Childcare costs are rising, but summer can still be fun-filled for kids. When summer is in full swing…
Childcare costs are rising, but summer can still be fun-filled for kids.
With summer in full swing and inflation soaring, it’s more important than ever to keep your expenses down. Keeping kids entertained on a budget can be difficult, and summer camp costs are steadily increasing. The average cost of a summer day camp in 2022 is $178.49 per day, doubling from 2021 prices, while sleep-away camps cost $448.53 per day and have tripled since last year, according to the American Camp Association. Summer camp costs vary and can be higher than average, especially if you want to send your kids to a special camp like music or sports camp.
Shannon Doherty, mother of four, family influencer and founder of the blog At Home with Shannon, says when it comes to finding fun activities for your kids, don’t push yourself too hard. “Think differently! After all, your kids love spending time with you, so whatever you do together is fun!” she wrote in an email. Here are 11 inexpensive summer activities to do with your kids this summer be able.
Bake with your kids.
Let your kids choose a baking recipe to try together. You can decide how involved you want to be and you can change it depending on how old your kids are. You can buy a simple box mix for younger kids or select a more complex recipe for older kids to make from scratch. Your kids will enjoy selecting a baked good to bake together and they’ll be kept busy and entertained from start to finish. As a bonus, the whole family can enjoy a delicious homemade treat together.
Paint, draw and make art.
Head to the craft store and pick activities for an art day. You can get some inexpensive art supplies like small canvases, acrylic paints, finger paint, and tie-dye paint. If you don’t want to buy these things, you can also research how to make things like chalk and paint at home. There are so many different art projects that you and your kids can do; You can paint pictures on canvases, paint rocks, and chalk on the sidewalk. You can even take your kids outside to your backyard, park or beach and be inspired by nature.
If you want to do some art projects with your kids that aren’t as messy as painting, try simple crafts like drawing or making paper bags or sock puppets. All you need are supplies you might already have at home like crayons, markers, construction paper and glue. Doherty says versatile ideas are important. “The opportunity to come up with ideas that could be reused was enormous,” she says. “You need to be creative and find ways to reuse and reuse things in your home!” Your kids will enjoy making their own artwork and you can even use it to decorate the house or their rooms. With these simple supplies, your kids can spend days creating different fun projects using the same materials.
Conduct scientific experiments.
If you want to both entertain and educate your kids, check out some home science experiments you can do together using simple household items and ingredients. These experiments can be as simple as mixing water, cornstarch, and food coloring to make oobleck. It’s fun to play with and gives you everything you need to teach your kids about non-Newtonian fluids while experiencing it firsthand. There are tons of online resources you can use to find easy experiments to do at home with your kids. You will learn while having fun and having fun with your kids is one of the best teaching methods.
Have a movie night.
There’s never a dull moment to settle down with your family to watch a movie and eat popcorn. This activity is great because you can do it with your kids as often as you want, be it a nightly activity or a weekly activity. Your kids can take turns choosing movies to watch and you can even take it up a notch by making fun snacks or watching the movie outside by projecting it onto a sheet. “We also love family movie nights outside,” says Doherty. “I have a few simple tricks for setting this up with an inflatable pool and a bed sheet.” Movie nights are versatile and fun for the whole family.
Host a game night.
Host a family game night with themed snacks and maybe even some fun homemade decorations. Game nights are extremely varied; They can play board games you already have or play more complicated games like Family Feud, Jeopardy or Charades and maybe even offer a prize for the winner or team. You could even develop your own games together. Game nights are a great way to bond with your kids and have fun, and it’s up to you what games you play and how competitive you make it.
Treat yourself to a water day.
Water parks are fun, but they can be expensive. If you want to provide your kids with some outdoor entertainment on a hot summer day, there are many fun activities you can do at home such as PVC pipes. “We recently made reusable water balloons out of sponges,” says Doherty. “Anything outdoors with my kids is fun.” Water activities will keep your kids entertained, active, and cool in the sun and heat. It’s also very easy to make your own water-filled fun in the comfort of your own backyard, especially if you don’t have access to a neighborhood pool during the summer.
Complete an obstacle course.
Have your kids build an obstacle course outside, either in a park or in your backyard. Ariel Fulmer, mother of two and host of a parenting podcast called Baby Steps Podcast, says the most cost-effective way to keep your kids entertained is by taking a peek at what’s in your home. “I’m always trying to find ways to use the things we already have to inspire a sense of wonder in kids without having to buy anything,” she says. Obstacle courses are great because your kids can build them using household items like boxes, books, and pillows. If you want to take it to the next level, you can buy some cheap items like pool noodles, swim rings, balloons, and hula hoops. Turn it into a friendly competition. Let your kids take turns running the obstacle course and measure them; the winner may receive a small prize. Your kids will have fun finding household items to build the course, and they’ll have even more fun competing to see who can complete the course the fastest.
Have a campfire.
Campfires are a classic summer activity that will delight all your kids. Parks often have fire pits available for campers. If you want to do it at home, make your own with rocks and either buy firewood from the store or look for sticks in your yard. You can even make a meal out of it by roasting hot dogs over the fire and making delicious s’mores for dessert. Campfires are a perfect activity for a chilly summer evening, and your kids will have lots of fun sitting around the fire and making fun snacks for themselves.
Research free or cheap campsites near you and take your kids on a weekend camping trip. If you don’t have the right equipment, you can rent it online. Camping is great for getting the family out of the house for a few days. If you can’t sacrifice a whole weekend, just put up a tent in your backyard and if they want, let your kids sleep in the tent, complete with books, camping stories, snacks and games. An activity like this will help your kids get out into nature and experience new landscapes and help you bond with them.
Go on an adventure.
When your kids get cranky and crazy around the house, go on an adventure. Customize your adventure to suit your children’s interests and preferences. Fulmer says it’s her favorite thing to do when she’s running out of creative ideas. “It doesn’t have to be a big trip or a day at the beach or anything,” she says. “It might just come out. You could just go to a local park. Children will find their own things to do. Just cherish the time you have with your kids because they grow up so quickly.” You can even let your kids choose what adventure they want to go on, whether it’s a walk around the neighborhood or a visit to a local garden, a free museum or a playground.
Inexpensive summer activities for kids:
— Bake with your children.
— Paint, draw and make art.
— Crafting together.
— Conduct scientific experiments.
— Have a movie night.
— Host a game night.
— Have a water day.
— Complete an obstacle course.
– Make a campfire.
– Go on an adventure.
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Inexpensive summer activities for kids originally appeared on usnews.com