Thursday, June 6, 2013

Easy Summer Fun Ideas for Kids!

With summer closing in and most kids out of school, many mommas, myself included, are scouring the Internet hoping to find ideas to keep their kids busy this summer. As I was doing my scouring, I found lots of ideas for summertime fun. Crafts that require what must take 2 hours to put together or messy ice cream sandwiches are not my cup of tea. It would melt in my house before I could get all the decorations placed and look like some scary alien leaking fluid instead of a cute little ladybug. My children don't have that much patience, therefore my summertime fun activities are simple, basic and easy. I found several local, low-cost summer camps, one at a local art studio!

My fondest memories of summer include two simple things, sand and the smell of suntan lotion. Since it isn't always possible to travel the few hours to the beach, having an arsenal of backyard summer fun ideas is imperative. Included are ideas for kids of ALL ages (Mommas, too). Here are some surefire boredom buster playtime ideas guaranteed for even the pickiest kids.

Summer Boredom Busters
  • Local Library:   Check out your local library for summertime reading programs. Our local library offers their own version of an array of reading programs for children from kindergarten through high school. My son loves that he racks up "coupons" for each hour of reading he does, plus it motivates him to read. He clips the "coupons", turns them into the library and is entered to win prizes at the end of the program. This also gives mom some much needed time to pick out library books instead of always relying on her e-reader. I love my Kindle as much as the next girl, especially with the ease at which I can purchase books, but it's nice sometimes to peruse to shelves, feel the paper, turn the pages and use your favorite bookmark. Check out this relic of times past, you may be surprised at what you find.

  • Splash Pads: Most cities, even small cities, have a free splash pad. Check the Parks and Rec department website for your state. If you don't already know about these, they are one of THE best things whoever is in the know (city planners?) came up with. In our town, there is only one located at the local park in the children's play area. The great thing about this park is the beautifully landscaped grounds that meander through wooded areas and past a nice open lake stocked with fish and lots of wildlife. We watch the fish, squirrels and birds to include swans and geese during the winter. We get a little water time, fresh air and a nature lesson all in one place and ALL for FREE! What's not to love! Even though my daughter is too young to really understand the water area, my son LOVES running through the squirting water. He's a water baby like his momma, gotta love him!

  • Museums: Some can be a little pricey, they are worth it. My son is a museum kinda kid. He loves science, animals and playing, which children's museums use as their source for learning. Just a few hours away there is a zoo and a place called Gulf World both reasonably priced. If you are planning on visiting the gulf coast of Florida and happen to be close to Panama City Beach, do not miss out on Gulf World! For all my military mommy's, check out the ITR office on post. They always run specials. For more ideas or to find a museum near you check out this website directory for children's museums by state.

  • Vacation Bible School:  Of course, there are always Vacation Bible Schools. This is a must for my son, he looks forward to it every year. He has attended the same one 3 years in a row. It doesn't help that the director of the VBS lives right behind us and is always calling over the fence, "You're coming to VBS this year, right?"

  • Backyard sprinklers: Need I say more? Imagine a particularly hot afternoon, the kids are whining and have been all day. What do they need? Time out in the sun! What does Mommy need? Her (wine) bottle! :) There are several dollar stores which offer cheap sprinklers among other summer fun activities like bubbles and pinwheels (remember those?). Don't knock it till ya' try it. My kids love to run after the water and watch pinwheels in the breeze. Or if you have a trampoline buy several cheap beach balls and throw them in. Cheap. Summer. Fun.


  • Kiwi Crates: I found these really cool activity boxes online the other day and thought when I'm in a pinch say, come July when summer fun has lost its appeal, I will order one or two of these babies! They have lots of different themed "crates" for hours of fun all for around $19.

  • Water Parks: The best way to enjoy these is to buy season passes. Many offer these at discounted rates especially now that the season is underway. Remember, military mommas, check the ITR office. Many posts now have splash pads and community pools/water parks that are discounted or free for residents. One of my favorite websites for discount coupons for just about ANYTHING is retailmenot.com.
As I always say, I strive to keep my life simple, basic and easy. I hope these ideas help you with your summer fun! 

Happy Summer,
 
 
B
 
Have you found other cheap summertime fun activities? If you enjoyed this post, please click on the Top Mommy Blogs on the right. Each click represents a vote for this blog to be listed on the website. Also follow me on Twitter!

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