Starting to hear, “Mom I am bored…!” yet? With the end of school more parents are now scrambling to find fun yet cost efficient ways to engage their children. With the state of the economy expensive camps may be out of your budget. Here are a few ideas to help you entertain and engage your children without breaking the bank.
Fly a kite at a local park. Kites can usually be found at any local dollar store. Try the local dollar stores for a cheap thrill.
Blow bubbles. Now how cheap are bubbles, like $.50 a bottle?! Kids can have contests to see who can make the most or the biggest bubble. Out of bubbles; mix up your own with liquid dish detergent and water.
Make an “I love you” card for someone. Or is someone’s birthday coming up? Let the kids be creative and make a friend or relative a card from the heart. Use magazines and have the children cut out words or pictures about the recipient of the card.
Create a treasure hunt for them (leaving clues around the house or yard). Have the children help make a map.
Donate stuff to charity. What a better way to clean out then to clean up and donate to a local charity.
Make up trivia questions about each other. Have each member of the family create cards about themselves and play together. (Favorite color, least favorite vegetable, fruit, happiest day, favorite dinner… etc)
Go on a hike. Check out the local parks and rec website and take a hike. Take a journal to record what you see then investigate when you get home to find out the name of the animals or flowers you found.
Go to a museum. There maybe a cost here, but check out historic landmarks in your area.
Bake cookies (let the kids help) and make lemonade and have your children sell it to raise money for charity (Check out The Observer’s Charlotte’s Mission Possible)
Shop at a thrift shop. Find treasures that might need some tender love and care and then visit a local Home Improvement store for help.
Speaking of local home improvement stores – check out their websites for their FREE workshops for kids.
Buy popsicles. There are tons of ways to use fresh juices and pudding to make some great treats to keep them cool this summer.
Paint Rocks. You can find rocks anywhere. Let the kids be creative with some paint, markers, ribbons, beads and glue. Have them name them and maybe write a story about them.
Catch fireflies, ants, bugs or butterflies. Summer nights are perfect for catching fireflies and they are as neat as a nightlight. Use a Mason jar with holes cut in the top. Help children use the internet to investigate the life cycle of the bugs they catch.
Put together a puzzle. These always keep kids entertained and busy.
Make paper airplanes. Let the kids make their own, decorate them and then fly them. Have a contest and see who plane flies the best or not at all.
Enjoy the time together and remember that days like this will not last for long!