It’s the two words every parent dreads during the summer. Fear not: Jason White of the Frugal Dad website offers two weeks worth of affordable summer fun activities
1. Sprinkler day
Delay your sprinklers for one day so they come on a little later in the morning. This way, everyone can put on their bathing suits and have fun. But not for too long! This is a good time to teach them about conserving water, reducing utility costs, etc.
2. Attend “story time” at your local library
My kids love to check out books on all kinds of subjects. My son currently has three library books on swimming, pirates and going to the dentist (quite a diverse reader, huh?). Many libraries also have a story time to encourage a summer reading program.
3. Rent a summer-themed movie on a rainy day
Our pick: Freaky Friday.
4. Set up a lemonade stand
This is probably my favourite idea because it involves lessons in entrepreneurship. Lend your kids $10 as “seed money” for supplies, or better yet, let them use their own money from savings. This way, they don’t get used to the idea that borrowing leads to prosperity. Take the kids along to the grocery store one morning and let them pick up the lemons, sugar, cups and a couple bags of ice to keep in a cooler by their stand.
5. Teach your kids to fly a kite
Check your 10-day forecast and look for a windy day in the coming week. Pick up an expensive kite for the kids — it’s worth the investment. I even recommend springing for the extra spool of kite string on a roller because the string and handles that come with the kites are lousy.
6. Make homemade play-doh, using a recipe found online
I suppose the next best option would be to pick up some commercial Play-Doh on sale, but what fun would that be?
7. Bake a cake
I remember having a ball helping my mom bake something when I was young. And not all the fun came at the end when I got to lick the icing from the bowl. Plus, they learn fractions and measurements.
8. Build a “fort” outside
When my son was smaller he got the biggest kick out of playing in giant cardboard boxes. We would colour them, and cut “windows” out for him to look through.
9. Go bowling
Call the lanes ahead of time and ask if they have any summer specials (certain days may be cheaper).
10. Declare a “bored” game day
I learned to play chess, checkers, backgammon, and poker (my mom wasn’t thrilled with that) one summer while staying with my grandparents. Few kids today don’t realize you can play games without a computer.
11. Have a water balloon fight
You will totally win (but be sure to pick up the balloon remains, especially if you have very little ones or pets as they could be a choking hazard).
12. Create a “mini-me”
Find a piece of large poster board or large heavy-duty paper (such as a butcher paper) wide enough for your kids to lay down on. Use a dull pencil (less chance for boo-boos) to trace their entire body to the paper from head to toe. Now let the kids decorate the kids to look like themselves in the same clothes they are wearing, same colour eyes, hair, etc. When they are finished, help them cut out their mini-me for proud display.
13. Pajama day
I feel like having these days as an adult! Stay in your pajamas all day long. Make pancakes in the morning, bake a pizza for lunch and lounge around.
14. Spend a day volunteering your time
A good way to wrap up your two-week blitz of fun is to allow your kids to donate their time to a worthy cause. Contact a few local charities and find out which ones will allow kids to volunteer.