With school out for the summer, you will likely find yourself spending a bit more money, both on food to keep those hungry mouths fed and energized, as well as fun activities to keep the kids from getting bored. Well, there are plenty of fun activities to keep the kids busy that either will not cost you a penny, or at the very most, ten dollars.
Sink or Float
This one will not cost you anything, because all of the supplies are ones that you will find lying in or around the house. Feathers, rocks, acorns, leaves, and bouncy balls are all great examples. Fill up a bucket of water outside and have the kids guess whether or not their items will sink or float.
Homemade Chalk Paint
Chalk paint is super easy to make. Purchase some cheap, clear, plastic condiment bottles from the dollar store. Then fill them up with hot water, a little bit of cornstarch, and food coloring. Have the kids shake them really well, and then get to creating sidewalk art!
Backyard Scavenger Hunt
This will take some planning on your part, but create clues that lead up to one another, that will take your kids on a scavenger hunt through the backyard. Have the final clue lead them to a surprise, like a popsicle, or new squirt gun waiting for them.
Who doesn’t love chasing bubbles around the yard, while trying to pop each one? Bubble solution is cheap and easy to make; simply mix 2 cups of water with ¼ cup Dawn dish soap, and 1 tablespoon of corn syrup, or give this bouncing bubbles recipe a try. If you do not have any old bubble wands lying around you can use fly swatters, slotted kitchen utensils, and even cookie cutters.
Couch cushion forts tend to be quite popular among children, so why not build a fort outside, using old sheets and clothespins? If you have close trees you can use the limbs to help hang the sheets up, or even tie a string around the trunks, to drape the sheets over. Be creative. Have fun!
Blocks of Wood
If you have access to blocks of polished wood (so your kids don’t get splinters) let them go to town with building! It’s amazing how busy blocks can keep kids, plus they may surprise you on what they’re able to build.
My family finally gave Geocaching a try recently. I’ve been wanting to do it for some time now, and we all (10 of us) headed out on Mother’s Day this year to give it a try. Geocaching is like a real-life treasure hunt that uses GPS coordinates and clues to help you find the hidden geocache. You can pretty much do this anywhere as there are literally thousands of geocaches all over the world. You probably have some in right in your own hometown. Check out the Geocaching website for more information on this fun, free, family activity.
Go to the movies
Many movie theaters around the nation offer really cheap movies (like $1-$2) on certain days (and typically during the morning hours) for kids. Granted, they are older movies, but this is an inexpensive way to get the kids out of the house, into some cool air conditioning, watching a movie they may not have seen yet or a family favorite. Check your local theater it see if this is available near you.
Vacation Bible School
Vacation Bible School (VBS) is offered by many churches during the summer months. It’s a week full of fun activities, usually centered around a specific theme (like beach, jungle, road trip, western), that is meant for educating children about God. VBS typically lasts anywhere from 2-4 hours, depending on the church and program, and is ideally for kids in the elementary grades (although some gear their program towards all ages – PreK through high school). After drawing kids closer to the Lord, the next best thing about VBS is that it’s FREE! Check your local churches (many will have signs or banners out front, so keep your eyes peeled while you are out running errands) to see if and when one is offered.
I’ll admit, I’m not a fan of activities that make a big mess, but it you’re going to give in and let your kids have a little messy fun, summer is a great time to do it (make the mess outside and/or jump in the pool or play with the hose when you are done). Slime is one of the biggest sensory crazes lately and there are so many different and unique recipes and kinds to try. Just a quick search on Pinterest will give you lots of fun ideas. How about a fun textured sand slime recipe that is perfect for summer!?
Do you have any activities under $10 to share?
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