So here is my list of low budget summer activities that will keep your kids busy until the school bell rings next fall.
- Backyard Camping - We've all gone camping but have you gone camping in your backyard? Not a new concept, but it might be new to your family. Borrow a tent if you don't have one or consider buying one now that they are on clearance sales. Have a barbecue and sleep under the stars. Tell scary stories, roast marshmallows and maybe even play guitar and sing around the campfire. You don't have to leave home to have a good time you don't have to pay a hefty camp site rate in order to give your children the camping experience.
- Stargazing - I remember fondly when my dad would take me out after dark and go down by the lake where we lived. He got out the telescope and set it up on a wooden picnic table next to the still lake and he pointed it up to the sky. It was late at night and I felt so grown up being able to be out that late. It was just the two of us there. He pointed out constellations the let me look at the man in the moon close up. I'm planning on doing that with my kids this summer and maybe your children would enjoy it too. If you have a telescope, simply go outside to your driveway and head to the nearest lake. It can be an educational time for your children and they won't even know it, Maybe spend a little time researching different constellations or facts about planets and the moon before you go or ask them to draw pictures or write in a journal about what they have learned. The best thing part about this adventure is that it won't even cost you a penny.
- Travel the World (without ever leaving your house) -. You have some vacation time to use-up? But you don't have any money to go anywhere? Don't worry about it! Bring the world to your home. Choose your favorite vacation destination and transform your home and yard into a mini version of your dream place. Want to go to Hawaii? Head to the store and buy ham, pineapple and maybe a few coconut. Then hang tissue paper flowers around your house, download some Hawaiian music or listen to some on the web. Have your children make a lei from silk flowers or simply make a candy lei for your children as a surprise. Want to turn it into an educational event? Have your children research about Hawaii and discuss it during your luau. You may even want to invite the neighbors for the party. Consider renting a video on how to do the hula dance and have a surprise performance. If Hawaii isn't your thing and you'd rather go to Disneyland but just don't have the money to do it consider having a Disney experience on the cheap. Buy Disney souvenirs, watch your favorite Disney movie and hand out favors with your favorite Disney characters on them to complete your Disney celebration night.
- Movie Night - Go to the library and check out your favorite or a classic movie or head to the new release area. Pop some popcorn and turn down the lights to have a family movie night. If you have a projector consider having an outdoor movie on a hot summer night. If you don't have a projector you can still haul your TV outside and pretend you are at the drive-in theater. be sure to have plenty of snacks and drinks on hand along with pillows and blankets to cuddle.
- Spa Night - Everyone loves being pampered. Consider surprising your family with a night of pampering with bubble bath loofahs and candles from the dollar store. Download some relaxing music from the web and have light snack such as water with lemon wedges and fruit and vegetable trays with cheese on hand. Offer to massage your family member's shoulders and run a nice bubble bath and play relaxing music. You can also find some inspiring items at the grocery store. For instance put cold cucumber slices on your family's eyes
I hope these ideas have helped you keep your little ones busy or that we have inspired you to come-up with some of your own ideas.