Wednesday, July 21, 2010

10 Ideas for Frugal Summer Fun

I always seem to run out of fun ideas for keeping everyone busy about mid-summer. Or maybe I just forget. I hate to get into a rut and let summer slip away, but it's easy to do. So, I gathered a few ideas that might help us enjoy summer while we still have some of it left.

1. Stargaze: Get a book from the library about stars or visit a kids astronomy website for some information about constellations. Lay on a quilt with snacks and drinks and enjoy the show.  It's even more fun if you have a telescope.  We have one similar to this that we bought years ago when the big kids were small.  Sky-Watcher Great Start 70 AR-AZ2 70mm Refractor Telescope

2. Concerts in the park:  Check in your city to see if they offer any community sponsored events.   Our town has free concerts in the park and Shakespeare in the park.  It's fun to take a picnic and lawn chairs and make an evening out of it.

3. 2nd run movies: You may be able to find a theater nearby that offers 2nd run movies at a cheap price. We have one that shows movies for $2.

4. Movable Feast: Serve your meal somewhere different than usual. Have a picnic on the trampoline, inside the fort the kids built, or on the front lawn. Change things up a little.

5. Garage Sales: Load everyone up early on a Friday or Saturday morning. Let them take donuts and juice in the car (along with a damp washcloth in a plastic bag for sticky fingers), and hit the yard/garage sales in your neighborhood. Give each of the kids a dollar or two to spend. My friend Retro and I used to do this nearly every weekend. It was especially fun when we could find a block sale. You can map out your route the night before, but also keep an eye out for any signs you see. We've found some of the best sales that weren't advertised in the paper or online that way.

6. Bake:  Let the kids help you bake cookies.  Who says you have to wait until Christmas?  If you're like me, you probably have more time for it now.

7. Drive-in Movie:  Take the TV out on the porch or the driveway and let the kids pull their bikes up.  Even better if you own or can borrow a projector and show the movie on your garage door or a sheet.

8. Homemade slip and slide:  I learned about this from Retro.  She set out a big plastic tarp on the grass and used half a bottle of cheap baby shampoo and the sprinkler to make it slippery.  Her kids had a great time with it.  The even set up a ramp with a little easy set pool at the end. Of course, you'll also need to make sure there aren't any rocks or sticks under the tarp.

9. Roller Skating:  Our town still has a roller rink and it's cheap to skate.  They'll even let the kids bring in their scooters and roller blades if they want.  Plus you'll be able to tell them how cool you were skating in 1981 with pom-poms on your skates to Kool and the Gang while rocking a side ponytail. Oh, maybe that's just me.

10.  Play HGTV: This is especially fun if you have girls, but boys like it too.  My girls love to rearrange their furniture.  Help them draw their room on a piece of paper and figure out where everything will go.  We sometimes end up with strange configurations, but that's OK.  It won't hurt anything to have a nightstand in a corner next to a dresser.  That's how they learn, plus it's a good way to get a little de-cluttering and cleaning done in the process.

Hope the rest of your summer is fantastic!
Much love,