4 Inexpensive Things to Do With Kids This Summer
School’s out for summer . . . we all know that song, and the girls and I have been singing it for the last several days! Now is the time of the year we get to sleep in and stay up late. It’s also the time of the year mom needs to find a slew of activities to fill the days, without breaking the bank.
Here are four of our favorite ways to spend the crazy days of summer.
- Bowling. About four years ago, when my youngest was still toddling around on chubby legs, I discovered Kids Bowl Free. It’s this wonderful program that offers two free bowling games per day every day of the summer (although it actually runs well into September, long after school has started here). Shoes are not technically included in our deal, though they are in some areas; we bowl free on Wednesdays when rentals are half price. The offer is available at certain lanes, so log onto the site and see if your lanes are listed. You can also get a deal for family to bowl two free games each day of the summer for $24.95, and they often run specials like ‘buy the family pass, get a restaurant.com certificate free’ (which is what I did last year).
- Explore Nature. We do this all the time in the summer by visiting the nearby beach and taking hikes on nature trails. Some parks charge small fees, but one park in our area offers a variety of nature programs all year around for kids and the fee is only $5 to get into the park. You can then use the facilities and spend the day hiking, biking, picnicking, and playing on the playground. Some days are designated ‘get in free days’ – check this site to find parks near you that offer get in free deals. This is one of our all day long outings.
- Get Crafty. I’m all about arts and crafts, so the girls and I spend a lot of time doing crafty things in the summer. First we check out a slew of books from the library (free!) and do a little research on sites like Pinterest. Then we gather together supplies around the house and make things. In the past we have created puppets out of socks, popsicle sticks, toilet paper and paper towel rolls, and other items; then we put on a show. We have made sidewalk chalk and then spent the morning creating masterpieces on the driveway (though we do this after purchasing the chalk for $1, too!). We’ve made bubbles and had a bubble-a-thon, and we’ve dressed up and put on plays of our favorite books.
- Create a Scavenger Hunt with Neighborhood Friends. This year a friend of ours put together a scavenger hunt game, posted on Facebook. We are to find 25 items: things like a team member’s first initial created by nature, team members with a statue of an animal, a fiddler crab. We take pictures and post on our scavenger hunt page on Facebook. Each item is worth a certain amount of points (harder to find items are worth more). Winner receives a gift certificate to a certain craft place in town at the end of the hunt (donated by the company). Fun stuff, and costs nothing! Plus, it gets kids looking ‘outside of the box.’ We spent half an hour yesterday searching for our initials made by something in nature!
What are some of your favorite inexpensive summertime activities?
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