Tot Tuesdayis a weekly feature where I highlight a special kids activity, frugal recipe for kids, kids tutorial, etc.
I recently asked this question on my Facebook Fan Page:
“Answer this question: It’s summertime! The kids are out of school and they are looking at YOU, YOU are looking at your bank account and wondering how to balance the “I’m bored’s!” with “We’re broke!”. Give me your FRUGAL suggestions for keeping the kids busy this summer. Comment here or email directly heather @ familyfriendlyfrugality.com (I will be using your suggestions in a future post!)”
I got so many great answers! I decided to compile all that weren’t location specific into one awesome boredom busting Tot Tuesday post!
- Julie P: play under the sprinklers or have kids take turn with the water hose making it spray like a fountain and then run threw it. when i was little (long time ago lol) we used to clean our garbage cans and fill them up and play in them. dont think i would do that now tho lol.
- Lindsey K: outdoor spray parks and picnics are KEY to a cheap summer. Beaches and coolers go hand in hand. 🙂 Avoid concessions and restaurants to save your wallet and your waistline. Ask and ye shall receive. 😉
- Danielle M: I always purchase a membership to the zoo. It pays for itself in just a couple of visits, especially with a big family. They always have special events. And the kids never get bored of the zoo!
- Misty L: ”You’re bored? That’s AWESOME! I wish I was bored! I know what you can do to not be bored. (Insert names of chores here.)” They figure out how to be NOT bored really FAST! LOL!
- Jennifer S: swimming hole and picnics! it’s cheap (swimming’s free) and fun!
- Amanda M: I looked up free things to do in your town, and it comes up with festivals and places you can take the kids for free, I also take snacks and drinks with me, hey I already get those for free, why buy the food out..
- Davlonda H: Im all about crafts! Keeps them busy and stuff that can be recycled are best! Even boxes and egg cartons. Making sunmer greeting cards outta homemade recycled paper add seeds to the bottom and whoever you send it to can put it in their garden or make a small plant. (Stick card 1/4 inch deep into ground) lint works too. Lint is also fun to make balls with sunflower seeds or any other seeds for the birds. They love it, so do the squirrels.
- Just Find it 4 U: Tennis and swimming are FREE where we live. And we can walk to both!
- Cheryl C: Library days, field trip days to free or inexpensive attractions, hiking, free movies, craft days at home, this summer I am teaching my kids how to cook, sew and do laundry.
- Christine T: Our kids ALWAYS love what we called “Library and backwards lunch day” we’d go to the library they’d each choose 3-4 books and then we’d stop at McDonalds for a small ice cream cone then home for lunch!!
They also LOVED pitching our tent in the back yard and I’d sleep outside with them!!
Take them on a hike and let them find some rocks…take them home and let them go crazy with some paint!! They would create some fun Bug themed rocks or paint their names and we had a walkway in no time that they were oh so proud to show off!!!
The BEST part of all of these is now that our girls are having kids…I get to watch them doing the same thing with THEIR children!!! They remember it all and NOW are passing it down!!!
- Confessions of a Couponer: Bike riding, picnic, cut coupons, 🙂 library summer reading programs, homemade playdough, camp in the backyard, treasure/scavenger hunt, and check with your local movie theater to see if they offer free movies.
- Sippy Cup Mom: Museums, movie theaters have free movies (ours do!), parks, swiming, library time…
- Christine C: The only outdoor activity you can stand in the summers in Alabama have to be close to water. It’s too hot to ride bikes or play sports outside. We have a great creek with a natural water slide and a couple of friends with pools. Other than that it’s movies at home.
- Vicky A: Join 4-H and spend the summer getting projects ready for the county fair. 4-H generally does not have any fees or if they do, they are relatively small.Find ways to volunteer. My daughter & I volunteer for our community theaters and symphony… even a task as simple as ushering will get you free tickets to see the show. If you want to learn aspects of theater, your community theater will train you to run lights/sound etc. all for free. Learn a skill and get to see entertainment and give back to the community… it’s a win-win 🙂
- Ann H: water, water and more water! 🙂 Spinklers, hoses, pools and more. It tires them out, plus they are getting exercise. It’s a win win!
- Suzanne W: swimming, trips to the library especially when they are having activities to promote their summer reading programs. Also, area vacation bible schools are a great way to meet new children and do crafts.
- Kasee J: Because of the heat, we’re stuck indoors, and our house is where all the neighborhood kids play. So I download computer games, we host lego building contests, we ask a neighbor to judge a coloring contest – but everyone gets a prize. We do lots of scavenger hunts!
- Hannah L: most bowling alleys offer free bowling during the summer and a lot of movie theaters do too! I’m planning on doing those… a lot. Storytime at the library too.
- Jessica M: Libraries usually have free programs. A lot of Barnes and Nobles have a weekly free story time that includes a free snack and free craft. Check into local churches for Vacation Bible Schools AND other free activities. Museams and zoos and things of the sort often have free or reduced entry days and/or days where they will let you bring your own cooler in which saves a bunch on concessions. facebook doesn’t let you type a website in a comment, so this is gonna be typed funny www dot everythingpreschool dot com. It has TONS of activities and craft directions and new songs. Even if your kids are older there are crafts/science projects and things that they may enjoy. Growing up, on rainy days, we had indoor picnics. It was so much fun. Basically, my grandma would put a blanket on the living room floor and my cousins and I would get to eat off paper plates like we were outside at a picnic. And we also would go camping indoors. Set up blankets on chairs like a tent for nap time. Have an indoor picnic lunch and after nap have a smore snack. (Either smores pop tarts or just assemble smores and stick them in the microwave for a few seconds to a minute). Getting something like Netflix is also good for the summer, especially if you have a way to wifi movies from your computer to the tv. Go to the park, local pools, splash parks, etc. Love making home made play doh. It teaches kids measuring and mixing and things which is a math/science activity, plus its an hour or so of fun afterwards. My favorite one is a peanut butter play doh recipe. Its completely edible (and tastes yummy). So, its a math/science activity, fun, AND a snack once they’re done playing. I LOVE making watermelon popsicles. Either cut them into slices, stick in a popsicle stick and freeze them on a cookie sheet lined w/ parchment paper OR put watermelon into a food processor OR mini chopper (or use a hand mixer) to puree the melon and put them in those nifty plastic popsicle makers. Its a healthy, cheap alternative to those sugary popsicles you buy at the store. Have your kids help you make sun tea. Plant plants in pots or cheap plastic cups. Its their responsibility to water them and make them grow! 😀 I’m sure I have tons more ideas. but this is getting really long. lol.
- Voni D.: my mom made us paper dolls! Not sure if it was a summer thing tho.
- Kari H: Our local water park offers a locals special – buy 1 day get the rest of the year for free. I can pack a cooler & we can spend a lot of time there keeping cool & being entertained for not a lot of money! We did it last summer & I figured out at the end of the summer that I paid .78 per trip for admission! With preteens and teens, you can’t beat that!We also do a lot of baking during the summer. It gives us a family activity and teaches them useful skills. As they get older, I let them each plan and fix a meal a week. I do the supervising and assisting- but the get to be the chef du jour!
- JimnLori P: library, local festivals and fairs, backyard picnics and camping, local museums and VBS at local churches 🙂
- Jamie J: we went to the city wide garage sale and I got my two year old some finger paints. We have a huge roll of white paper and a small swimming pool so clean off is easy and fun! We also live next to a fishing pit, so a fishing license (about $15.00 I think here in Kansas) allows us to fish all we want and then celebrate an easy day with a fish fry! Not to mention the nearby town has a pool that only costs 2$ a person…so much fun!
- Me: Be sure to check out the Fun & Free Family Events that I post each Friday!
- Me: Hunt through previous Tot Tuesday posts for more ideas!
What do YOU do to beat the summer boredom? Tell me in the comments!