If there is one thing that can be said about kids of all ages and no matter where they live, summer is the most anticipated season of the year. Whilst Christmas is nice with all the lights, parties and gifts under the tree, it’s there and gone before you know it. Summertime, on the other hand, is about six weeks long with so much time to fill.
Even though kids look forward to summer break, it gets old quickly if there is little to do. Actually, there is plenty to do even if you are on a rather tight budget. It just takes a little creativity and before you know it those days will be filled with some of the most interesting activities. You don’t need to spend a lot to have fun, so check out the following eight ideas. You’re sure to find several your kids will enjoy.
8 Brilliant Ideas for Summer Activities on a Budget
1. Backyard Camping
What kid doesn’t love to go camping? Unfortunately, many of the best campsites charge by the night. Depending on the amenities, it could cost several pounds per night and some even charge per person. If your budget is slim, have you considered backyard camping? In fact, some kids actually enjoy that more because they can invite friends over to camp with them. As an added bonus, turn on the sprinkler and let them run through the water to cool themselves off as the days get hot in the afternoons.
2. Plant a Garden
If you have kids who fuss at eating their vegetables, planting a garden is ideal for getting them to try those dreaded green veggies. Why do kids hate vegetables, or at least say they do? Could it be the colour green? Is there some hidden psychological trigger that gets set off at the mere mention of green vegetables? We may never know but the one thing we do know is that our biological kids and any foster kids who have been part of the family all claim to hate green. Maybe it’s contagious? If they grow salad greens, which are easy to care for by the way, and other green veggies like green beans, chances are good to great that you will get them happily eating the food they grew themselves. Somehow the colour green is no longer an issue!
3. Build Birdhouses and Feeders
Building birdhouses and feeders is not as difficult as it sounds. The adults can cut the pieces of wood to size and drill any holes for the perches. The kids can assemble them, paint them and hang them. Do you have hummingbirds where you live? Hummingbird feeders from recycled plastic soda bottles are fun to build and easy to fill and hang. Hummingbirds ‘drink’ nectar that is usually bright red, so it is easy to see when it starts getting low. Kids love to feed animals and birds are no exception to the rule.
Actually, different species of birds eat different foods, so bird watching with an inexpensive pair of binoculars goes hand in hand with those bird houses you are building and the feeders you are hanging. You can either borrow a book on bird species from the library or research them online. Once your kids identify birds native to your area, they will spend hours each week watching them as they make their way to the feeders you’ve set up around the lawn and garden.
Sleepovers are always fun and especially so if you have new family members or visiting cousins that your kids want to introduce to their friends. This is a great way to introduce new foster brothers and sisters to neighbourhood kids and an even better way to get everyone to have a good time. Maybe you could play a movie on that big flatscreen TV while serving snacks that the kids made themselves. How much fun is that? They can have friends over for the night whilst showing off their newfound culinary skills.
6. Cooking and Baking Lessons
Remember those snacks mentioned above? This is where they learn to make them! Have a weekly lesson taking turns between cooking and baking so that they can make the snacks for their weekly get-togethers. Anything from brownies to little finger sandwiches work well, but if you want to get creative, frosted sugar cookies are fun to make and even more fun to eat!
7. Tie Dye Crafts
Believe it or not, tie dye t-shirts did not go out with the 60s. In fact, they are as trendy as ever and kids absolutely love making them. You might want to set them up on the back patio or on the lawn because these are permanent dyes they are working with and you aren’t quite ready for tie dyed sofas or carpets. They can do hats, socks, t-shirts and even bandanas. Choose a different tie dye project each week and by the time they are ready to go back to school, they can wear something they created and have so much fun showing it off to classmates.
8. Build a Rockscape
In recent years, rockscapes are one of the most popular types of garden décor. They are fun to make and they can be changed up often as long as you don’t set your rocks and pebbles in concrete. Some kids like to build little castles and others like to paint rocks like mushrooms or garden gnomes. Whilst a kid’s rockscape wouldn’t likely be quite as polished as a professional rockscaping décor, they still can provide a bit of colour to an otherwise ordinary yard or garden.
There are really so many things you can do on a budget, and these are just a few ideas that we know kids love. Actually, you’ll probably have just as much fun as the kids, and maybe even more, knowing that your summer activities didn’t break the bank. Are you ready for summer yet? Maybe it’s time to start thinking about which of these activities you’d like to start with so you can begin ordering the supplies you need.
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