Budget-Friendly Summer Activities for Kids
Your kids are home for the summer. All you hear is, “Moooooom, I’m soooooo bored!” You want to provide them with fun activities that don’t break the bank. Here are a few ideas.
*Municipal summer activities for kids are usually offered at no or low cost. Check with your community’s department of parks and recreations for a listing of their summer activities. Youth sports teams/leagues, learning activities, and other civic experiences can provide your kids with fun, exercise, and knowledge at little to no cost to you.
*Many public libraries offer summer activities for kids. These activities are typically available to all library card holders at no cost. Such activities include read-along-with-me sessions in which authors or library staff members read books aloud to groups of kids; book-and-movie groups in which kids read a book, then watch the movie that parallels the book, and then discuss the comparison between the book and the movie; etc.
*Many museums and arts centers offer summer activities for kids. These are typically offered at no or low cost to the public or to members. Such activities may include music appreciation classes, art classes, and fun-with-fossils classes.
*Local civic organizations such as a YMCA/YWCA offer summer youth activities to kids. These activities are offered at reduced cost to families within their membership. Some of these activities include swimming, tennis, basketball, and even lock-ins (sleep-overs in which the kids are locked into the facility overnight and can take advantage of all the facility has to offer throughout that period).
*You and your family can choose mini-vacations or fun outings that keep your kids entertained and keep your budget intact. Go on a nature hike on a trail just outside your community. Tour the points of interest in and near your community (i.e., your state capitol, historic sites, tourist attractions, etc.).
*Coordinate fun, shared activities with one or more other families. For example, you and two other households can take turns hosting weekly activities for the kids from all three households together. Do you have a kiln? If so, on your week you can teach the kids from all three households how to make ceramics. When it is your neighbor’s week, he can teach your kids how to weave baskets using only twigs and leaves from the park. When it is your best friend’s week, she can take your kids to the batting cages (since her uncle owns them and she can get all the kids in free).
*Volunteer your family’s time to area non-profits that need volunteer help. For example, you and your family can volunteer to walk and play with dogs in the care of your local humane society. The homeless dogs in their shelter need all the love and attention they can get, so your family will be doing good, having fun, and learning about loving and attending to others.
These are just a few of the many opportunities that exist for your kids this summer. With a little creativity, you can keep your kids busy, entertained, and learning for the whole summer . . . all without wreaking havoc on your budget.
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