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  1. #1
    Senior Member Savin' Moola's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default 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
    terrarium using moss for the ground, and any other plants you find
    (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. 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
    were kids.

    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

    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.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Savin' Moola's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006


    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)

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