Keeping kids engaged and not bored during the summer can be difficult. Camps are expensive but daily entertainment can be exhausting for Mom. Coming up with new and exciting activities can take their toll.
Here are seven super summer activities that won’t break the bank and can keep kids engaged throughout the summer months.
1. Reading Challenge. Most libraries offer some sort of summer reading program. But make it a competition between siblings or cousins. Offer a reward. Help them set goals. And meet them. Find a time every day that you set aside just for reading. Not only does this help kids continue to build their skills over the summer, it also teaches them about goal setting and follow through. Plus, a little friendly competition never hurt anyone.
2. Bake Off. Most kids love being in the kitchen. Find a kid friendly recipe and have the kids make it. Of course anything with a stove you can help with but make your own pizzas, cookies, fruit pizzas – anything your kids like to eat, give them the instructions and see what comes from it. Not only are you building math, reading and science skills, you are teaching them responsibility and how to fend for themselves. Plus, dinner making is now fun.
3. Front Yard Water Park. Sometimes going to the local water park can be expensive. Invite over some friends and have them bring all of their water toys and games – super soakers, slip and slides, water tables, baby pools – and set up a massive makeshift water park in your front yard. And since your kids’ friends are coming over, they are more likely to play outside longer.
4. Playground Obstacle Course. This would be especially cool for older kids – set up an obstacle course at your neighborhood playground using items from your garage and the playground equipment. Choose a time that isn’t highly frequented to set up and then invite all the neighborhood kids hanging around. Hours of fun could be had as the kids race each other – and who knows, they may create their own obstacles.
5. Picnic at the Park. It’s an oldie but a goodie. Pack a lunch and go play. Invite someone to meet you there – that way you don’t have to worry about cleaning up after another Mom’s kid. You can stretch out several hours with a picnic, playground and nature walk. And if you go in the morning – the kids will take a good, long nap in the afternoon.
6. Movie Marathon. I know that screen time is a concern but rainy days sometimes call for lazy days. Find a movie series – Toy Story, Harry Potter – buy some popcorn (or make a quick trip to the movie theatre and get some popcorn from there), candy treats, lay down blankets in the living room and let your kids veg. No “real pants” allowed – jammies only! Sometimes, you have to do the unthinkable – and I promise, they will remember this day forever!
7. Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt. Step #1: Find the really organized, creative Moms. Step #2: Make friends. Step #3: Propose idea and offer a few suggestions. Step #4: Let them plan it and be the assistant, helping as needed. Step #5: Gather all the children of the neighborhood and divide them equally by age into teams – put the older kids in charge as team captains. Step #6: Go! This is sure to be loads of fun!
Summer doesn’t have to boring or break the bank. A little creativity goes a long way.