Let’s be honest – being a single parent/married parent – or just an aunt trying to have fun with some kids – can be EXPENSIVE! My budget is so tight this year, you can almost hear the seams ripping in the process. That being said – I still want to give my kids a summer to remember, so here are a few of my plans that won’t cost you a penny!
1. SPLASH PAD!– I live in Winter Garden, Florida. In our downtown area – there is a splash pad. Pack a few sandwiches, throw them in a backpack, and go down there. I don’t get in a splash pad myself – but I have seen parents wear their swimsuits and walk through it. It’s great fun for the kids, and you can get some serious reading done if you want! DON’T FORGET THE SUNSCREEN!
2. SCAVENGER HUNT! – A scavenger hunt is a little bit of work with a whole lot of payoff. Now, my kids are 20(almost), 16, and 9. My suggestion is this. Tailor it to the kids level. There are a ton of ideas that you can do! I live in a neighborhood, and I am fan of the photo scavenger hunts. That’s where you have to take picture of something with the clue. Use your cell phone! And for my youngest, I can let him borrow an ipod, have one of the bigger ones go with him, or actually have him gather. What’s fun? If it’s way too hot…. you can do this in a mall! And have all the kids work together! Some examples could be, 1.Film your sister doing 10 jumping jacks in front of the fountain! 2. Ask an employee at H&M their middle name. 3. Find the letters “ch” together in the name of the store. And that’s just a few! You can get on Pinterest and find a ton of list ideas ! I take a few of those and make them my own! Just type it up in word/notes on your phone/ and text or print it out! (This can also make a fun date night, just sayin’.)
3. OUTDOOR/INDOOR MOVIES – This is gonna sound basic, but it’s fun. Put your TV in the garage. Get on Netflix. And watch a movie. If you don’t have a garage, put it in a window. Live in an apartment? Put it on the balcony. Now take blankets, air mattresses, whatever you got, pile em up. And lay down and watch a movie. Why? One , you get fresh air. Two, it’s a change of scenery. Three, It’s the intention. Of course you could watch TV on the couch. Or a movie. But it’s the whole plan of making everyone be together, and setting the intention of having fun. And trust me – they will remember. And if you have TV’s outside already? Change the seating – the key here is intention.
4. FAMILY GAME NIGHT/NEW LOCATION – Ok, I love the idea of family game night. I don’t do it – but I love the idea of it. I am going to try to make a part of my life this upcoming school year, but we will see. I love this because it’s intentional, again. Here’s how I do it. Cook dinner (or make a sandwich- judgement free zone, here.) And head to the closest park with a picnic table. I recommend doing this around 7 or 8. Take a card game, or a time managing board game. (We aren’t talking about monopoly or something that can be hours – cause guys, it will get dark.) But it’s a fun time, and it’s alot better to be in a new spot. It really seems to make the kids talk more, especially the older ones.
5. BIKE RIDES/HIKE ON THE TRAIL OR BECOME A LOCAL HISTORIAN– As we already established, I live in Florida. And lucky for me, I am surrounded by nature trails. This is easy – just go. Walk, ride, whichever. But notice things along the way. If you do this all the time? Go a different way. Start at a new location. Now, here is another fun part – become a local historian! You and your kids research your city. A specific fact or location. Read about it. Now, trek over to the spot. And you (or whichever kid) becomes the teacher! This is fun, and I like to try to find the most obscure and random facts!
6. CHALK PAINT/BOMBS/ART – So much fun. And you can do this in a driveway, parking spot, anywhere there is asphalt. (If you live in an area without a driveway, check with your complex, chalk comes off, and they might just ask you to clean after play – and you just need a bucket of water. Also, check in the downtown area. Many places close at 5 or may not open until 10. Ask if your kids could do some chalk art in their lot! ) Now, if you want to buy chalk – hit up the dollar tree. They have it. Saw it this past weekend. If you don’t have the dollar tree, or want to make your own, here’s how ya do it.
- You will need a muffin tin, cornstarch, food coloring, and paper towels. I recommend that you do this outside!
- I fill up the muffin tin about halfway up with the cornstarch.
- Then, add a few drops of food coloring at a time, mixing in between.
- Next, water. I also do this a little at a time, until I get my desired texture. and Voila! Chalk paint hack.
- If you want to do the bombs, which are hilariously fun – make the mixture super thin. Then pour it into a pump bottle. Pump the mixture into balloons. There you go!
I also recommend doing a photo shoot. We have done this – actually as a gift for my parents. And it is so adorable. Think it out, and let them get creative! These pictures can have some great memories, and also – might be making some gifts in the future to save you some more money come Holiday time! Nothing like planning your Christmas gifts in JULY!
I hope you can use one or all these ideas, and have some fun with them! I would love to hear what are some of your cost effective summer ideas to do with the kids! Please comment below or send me a message… and sidebar, all of these would be fun date ideas, also!
Live Fully. Live Fully. Shine On.