It can be difficult for parents to manage their kids when they’re home full-time during the summer. However, it’s not impossible.
Follow these helpful tips and enjoy a fun-filled, budget summer that everyone’s sure to remember.
Let Them Get Bored
There’s no rule saying you have to keep your kids entertained every day during the summer. Leaving your kids to their own devices doesn’t make you a bad parent. Studies show it can lead to greater creativity, psychological well-being, motivation, and more. Besides that, it gives you vital downtime.
Go to the Library
Libraries are a sorely unused resource in most areas and they offer much more than books (although they’re awesome). Most libraries offer summer activities too such as arts and crafts, storytelling, puppet shows, and more. The best thing is they are usually free or very inexpensive.
Point Out a Park
Print out a map of your area and ask your child to close their eyes and point to the map. Find the nearest park, pack a lunch, water, and sunscreen and check it out. It’s even more fun when you have several children, because they’ll get excited for the next adventure and their turn.
Visit a Museum
Museums are great places and almost every one offers a free day or afternoon to visit. Even if you think this isn’t the kind of thing your child would be interested in, you might be surprised. Mine flipped over a display of medieval armor and asked to go back again and again.
Shop on a Budget
Thrift stores and dollar stores can offer educational lessons. Head to the closest one to home and set a small budget for your child. Give them a bill and tell them they have to stick to the budget.
Sure, they might try you a few times to see if you’ll cave, but resist. They may find many items they like, but remind them it’s all the money they have. Eventually, they’ll find something they want. Let them pay and receive change.
Plant a Mini-Garden
Many children have no idea how plants grow. If you have a garden that’s great – if not, grab a plastic container, poke drainage holes in the bottom, and fill with soil.
Do a little research with them about what grows well in your area. Let them pick a vegetable or flower they want to grow. They can plant the seed or plant, but they are also responsible for weeding, watering, and other garden maintenance.
Make a Pinhole Camera
A pinhole camera is the simplest form of camera and easy to make with household objects. It will keep your child busy for hours and they’ll discover the principles of photography too.
Check Out a Nature Webcam
Whether you kid loves the jungle or the Great Barrier Reef, you can visit remotely. Most are available 24/7 and once you’ve piqued their interest you and delve into a topic more. Here are 10 great webcams for kids to start you on your journey.
Camp in the Backyard
Set up the tent in the backyard and spend a night outdoors with them. Tell stories, eat snacks, and get creative. It’s exciting and almost a rite of passage for any child, especially if you can’t get away from the city.
Build a Bug Motel
This is a simple project, but amazingly fascinating for most kids. Grab a medium-sized box (preferably wood) and carefully line it with twigs, wood chips, pine cones, reeds, and other sturdy natural materials. You can find cheap boxes in a dollar store and materials in any park, or even your own backyard.
Attach the box on a hook on a fence or exterior wall. Bugs love to come and nest in the crevices, so visit the box daily. Try to identify the bugs that “check-in.”
Make Healthy Popsicles
This is a great skill-building and patience activity, with a tasty reward when they’re done. Popsicle molds are inexpensive and the treats can be healthy instead of laden with sugar. Here are 15 healthy alternatives they’re sure to love.