- May 31, 2007 at 1:50 pm #252202
I feel for you! I’m a sahm and we’re moving to a town over an hour away
next weekend. i expect my kids will be at home a lot more this summer
than previous summers. they are 11, 8, and 5.
One thing we’re doing is buying a membership to the zoo down there,
because with it, I get free family membership entrence to that zoo,
plus over 100 other zoo’s & aquariums in the US for 1 full year. That
means when we travel, or when we go to my home town (not where we live
now), we can go to other zoo’s for free.
How about organizing a yard sale? Each child picks some of their own
things to sell, and with the proceeds, you can plan a day trip
somewhere that might cost a bit more than you’d normally want to spend.
Or, the money each child earns can be their own spending cash.
A lemonade stand might be fun for the younger kids. You could have them
make up flyers a day or two before hand, and pass them out to the
neighbors before setting up. If you think it would be easier, you could
buy cans of lemonade when it is on sale, and sell it by the can. When
we have yard sales, we always sell cans of soda & lemonade. I never buy
it unless it’s on sale dirt cheap, and refuse to spend more than $1.99
for a 12 pack. Then, the kids charge $.50 a can, and even after
Michigan’s deposit ($.10 per can of carbonated beverages- soda,
basically, but not lemonade), we still wind up making a decent amount.
Last summer, we took the kids to a semi-local amusement park for the
day. We had planned it a month or two ahead of time, because I got the
tickets half off through our radio station. Anyway, we didn’t have much
for spending money, and we were having a yard sale the weekend before
we went (we went on a Monday). I let the kids be in charge of selling
the cans of soda & lemonade, and they got to split the money for
spending money. They each ended up with around $10-12 from their
Ok, moving on.. 😉
You could plan a weekly thing with the kids, like a walk to a local
park every friday, with a picnic for lunch. It gives the younger kids a
chance to get out and play, and it’s cheap to do. Find, buy, or borrow
a cooler with wheels to drag behind, or stick it in a wagon. Bring
sidewalk chalk, bubbles, a frisbee, etc.
Dig out the old board games that you have, or ask on freecycle for
some. If they are missing parts, don’t sweat it! In fact, with games
that have missing peices, you and the kids could make your own family
game. Make the rules, use construction paper to draw a new board over
top of the old one, use pieces and game cards from assorted games.
Plant a garden. Have each kid spend $5 on seeds or plants, and let them
grow their own section, water it, etc. Plant some edible things to help
with the food budget- watermelon, tomatoes, corn, peppers, etc.
Start or join a group for moms in the area, and plan play groups, craft
nights, outings to the local parks & beaches, etc. You could car pool
with another family or two and be able to get out while meeting other
The kids would have a chance to socialize, too.
Have a family movie day once a month. When you can get a ride, go to
the video store. Each kid gets to pick out a cheap rental (I recommend
Family Video- kids flicks are free, old releases are $.50 for 7 nights,
etc- dirt cheap), and the next day, make popcorn up and have fun
watching movies all day. This is especially great for rainy day
Speaking of rain… Take a rain walk. As long as it’s not thundering
and lightning out, rain has never hurt anyone. Well, ok, maybe not
never, but assuming everyone is healthy, hearty, and hail, it shouldn’t
hurt anyone. Dig out some water shoes, or sandles that can get wet, put
everyone in old clothing, dig out an umbrella or two, and take a walk
in the rain. It can be refreshing! Sing rain songs.
Have a campout in the back yard. If you have a tent or camper, use it.
If not, borrow from a relative or friend. Pack a cooler with stuff like
hot dogs, soda, juice boxes, and chocolate bars. Bring along
marshmallows, and graham crackers. If you can’t have a camp fire
because of city regulations, then use a grill to “roast” marshmallows
and hot dogs for dinner & a snack. Spend the night under the stars.
Don’t go inside expect to go to the bathroom.
Draw and decorate self portraits. Go to the dollar store, buy 8 x 10
frames, and construction paper. If you can, add in stuff like glitter,
glue, sequins, spangles, feathers, etc. Have each of the kids draw a
self portrait, then decorate it with the fun stuff. Frame them, and
hang them up. Think caricatures.
Have a treasure hunt. It can be a nature one- find a 4 leaf clover,
find a white dandelion, find a round rock, etc. Or, you could hide
things from around the house, or notes with directions to a new spot.
The prize could be something simple- homemade cookies, or it could be
something from the dollar store, or a quarter, etc.
Build a tent in the living room on a rainy day. Use sheets, and chairs,
and flash lights to “camp” out under there.
Make “homemade” squirt “guns”. Use old spray bottles (clean them really
well first!), or squeeze top bottles (like old dish soap bottles). Have
a water gun fight. Add in some water balloons for a really fun
afternoon on a REALLY hot day. Dollar stores have water balloons you
can pick up cheaply.
Host slumber parties. Pick 1 child per week to have a slumber party
with 2-3 friends. Make sure each child gets the chance to do it through
out the summer.
Make a pinata- then stuff it with some treats, hang it, and let them
Hunt for butterflies. At night, hunt for lightening bugs.
Find a local pool you can go to, or see if anyone in the neighborhood
has one that you might be able to go to once in a while.
Hope some of these idea’s help!
— In Budget101_@yahoogroups.com, “teddysbutterflybluepit”
> hi i am a sahm of five kids our budget is so tight it screams
> i am looking for ideas on what to do this summer with my kids for
> or really cheap.the ages are 4,8,12,14,16.. i dont drive a car so
> on things to do around the house or neighborhhod.or if anyone nows
> good websites that give good craft ideas or fun stuff for the kids
> me so we dont go bonkers during summer break.
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