Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday Fun- Keeping Kids Busy in the Summer

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We're now in full blown summer mode. Summer can really become an expensive time with children being home and wanting entertainment! Here are some ways to keep the kids busy for less.
  • Summer reading programs- many public libraries offer summer reading programs for free! 
  • While you are at the library, check out all the great things libraries have today. Seriously, many libraries have cd's, dvd's, books, and some even have electronic resources for you to download at home. My local libraries have extensive children and teen rooms, as well as, an extensive dvd collection. My local library also hosts many activities from baby story time, to arts and crafts. I love to check out books for DIY projects. 
  • Parks! Many local parks are free, and some offer programs for kids in the summer. At the very least they provide some good fresh air for children. 
  • Take a picnic to the park! I've done this before and it is tons of fun. 
  • Start a summer project with your kids. This depends greatly on your child's age and capabilities, but kids often love helping out on big projects. One idea might be to hold a garage sale. This requires gathering items (a good way to cut back on the clutter), cleaning items, pricing items, making signs, setting up, and then selling things. Offer to let the kids keep the money for any of their own items that they sell, or put all money to something the whole family wants like a vacation. Perhaps consider a lemonade stand as well at the sale. Other projects might be gardening or painting. 
  • Museums and national parks- a lot of them have summer programs. You can also find coupons for these activities in local papers, online, and other coupon sources.
  • Board games and card games- I still love playing these, and they are some of the best memories I have from being a kid.
  • For pre-teens and teens- summer jobs. Baby-sitting, pet walking, lawn mowing, car washing, and the like are all appropriate and help them learn some great skills.
  • Be creative- paint pictures, do crafts, make up plays and skits, do mad-libs, have magic shows, sing, dance, build forts. These are all really fun things to do that kids love to do as well.
  • Exercise- find some sort of exercise for you and your kids to do. Go bike riding, walking, do yoga, play basketball together, etc. It shows them that exercise is important and you do it to. (I know it's hard, it's one thing I'm working on too)
  • Volunteering- there are plenty of places that would love some volunteer help or visitors. Examples would be animal shelters, nursing homes, hospitals, homeless shelters, and churches.
Do you have any ideas? Share them below.
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