Summertime is here which means the kids are out of school. With all of their energy, they’re probably bouncing off the walls or screaming “I’m bored.” But keeping them busy and active over the summer can put a big dent in your budget.
Going to amusement parks, water parks, family outings, and local attractions gets expensive. This year, why not find a way to keep both your kids and your budget happy with inexpensive activities they can do on their own and with the family. It’s not as hard as you may think to create a memorable summer without breaking the bank.
SPENDING PLAN FOR JUNE – BUDGET FRIENDLY SUMMER ACTIVITIES
Make a Summer Bucket List
Help your child create a list of 50 things they want to do or make over the summer. Challenge them to come up with ideas that cost less than $10, you’ll be happily surprised at how creative they can be. This can include things like camping out in the backyard, building a fort out of things they find around the house, having a water balloon fight, and learning a new hobby. Use a poster board, markers, and scrapbook paper to create a collage they can hang on the wall where they can see it every day. Let them pick something new a few times a week and mark their accomplishments off as they go.
Make a Scavenger Hunt
Make a list of items that your kids can search for around the house or out in the neighborhood. Better yet, make a buried treasure map for them to solve and bury a box of toys for them to find. Encourage them to explore the yard and around the neighborhood to find their treasures. When they’re done, let them tell you stories about how and where they found them.
Teach your child the importance of giving back by encouraging them to find a cause they want to volunteer for over the summer. Let them have a food drive to collect canned goods for the food bank, volunteer at the local animal shelter, or read and play games with the elderly at a retirement home. There are endless ways they can give back to others; find one that speaks to their passions. You can even encourage them to start their own charity.
Plan a Weekly Family Night
Spend one night a week doing something fun as a family. It can be an outdoor movie night, a game night, or even a family scavenger hunt where you divide into teams and challenge each other to see who finishes first. Let your child plan the evening including the activities and the menu. They’ll be able to learn organizational skills by gathering all the supplies and planning the menu. They can even create a special rule for the night like everyone has to eat dessert first or you all have to wear a special hat. Build their confidence and esteem by putting them in charge for the night.
Start a Business
Encourage your child to start a small business for the summer like a lemonade stand, pet sitting, or cutting grass. This is a great way for them to earn some extra money for things they want or to donate to a charity they believe in. It will also allow them to interact with people, teaching them important social skills, while learning valuable money lessons. What is your child passionate about? What do they enjoy doing? Use their natural talents to help them come up with a business idea then help them figure out what they need in order to get started.
Maybe your teenager is a budding entrepreneur in the making. Having them set up their own blog is a great way for them to learn the ins and outs of online marketing and messaging.
Plant a Garden
Encourage your kids to get outside and appreciate nature this summer. A beautiful flower garden will not only bring beauty to your backyard, it will support nature by inviting butterflies and birds to spend time there. Planting a garden makes it “okay” for your kids to get dirty. They’ll have fun and they’ll create an attractive masterpiece in your yard. Plus, they’ll find satisfaction in watching their garden grow.
Get in the Kitchen
Cooking and baking not only teach your kids how to fend for themselves at snack time, but they also teach valuable math skills. If your kids are young, choose no bake recipes like puddings, Jell-O, and no bake cookies or refrigerator pies. Or supervise them in the making of their favorite cookies then let them have a cookie decorating party. Older kids can try these amazing S’more Recipes the entire family will love! There are dozens of YouTube channels of kid-friendly cooking and baking ideas to get your kids interested in spending time in the kitchen and creating something they can be proud of.
Learn a Skill
Encourage your child to learn a new hobby over the summer. YouTube is a great place to get started with a variety of videos on science, drawing, baking, jewelry making, and DIY projects for their room just to name a few. Help them figure out what they’d like to learn then find websites and videos to teach them. You can also visit the library or a used bookstore to find additional content. If it’s a skill they’re really interested in, they’ll stay busy all summer learning more.
Write a Play
This is a great way to encourage your kids to be creative while improving their reading and writing skills. Have them work on writing a play together by creating characters and a story. They can write their lines and act out scenes until they’re happy with their story then they can act it out for the whole family. It will keep them busy for days and inspire lots of creative thinking.
Keeping your kids entertained over the entire summer is a challenge, for sure, and it can be costly. But it doesn’t have to be. There are a variety of activities that will keep your kids busy for a day or the whole summer that are very budget-friendly. It just requires a little creativity. With summer vacations and the need for back to school supplies, there are better things to spend your money on this summer than entertainment.