So, summer’s upon us again and you dread hearing the kids beg for another expensive trip to the amusement park or movies. Or worse, hearing those infamous words, “I’m bored!” No need for boredom and no need to empty your wallet either. Here are more than two dozen cheap or free fun things to do with the kids.
1. Write stories together.You can make up some fiction, or try topics such as: Cutest thing my pet did; What life was like when Grandma was my age; Places I would like to travel; etc.
2. Build paper airplanes and have a flying contest. Find free patterns at FunPaperAirplanes.com
3. Create a fort in your living room. Drape sheets or blankets around furniture or cardboard boxes.
4. Pack up a picnic and have a sunset meal at a park or beach.
5. Play hide-and-seek.
6. Have a pillow fight. To minimize mess, don’t use feather pillows!
7. Let the kids help you bake cookies. Too much work? Get the slice-and-bake kind.
8. Visit your local library – most of them have excellent sections for kids.
9. Check out a thrift shop. I introduced my son to them and he loves buying his clothes there. Teens and college kids will enjoy snapping up retro outfits for pennies, while younger kids can find inexpensive toys.
10. Create a scrapbook with programs for the kids’ school plays and recitals, treasured show and sports game tickets, their artwork, photos, birth announcements, etc.
11. Who doesn’t love finger painting? Just be sure to put down a cheap tarp and wear clothes you don’t care about.
12. Help the kids decorate their own rooms. Young ones can select decorative items or curtain colors while older ones can help paint, sew or build.
13. Tell ghost stories in the dark with a flashlight.
14. Try a treasure hunt -leave clues around the house or yard.
15. Teach the kids to play chess, checkers or backgammon.
16. Create a family memories book, with information and pictures. Or create a family website with photos and videos.
17. Garden with the family. Even younger ones can water flowers or pull weeds.
18. Go through old clothes and toys with the kids, and have them choose things to donate to charity. It’s a good chance for them to learn that others are less fortunate.
19. Camp out at home – pitch a tent, sleep outside in the yard and roast marshmallows.
20. Create a blog together. Try Google’s site, www.blogger.com, which is free.
21. Write and produce a play to perform before other family members. You can get really creative and do costumes and props too.
22. Do photography with the kids. Take pictures of pets, nature or whatever interests them.
23. Have a family singalong. If you don’t have music books, try the library. Or get karoake or singalong CD’s which include lyric sheets.
24. Learn and tell each other jokes. Again, try the library for books of family-friendly humor.
25. Walk barefoot in the grass and pick wildflowers. It’s a nice time to teach the kids to appreciate nature – just remember to tell them not to pick the neighbor’s flowers.
Photo Credit via Flickr