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07-30-2007, 06:52 PM #1
FREE (or really cheap!!) things to do with kids this summer!
Take a nature walk, bring a jar and a spoon or shovel. Make a
(don't dig on private property!!). Put a bit of moisture in it,
screw the lid on, and tap a few wholes in it.
Go to the beach for the afternoon. Pack some sandwiches, a bag of
chips, some juice boxes (2 per kid- 1 frozen, 1 chilled), and some
other snacks. Bring lots of sunscreen, and enjoy the day!
Go to the local parks. Make a habit to find new ones each week. Mark
down in a notebook which ones the kids like the best, and cycle
through the best liked parks. Take a moment yourself to swing. It's
amazing how destressing just swinging can be.
Go to the zoo. Not free, but it's usually cheap.
Have a treasure hunt at home in the yard. Use unusual containers-
jars, tupperware, socks, cereal boxes, etc, for the "treasure". I
always snag the cereal prizes first, and any thing like stickers
that come in the mail. Then I add those to the treasure. And, to
help alleviate bickering, I put the treasure in baggies with each of
the kids names on a baggie. Put a packet of fruit snacks in it for a
treat, or a homemade coupon good for 1 popsicle, etc.
Join a summer reading program at the library. They usually have
prizes for the kids. If you can't get to the library, or they don't
have a program, then have your own. Give sticker rewards for every X
amount of pages read per day, and let those stickers count towards a
day at the beach, or a day at the zoo for the kids.
Get a free kiddie cone at your local McDonalds. Adult cones are only
$1, as are sundae's, and 2 pies. Pick it up, and take it to the park.
Have a camp out in the back yard. Use a tent if you have one, or
borrow one if you can. Turn off the cell phones, unplug your regular
phone, and make a rule- no going inside except for bathroom use!
Sleep out at least one night.
If the kids are older, have them each get 1 night to invite a friend
or two over to have thier own "parent free" camp out in the back
yard. Provide marshmellows (even without a campfire, they're fun to
eat), blankets, pillows, flashlights, and a book of scary stories.
Plant a garden, and watch it grow. Flowers are pretty, and if you
plant a veggie garden, the food is good, and it's fun to watch a
tomatoe go from a tiny green "grape" into a huge plump red tomato.
Take a day to visit local points of interest geared towards
tourists. Local residents often over look many things because they
seem touristy. Like people in NY who have never gone to Ellis
Island, for instance. Find some points of interest that you can
visit in a day.
If it's close enough, take a day trip to one of the Great Lakes.
Visit the beach, find sand dunes, collect shells, get an ice cream
Find fireworks. Many city festivals have 1 night of fire works, and
they're free to attend. Find fireworks all summer long near you. Go
to the dollar store before hand and get glow necklaces- usually 2
per pack for $1. http://www.michiganfireworks.com/ is a nice site
for Michigan, there may be ones for other states as well- look up
the phrase "<state name> fireworks 2006" and see what you find.
Pack a picnic, find a quiet spot, and let the kids run around.
Find a duck pond, bring stale bread, and feed the ducks.
Have an indoor campout when the weather is yucky. Get blankets,
chairs, etc- make a huge tent like you always wanted to when you
Set aside $2 and go to a few yard sales. Let the kids each "spend"
their own money finding cheap toys they'll play with.
Have a yard sale yourself. Dig out everything you don't use, and
don't need, and get rid of it. Buy some canned lemonade (Country
Time- $2.89 at Meijers when not on sale, no deposit), and set up a
kids lemonade stand at the sale. Sell the cans for $.50ea, and get
$6 for each 12 pack.
Take a day off from work, and play. Enjoy a "free" day. Don't do
errands, don't do chores. Pack the kids up, pack up lunch/snacks,
and do one of the things listed above. GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. LEAVE
WORK BEHIND FOR THE DAY!! NO CELL PHONES!!!
Any of the above can be done quite cheaply. And I can't stress
enough- leave the phone at home. 10 years ago we could all go to the
park just fine without a phone on our hips, and nothing bad
happened. We can certainly still do it now.
07-30-2007, 06:52 PM #2
Re: FREE (or really cheap!!) things to do with kids this summer!
Check with your local Movie theater, ours has FREE movies for the kids
two days a week.
Also Michael's and other craft stores offer free kids crafts once or
twice a week.
(This is also my first post here)