June 21st is the official first day of summer! Your kids will be out of school by then and summer boredom will be setting in. What are you going to do with them all summer? My daughter is only 2 but we still need activities. I like her to burn energy off and be ready for an early bedtime so mama can watch non-toddler friendly TV and have a glass of wine! Use some of our budget-friendly summer activities to keep your kids busy this summer.
Water playgrounds and splash pads
I remember the day of living in Southern California and my mom turning on the sprinklers so we could run through them for hours. We would spend all day out there! Now many areas of the US have parks that have splash pads. They are usually on for most of the summer and the best part is they are free! You can pack a lunch and spend the day in the water. Check your local city websites to find out where yours are and when they will be turned on.
Another inexpensive activity is camping. Load everyone up in the car with a tent and a cooler full of food and set out on an adventure. Camping is great family time, you are unplugged and can focus on making memories. My husband always talks about how much fun he had camping as a kid and has so many great memories of his time with family and friends. He is hoping to recreate some of that with our daughter and I’ll agree to go as long as there is a bathroom with real toilets. Check out http://uscampgrounds.info to find the perfect camping spot for you. Budget tip – any of the campsites with a white symbol are less than $12 daily rate!
We have a fantastic library program here in Jackson County, Oregon and I bet your county does too! Take a look online to see what events will be offered in your area. Libraries usually have great summer activities for your child to get involved in. I have seen Lego building, movie days, story time and chess clubs. My personal favorite in our area is Toddlerobics. There are activities for all ages including adults. Summer reading programs are also a great way for your child to learn and earn incentives. Encourage your child to spend part of their summer reading. If you can’t find a summer reading program in your area, create your own! Take your kids to pick out their own books from the library and make up your own incentives as they reach goals.
Free admission days
Do you have a local amusement park, museum or zoo that you like to go to but it is not in the budget? Check with them for free or reduced admission days for locals. Get the most out of your day by planning ahead and spending all day there.
U-pick or PYO (pick your own) Farms
I love upick farms and they are a great way to spend a couple of hours. What does your area grow? Check local farms for upick and head out there with the kids. There is still a cost with upick but it tends to be nominal and you get to take home your fresh picked fruits! When we go, we usually eat as much as we pick. The kids will have a great time finding and picking their fruits and it is a great way to teach them about how things grow. At my adult age, I just found out how artichokes grow!
Free Kid Workshops
Home Depot offers free kids workshops. The workshops are on select Saturday mornings for a few hours and a parent must be present. I think that it is awesome that Home Depot offers this. Most kids are always interested in home projects and it would be a great chance to allow them to make something on their own. The next one that is coming up at our store is building a tow truck. How fun is that? Check out Home Depot’s website to see what is coming up in your area. If you don’t have a Home Depot near you, check with your local hardware store. They also often offer kids workshops. Our local hardware store just offered a workshop for kids to plant a flower pot for Mother’s Day.
Get a job
What better way to keep the summer budget friendly than to spend the summer actually making money! There are a lot of options for kids to earn some money. Can he or she mow lawns, walk dogs or be a parent helper by watching younger kids? The options are endless and are a great way to keep busy this summer. Talk with your kids and see what ideas they have to earn money this summer and help them put their plan in place.
What budget-friendly summer activities do you have planned for your kids? We love to hear from you, please share below.