Summer fun for little adventurers may include trips to theme parks or time at summer camp, but these are not for everyday or every budget. In between trips to your local pool, park, library, and play dates, what to do to keep little ones entertained without breaking the bank? Here are some ideas for nearly free activities, inspired by care.com and PBS.
- Water - Cool off kiddos with wading pools and sprinklers. For toddlers, provide containers of various sizes to let them play at filling and pouring. Wet sponges make toss toys, and other household objects let them explore what floats. Supervise kids at all times around pools or water containers.
- Ice block sleds – Make a cool sled by wrapping a towel around a block of ice and have kids race down the hill!
- Dance party – Clear some space in a room and crank up the wiggles and giggles. Most toddlers respond to an upbeat tune; help by encouraging them to march, clap, tap, and bounce. Make a rhythm shaker from a handful of dried peas inside a plastic egg, glued shut.
- Pudding painting – Add food coloring to pudding mix and use it to finger-paint. Cleanup includes licking the paintbrushes. Definitely an outdoor project!
- Cars, trains, and buses – It’s all about the journey, especially when you’re five. Hop on a bus and head to the airport to watch planes take off.
- Tour local businesses – Lift the curtain and see what goes on at the factories, farms, and restaurants near you. Many offer tours or welcome small groups.
- Pirate for a day – Ahoy, matey! Turn your deck into a pirate ship with sails made of sheets and portholes cut from cardboard. Foam board makes a ship’s wheel. Dress the part, plan a treasure hunt, and talk like a pirate.
- Hiking / scavenger hunt – Put together a photomontage of items to find, lace up the walking shoes, and discover what’s ordinary or not in your area.
- Free days – Mark your calendar and take advantage of free or reduced rate days at museums, zoos, other cultural institutions, and theme parks.
- Retailer events – Many big-name retailers offer demos, events, and classes tailored to kids as young as three. Bookstores have storytimes, and craft stores offer art classes. Some home improvement stores even have project workshops for kids.
Find kid-friendly freebies near you — and make the most out of this summer with your kids!by