Summer is here. School is out for most children and we are all ready for vacation time. OK, now what do we do? If you are looking for some ideas of frugal yet fun activities to do with (or without) the kids, check out this new series.
Fun and Frugal summer activities!
Just because we want something special to do does not mean an expensive trip. Although DisneyLand and Disney World are incredible, I think there also memories to be made closer to home. This time we will concentrate on activities that are just half a day or less. Later we will tackle the overnight options.
- Library summer reading program– I already shared that the library is one of the most underused free resources, but the options during the summer are even better. Any public library I have ever visited has a summer reading program to encourage children to read. They often have special programs, prizes and give-a-ways for young readers. One library even had an incentive program for adults. I won a gift certificate to a book store and my teenage daughter won a large mug.
- Vacation Bible School– churches take advantage of the summer months to hold Vacation Bible School (VBS) or day camps for children. These can be held during the day or in the evening. Usually they have just a minimal fee to cover cost of t shirt of crafts. If you are a member of a church that hosts VBS consider volunteering. It is a great way to help others in your community and have fun too.
- Gardening- Kids naturally love to dig in the dirt, so why not plant something? If you have few square feet you can dig up for some vegetable, great. If not, try container gardening on the back porch or on the kitchen window sill. Kids who will not come within 10′ of a vegetable will ask for more when they grew and harvested that zucchini. Seeds are really cheap at the garden store or even grocery store. Suggestions for quick growing and little maintainance include: radishes, squash, pumpkins, flowers and onions.
- Crafts- summer is a wonderful time to teach your kids your favorite craft or to explore a new one. Craft stores often have free classes. Check with your county Extension Office to see if the agents are holding craft classes during the summer. Get ahold of Grandma and ask her to teach the kids her craft. The long summer afternoons are just perfect for working on needle crafts or painting.
- Make crafts to enter in the local fair– so, when you have completed some of the crafts you learned in the above sessions, enter your best ones in the county fair. Each summer counties all over our nation gather together for the county fair. And usually a big part is the craft judging. If you want to be amazed at the talent of others in your community, just check out the craft displays at the fair. But for kids there is an added incentive, premiums! Those blue, red, and white ribbons often have check attached to them. A little extra spending money for doing something you love. Mom, check out adult categories too. While at the library for summer reading club you can check some craft books out.
- Farmer’s Market- while you are waiting for your squash and flowers to grow, visit your local farmers market. It is a just a great outing for the kids to meet folks who are passionate about their products, it may be a great place to pick up a few fresh veggies for dinner. Nothing tastes better than a fresh tomato in the salad, according to my mother.
That should keep you busy this week. Next time, more frugal activities and ideas.
What is your favorite summer activity? Share with us. And stay cool out there.