We have entered a new era, the era of kids being boooooored. I personally never got bored in the summer when I was a kid, and if I did, I certainly would never let my parents know about it. I knew they would help me get un-bored real quick, and with something that would get me nostalgic for boredom. Here are some affordable ways to keep kids busy this summer.
Help kids start a book club. Have them ask a couple of friends to read the same book and then meet to deconstruct Twighlight and discuss whether Voldemort was a feminist or not.
Plant a family garden and grow your own food. Kids can learn that food doesn’t just magically appear in the grocery store. Maybe save the lesson on where meat comes from until they are a little older.
Take an all day bike ride to explore your neighborhood and find new trails if kids are bored of riding up and down the street. Kids need to explore their surroundings. The more they are familiar with their neighborhood, the less likely they will get lost someday. Help them safely expand their horizons, literally.
Help your tween girls start a fashion club, to sew, style, and model clothes. This not only promotes self-sufficiency, clothing repair is a skill they will thank you for down the road. Plus, if they ever win Project Runway, you will be the first one they thank.
Have a field day. Play freeze tag, red rover, potato sack race, and the three-legged race. Try “minute to win it” type games too for a new twist. Kids will not only enjoy the competition, but they will love to see mom or dad look silly playing the games with them.
Make and fly your own kites. Take a tip from Nanny Poppins herself. Supplies are cheap and kids can have fun decorating and personalizing them. Have a contest to see who can fly their kite the highest or keep theirs in the air the longest.
Help kids start a cooking club. Give them a huge step up by beginning their culinary education early. Have them invite a few friends over to make it even more fun. Just make sure your fire insurance is up to date.
Have a Picnic. When was the last time you did a full on classic picnic? Go as classic as possible. Break out the red-checkered tablecloth, pack up a picnic basket, and get busy playing the cloud game.
Visit a museum, public pool, or zoo. This doesn’t have to be expensive. See what they offer in the way of family passes or many of these fine establishments offer free admission one day a month.
There are always summer reading programs at local libraries. Some even offer fun incentives like earning a pizza party to keep kids hitting the books while school is out.
Find out if there is still a drive in movie theater in your area. It is a fun alternative to seeing a movie at the cinema. It usually is cheaper for a family because you pay by the car (fill it with kids!), They mostly do double features (2 movies for the price of 1!), Often you are allowed to bring your own food and snacks. Perhaps the most attractive feature is that you can spread out, throw that old mattress in the back of the truck, and get comfy.
Help kids make their own radio show. Have them give the news, complete with updates on the weather and sports hour with late breaking news about their most recent game of horse. You can even turn it into a podcast that grandma and uncle Bill can tune in to. Make sure you keep the recording for posterity – they’ll thank you later.
Family and neighborhood game of kick ball. I love this because it can be for all ages. A 2 year old can kick the big red recess ball and grandpa can roll the pitches over home plate.
So my fellow moms and dads, how will you keep your kids busy this summer without going broke?