What to do With the Kids When You're on a Budget and it's Still Summer

kids summer budget

Colored a multitude of coloring books – check! Sculpted play-doh into butterflies and ladybugs – check! Kiddie pool – check! Umm… Hmm… Now what?! I attempt to schedule play dates and play groups but alas everyone is on vacation. Our budget doesn't have room for mommy and me music every week so it's time to get creative… I scour the cupboards and closets for new adventures, still no luck. Thankfully we have this thing called Pinterest – and it finds itself extremely useful in situations like these. I pin away and end up with a valuable list. Things we can do on a budget that will give us a break from “mama, what can we do now?!” . 

Here are some ways we spend time during the summer to get through those long days and to keep the kids busy/having fun. Once the kids learn these activities, most of the time they can manage them together or with a friend (depending on their age). Even though I have described these activities as summer fun, they can absolutely be used anytime throughout the year (for moms with children who are too young for school). They can also be adapted for indoor use. 

•    Hide and Seek with a favorite stuffed animal 
•    Ring toss with old paper towel rolls and paper plate rings 
    Backyard bowling with old soda bottles and soccer ball 
•    Croquet using dollar store noodles and beach balls 
•    Make a fort kit and use it frequently
•    Sidewalk chalk pictionary 
•    Carpet car race tracks with tape
•    Picnic lunch with beach towels and Disney tunes 
•    DIY Memory Game
•    Magazine sort/paste (based on colors, shapes and themes)using old catalogs 
•    Fruit stamping 
•    Build a story book using printer paper and crayons 
•    Rock concert with cardboard box drums and cereal box guitars 
•    My very favorite - IMAGINARY PLAY 

Most importantly (like shared up above) give your kids something to do that engages their imaginations. They do not need the fanciest toys or games to pretend play. I am always surprised at what makes them the happiest – an old macaroni and cheese box left out from dinner that becomes spaceships and well built cities. They amaze me with the things that they invent and most of the time their ideas excel my list. They don't even need all the suggestions here to enjoy summer. They just get to be a kid. I have to remind myself to stop trying so hard and let them play; to encourage them to use their creativity and to learn from their experiences . I hope this will give you some things to do and make up as you go. Take the pressure off and enjoy the time together; after all that is what they will remember.