Summer means one thing if you’re a parent — really bored kids who think you’re responsible for entertaining them even though in the real world, the one in which you live, there’s no such thing as summer vacation. Try these inexpensive, easy activities to keep children and parents sane.
The park. Don’t overlook the obvious. Parks have playgrounds. Parks have other kids. Parks are outside. Some parks even have bike paths and walking trails.
Swimming pool. The best way for your kids to enjoy summer is to find a friend with a swimming pool and hang out there a lot. If your kids are too young to find friends with swimming pools, it’s up to you.
Sprinklers. Swimming pools are not always available. Sprinklers can be had for much cheaper. All you need is a hose, a sprinkler attachment and a patch of grass, preferably free of tree stumps, sharp objects and dog poop.
Museums. There’s probably a free or really inexpensive museum in your town that caters to children. Buy a membership and visit it often.
Arts and crafts. Not all summer days are ideal for outdoor fun. Do some arts and crafts with the kids. Martha Stewart has a ton of ideas.
Family games. Not all kids (or parents) are really in to making arts and crafts. Most, however, are up for family game night, or day. It’s OK to lose to your 6-year old … unless he starts talking trash.
Service. Kids need to learn that it’s not always about them. Find someone in the neighborhood who needs a little help. Clean their yard. Make them some cookies. People in nursing homes are eager for visitors, and they don’t even care that you had to threaten your kids to go and sing for them.
Tree swing. Wouldn’t it be great if there was an activity that your kid could do by simply wandering out the door? Make a tree swing. Tree swings work best when hung from a sturdy branch from a sturdy tree, not near a block wall.
Minor League baseball. Little kids have no idea that the baseball team they’re watching consists of players not even close to good enough to play for Major League teams. If there’s a Minor League baseball team in your town, they’re desperate for fans. They price tickets accordingly and thrive on promotional events that your kids will enjoy.
Library. The books are free as long as you return them on time. Most libraries have special events during the summer months. Check them out.
Have a great summer!