I can tell you it is a lot of fun! I suppose the next best option would be to pick up some commercial Play-Doh on sale, but what fun would that be?
7. Bake a cake. I remember having a ball helping my mom bake something when I was young. And not all the fun came at the end when I got to lick the icing from the bowl!
8. Build a “fort” in the living room. A living room “fort” could be as simple as a few kitchen chairs gathered in a circle with a large bed sheet thrown across them and draped to the floor. The kids can hide, read books, or pretend they are camping out in the living room.
9. Go bowling. Call the lanes ahead of time and ask if they have any summer specials (certain days may be cheaper). Also check those coupon mailer packs for coupons for free games.
10. Declare a “bored” game day. Few kids today don’t realize you can play games without a computer. Most of these old board games are inexpensive in their basic form.
11. Have a water balloon fight. Lots of fun, but be sure to pick up the balloon remains, especially if you have very little ones or pets as they could be a choking hazard.
12. Create a “mini-me.” Find a piece of large poster board, or large heavy-duty paper wide enough for your kids to lay down on. Use a dull pencil to trace their entire body to the paper from head to toe. Now let the kids decorate the kids to look like themselves in the same clothes they are wearing, same color eyes, hair, etc. When they are finished, help them cut out their mini-me for proud display.
13. Pajama day. Stay in your pajamas all day long.
14. Spend a day volunteering your time. Contact a few local charities and find out which ones will allow kids to volunteer some time over the summer (under your supervision).