Summer is officially here and in a few days the kids will be home. For me this will be a change since I only have 2 at home during the day. Now it'll be 4 and when the teenagers aren't working, 6!
While I'll enjoy spending time with them I'm not looking forward to when they start telling me there's nothing to do. I'm sure they don't want to hear my usual response, "Oh, you need something to do?"
So what can you do to keep the kids entertained without breaking the bank. Here are some things that we have done in the past.
Also if you read last weeks WFMW post about the summer fun bags you can be ready for fun at a moments notice.
1. Nature - It's free! We live in an area with lots of lakes and rivers nearby so this is usually the first thing we do. You can have hours of fun just playing in the water and the sand. I'll usually pack some food, grab our suits and off we go. There's nothing like a cool lake on a hot summer day. In addition to water time there is hiking. Kids love exploring and there is so much to see out on a trail. To find some great places to go in the northwest go to http://www.wildernesstrip.com/.
2. Letterboxing - Speaking of exploring, one thing I found a couple of years ago was Letterboxing. All you need is a stamp and a logbook (a fun craft to do with the kids). Go to http://www.letterboxing.org/ to get clues to where you can find hidden letterboxes. Once you find a box you stamp its logbook with your stamp and put their stamp in your logbook. It's alot like geocaching, you just don't need a GPS.
3. The Library - Most have summer reading programs with lots of fun activities for the kids to do. Plus it encourages them to keep up on that reading.
4. Reading - pick out a couple of books you'd like to read and read them out loud with your kids. Have D.E.A.R. time (Drop Everything And Read). Everyone just drops what they're doing and reads for a specific length of time.
5. Movies - I really try to limit the electronic time in my house because I know if I don't it'll get away from me but once in awhile a trip to the theater can be fun. Regal cinemas has a Free Family Film Festival where they show free G and PG movies every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 am. Go to http://www.regmovies.com/ and click on the link.
6. Farms - We always have a big garden, but I don't have everything so we've headed out to some local farms to pick fruit. You have to pay for the fruit but it's cheaper and so much better than what's in the grocery store. Plus the fun is free.
7. County Fair - Preparing something for an exhibit can take hours. With so many categories to choose from there is bound to be something your little one can do. I remember walking around in past fairs, looking at all the exhibits and thinking "I can do that" or "My kids could do something like that". I had been wanting our family to enter for years and last year was the first time someone actually did something.
Last year our then 4 yo entered a cabbage he had been tending all summer. He had so much fun entering it and going back to see if he had won a ribbon. A plus to this is that you usually get free admission for entering (a nice frugal way to get all your kids into the fair for free). That leaves more money for elephant ears!
By the way, for great gardening tips checkout our raised bed gardening blog
I hope this "Works for me Wednesday" post has given you some ideas on some frugal ways you can have fun with your kids this summer. Enjoy!
To see what others are doing when their children are bored visit Works for me Wednesday.
Live less, Live more
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