Summer Activities On A Budget

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Summer time has always been the most fun and anticipated season for our kids. It is their best time to be themselves without the constraints of having to follow rules and be obligated to follow the time.  I’ll be honest. All of my happy memories during my growing up years happened every summer with all happy thoughts, never tainted with any dull moments playing with my childhood friends. Our compound was transformed into a whole different fun world for us kids back then. Somehow it felt like we were in our own magical time zone. But like what I said, we are living and functioning in a very different world now. Kids are evolving in the way they are having fun. Games are a lot different than how we play before. Kids don’t go out that often as before. The presence of tech-savvy gadgets are a kid’s “go-to” now. But having said that, we parents who has experienced a seriously low-key fun kind of playtime before can still inject ways on how summer be like for these kids with less use of the gadgets and without cutting the fun. Not to mention, these activities are inexpensive since most of these can be done at home.

Doing and learning house chores. Summer is  the best time for your kids to learn new chores. It will keep them busy and at the same time they will become responsible for the tasks being handed to them. Besides kids should learn everything first at home than anywhere else. There are several age-appropriate chores which we can teach them. The chores should not be very hard to follow and we have to be very specific with our instructions. So once our child has mastered a single chore, he or she is ready to go solo soon and can move to the next level.

Kids as early as 3 years old can do some simple chores like picking up toys on the floor, piling books and magazines, filling food of pet’s dish or as simple as wiping up spills. Preschoolers or kids age 4-5 years old can start with arranging their own beds, dusting cabinets, setting the dining table, folding laundry or emptying waste baskets. For ages 6-7 years old, they can already sort the dirty laundry, set and clearing the tables, watering the plants and keeping own room tidy. Now if they reach ages 8 to 10 years old, they can now be given a much heavier chores with less supervision. At this stage, the kids can now make their own snacks or help prepare meals, mopping and sweeping floors, taking a pet for a walk, cook simple food as toast, changing bed sheets, cleaning bathroom and baby-sitting younger siblings. Doing chores shouldn’t be made a burden for kids and it should be fun at the same time.

As simple as setting the table and mixing juices during a meal can be a head start for something big later.

Scrap booking and crafting. Best way to showcase our kid’s creativity is through arts. Every year our kid’s school activities accumulate memorabilia such as pictures, medals, awards and certificates. These things are piling up in our drawers and cabinets year after year until we can’t keep up anymore. Through scrap booking, we can make these memories last longer and we can view them chronologically too. We can use old albums and left over art items from our kid’s art bags and that’s it. Teach them how to do it or make art samples that they can easily follow. Make this activity fun as possible by telling them short stories about the pictures while making a beautiful scrap book or a school album. This is also a best way to bond with your kids.

Visit public parks and museums near you. Why not do another field trip with your kids? Besides being educational for them, these trips to some public parks and museums can be a lot of fun too. It doesn’t have to be so far away from where you live. Look for historical places within your municipalities or nearby towns. Bring with you your camera or cellphones and take pictures. This is another good way to make memories with your family too.

Watch cable movies together. After doing house chores with them, it is time to relax and watch movies. Now, it doesn’t have to happen in the mall. If your own television are cable ready, you can start popping pop corns already. Take note of the movie time and day of the appropriate movies for kids in your cable / TV network and enjoy watching. Make sure you are watching with your kid so that if they have questions about the movie you can answer them right away. Film therapy has a lot of benefits. Children will experience a lot of emotions like being happy, excited or even being fearful. They get to face these emotions and eventually overcoming them and will teach them how to handle such emotions in the future. They will also get to understand circumstances once they happen in real life.

Gardening and Backyard Fun. This is beneficial to you and your kids if you have wide garden or backyard at home. You can convert your backyard into a space where your kids can do some fun activities and gardening too.  Activities like painting, role playing , playing home-made bubbles, planting, biking, reading nook, play badminton, catch ball, camping, watering plants, doing science projects or even raise backyard chickens. You can do a wide range of inexpensive and creative activities for kids in your own backyard. It could be a lot of fun too if you get to invite the neighbor’s kids to join your kids. Let them enjoy playing outside and explore their surroundings. It’s a good exposure to sunlight too.

Cooking Easy Meals. Start them early as they say. There are easy meals you can do with your kids. You can also invent recipes with them. It is summer time and you will expect them to eat a lot when they are home. So it’s best to make them do some simple cooking like preparing snacks or letting them cut the ingredients for you. You can teach them how to use kitchen utensils and the stove or be familiarized with the different meat cuts, vegetables, fruits and other condiments. Or if you are cooking complicated food recipe, let them stay beside you so they can check what you are doing. You can also teach baking lessons with them.

Baking lessons with cousins and friends are fun.

Tutoring school’s back lessons. Summer is the best time to prepare our children for their future lessons. Recalling past lessons are good ways to do them during their free time this summer. Inject some advance lessons if you can so more or else your kids will have a grasp of what will be their next lesson in their incoming grade level. It doesn’t have to be very long sessions to avoid boredom too. Short sessions will do. Save the old school books and their notes too. Arrange them in your mini library at home so they may have something to pull out for future references and  assignment. There’s nothing wrong with equipping your kids with knowledge and techniques that they may use in their future classes for their advantage too. It will benefit them not us.

Reviewing can be fun too!

Summer time are not only for kids. It is for us moms and dads too. This is the best time to make memories and bond as a family. The activities do not need to be very expensive. We can practice frugality in this area while never forgetting the fun. It’s summer time, so make the most of it before it lasts!