9 Things To Do With Kids When They're Bored And Money Is Tight

9 Things To Do With Kids When They're Bored And Money Is Tight

9 Things To Do With Kids When They're Bored And Money Is Tight

I'm bored!

Those two little words can make even the most patient of parents run for the calendar to see when school starts. Summer vacation seems like an eternity when you're serving as family entertainment director.

Add in a tight budget, and it can feel impossible to keep everyone smiling. The financial responsibilities of parenthood can tighten the budget and limit options.

But you don't need to take expensive trips or shell out cash to make family memories this summer. It may surprise you how much fun you have with free or low-cost activities.

Not sure where to look? Try these inexpensive things to do with kids this summer.

1. Local Festivals

Towns and cities of all sizes have festivals during summertime, celebrating everything from Independence Day to the town's heritage. Most offer plenty of free entertainment, including kids' crafts, games, music, and parades. Grab your sunhats and explore these festivals for hours of free entertainment.

2. Park Challenge

How many local parks have you visited with the kids? Create a family challenge by making a list of all area parks. Try to visit all parks by the end of summer.

Cross off each park after you visit. Pack a picnic lunch to make a day of it, and don't forget to take photos to help you remember which parks you liked.

3. Local Business Tours

Look for local kid-friendly businesses or facilities that offer free tours. Your kids can get a behind-the-scenes look at how they work.

Some farms offer tours and animal interactions. Fire stations are also a fun option for tours. Make thank-you cards or cookies to give to the firefighters as a thank you for their service.

4. Family Game Challenge

Bring out friendly competitive spirit with a family challenge. If you're an active family, make an obstacle course in the backyard. Or set up a series of physical challenges.

For a quieter option, set up a board game tournament. Or plan minute-to-win-it style games indoors.

5. New Skill Building

Encourage kids to learn new skills or hobbies to fight boredom. Benefits of hobbies include better self-esteem, talent discovery, and relaxation.

Consider these skills or hobbies:

  • Chess
  • Science experiments
  • Gardening
  • Cooking
  • Collections
  • Computer programming
  • Animal care
  • Sports

Start with your child's interests and suggest ways to explore them more.

6. Free Community Programs

Libraries, conservation groups, and other local nonprofits often hold free programs for kids. Look to the library for summer reading programs, story hours, crafts, and similar activities.

Nature organizations might host outdoor story time, nature walks, or clean-up days. These free programs encourage summer learning in a fun way.

7. Found Object Creations

Instead of buying new materials, gather supplies from recycling bins and nature to create something new to encourage summer creativity. Make crafts by gluing those items onto paper. Or challenge your child to invent something new using only found items.

8. Water Play

Can't afford a trip to overpriced water parks? Create one in your backyard.

Set up different water play areas to keep the kids entertained. Here are some ideas:

  • Sprinklers
  • Kiddie pools
  • Water balloons
  • Water limbo with the hose water stream
  • Wet sponge toss

Always practice water safety, even in the backyard. Young kids can drown in under 2 inches of water, so any standing water is a danger. Keep a constant watch on your kids during water play.

9. Surprise Family and Friends

Share the memory-making by taking a trip to visit family or friends. Make a batch of cookies or a cute craft, and deliver it to a grandparent, aunt or uncle, family friend, or even an elderly neighbor who could use a visit.

Favorite Things to Do With Kids

What are your favorite things to do with kids? You don't have to spend a fortune to have fun and capture memories.

What are you waiting for? Head out and start having summer fun now.

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9 Things To Do With Kids When They're Bored And Money Is Tight