Monday, May 21, 2012

Summer Fun on a Budget

I love summer time!  I like the structure that the school year brings, but I also love a few weeks of "whatever goes"!  If you're like me, you're ready for more structure by the end of summer, but for now, let's brain storm!!

Here are a few of my ideas to have fun with your kids on a budget:
  • Grow a vegetable garden.  It's fun to work together and get dirty!  {Did I mention this involves FREE FOOD??}
  • Grow a flower garden.  Lilacs, roses, lavender, sunflowers, wild flowers, and don't forget the tulips!  So many colors and varieties.  Some smell good.  Some are good for food.  Others can be used medicinally.  Plus, you could use them as a ministry tool to give away to sick or elderly shut-ins!  
  • Get {or grow} Watermelon and have seed spitting contests.
  • Make homemade ice cream.
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  • Water Balloons cost $1 at the Dollar Tree or Deals.  Your kids can have a whole afternoon of fun for $1!
  • My kids love to play in the sprinkler, so I let them play in it while I'm watering the garden.  This way I don't feel like I'm wasting too much water.
  • Wash the van/car/truck - whatever you have.  It's fun to play in the cold water on a hot day and you get a clean vehicle out of it.  {Perhaps you could even wash your neighbor's car for a little spending money?}
  • Visit a pet store just to look around.  If your children want a pet, take them home and help them come up with a game plan to earn the money to buy it themselves.  Make sure they understand that it will be their responsibility to care for and feed it after they bring it home too.  It's good for them to learn a little responsibility and even better when it's fun! 
  • Visit a local farmer to pick fruits and veggies.  Teach your children how to make jams and apple sauce.  It's something they may need to know one day, and you're being productive at the same time.
  • Grill out or build a fire in the fire pit.  Better still, build yourself a fire pit and let them help you.  
  • Get bird feeders for different types of birds and a book about birds in your local area and become bird watchers.  Don't forget the humming birds!  {This may cost some up front, but you'll have the feeders and book for years to come, so in the long run it's not that bad.}
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  • Have each kid chose something that he/she is interested in.  Then, try to help them each come up with a way to learn more about that topic.  It could be learning to play an instrument, type, swim, ride a bike, body building/weight training, recognize constellations, knit, or decorate cakes...let them chose something that they're interested in, set a goal to reach before the new school year starts and see who reaches their goals.  Some may cost money, but there again, you can let the child work to earn the money if you don't have it.  Imagine how proud of himself he'd be at the end of the summer!  Some of these things may be things friends or family can help you with, such as borrowing a telescope or using swimming pools or gym equipment.
  • Teach your girls to make a quilt out of scraps of fabric you have stored away.  Maybe the younger girls could make smaller quilts for their babies.  What a great birthday/Christmas gift that would be!!
  • Start now making Christmas gifts, cards and ornaments.  You'll have lots of fun and you'll be less stressed when Christmas comes and you have extra time and less expense.
  • Dance in the rain...but not if there's lightening!!  :)
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  • Don't forget the simple things like going on walks, picnics and to the park!  
It's the little things in life that count.  Don't be afraid to think outside the box.  I think you can have more fun with less money because everyone is just happy to be making memories together. 

What are some of your favorite ways to have fun during summer vacation??

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1 comment:

  1. Oh wow! Lots of really great summer ideas! Would you mind coming by my Creative @ Home Wednesday link up party and share it, I know my readers would enjoy it bunches!