Summer rolls around and many parents are left to wonder - "What can I do to entertain my kids?" Well, no worries, parents - your options are endless! Here are 50 low-cost or no-cost things to do during the summer:
1. Get dirty - make mud pies!
2. Make an outdoor obstacle course in your backyard.
3. Put on a family magic show, puppet show, comedy show, or talent show.
4. Play dress up.
5. Moms, let your kids style your hair. Give them all sorts of ribbons and do-dads! If you dare, you can wear your new "do" out!
6. Make bird feeders. Spread peanut butter on a pine cone and roll it in bird seeds. Hang on a tree and watch the birds gobble it up!
7. Hang a hummingbird feeder in the yard so you can watch the hummingbirds from a window.
8. Create a potted vegetable and herb garden. This is easy to do organically, since it is easier to control pests in a potted garden.
9. Plant a fruit tree.
10. Build a tree house or fort outside.
11. Build a temporary fort inside out of sofa cushions, blankets, and pillows.
12. Camp outside.
13. Make s'mores.
14. Make homemade ice cream.
15. Buy a solar shower (about $25 at a camping store) and shower outside.
16. Blow bubbles! Make bubble wands out of string, coat hangers, etc. See how creative you can get!
17. Play ball.
18. Play tag.
19. Color, paint, and draw.
20. Make clay pots.
21. Cut flowers from the garden and make flower arrangements. Deliver the arrangements to loved ones.
22. Make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (individually packed) for your local homeless shelter.
23. Go bike riding. (Wear helmets!)
24. Go on a nature walk or hike.
25. If you live near the ocean, go tidepooling!
26. Go fishing.
27. Get out on the water in a canoe, kayak, or rowboat. (Wear life vests!)
28. Visit a local farm.
29. Go to the local farmer's market.
30. Make homemade pizza.
31. Volunteer at the local animal shelter.
32. Eat breakfast for dinner.
33. Wear p.j.s all day.
34. Write a bedtime story with your kids. Take your creation to the local copy store, and have the book bound. (Should cost around $5 for spiral binding.)
35. Go to the beach and build sandcastles.
36. Collect twigs, stones, and other natural findings and make a "fairy house" in your backyard.
37. Give the car a break. If your market is not too far away, take your wagon and walk to the market.
38. Go swimming at a nearby pool, beach, or lake.
39. Invite friends over (young and not-so-young) and have a summertime potluck!
40. Join a reading club at the library.
41. Cook a meal from another culture.
42. Go to Home Depot or Lowe's for a children's woodworking day. (Normally on Saturdays - check their schedule.)
43. Research local backyard wildlife. Learn about the creatures that call your backyard "home."
44. Line your patio with newspaper. Lay an old sheet on top. Get out the paint and dip your hands and feet in the colors and paint away!
45. Research constellations and go outside at night to discover the wonders in the sky.
46. Have a dance party. Crank up the music and dance, dance, dance!
47. Take a picnic to one of your local symphony's Summer Pops Concerts.
48. Go wild at the zoo!
49. Find a festival! Check out the newspaper for Greek festivals, Scottish festivals, Japanese festivals, etc...
50. Spend a day at a Children's Museum.