It’s going to be a long hot summer, according to Environment Canada — and having bored kids on your hands can make those summer days seem endless (and not in a good way). Sure, I can think of a million things to keep my kids occupied — but a lot of them are really expensive. From blockbuster movies to trips to amusement parks, keeping them from getting bored can be a costly proposition. But having fun this summer doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
Here are a few things I’ve been trying with my kids — they’re cheap and cheerful, and so far it’s working!
Set up a lemonade stand: This is a cheap and fun way to teach your kids about money and entrepreneurship. Plus, there’s nothing better than hitting up a neighbourhood lemonade stand on a hot day — you’ll be performing a community service!
Build an obstacle course in your backyard: Use a sprinkler, wading pool, toys and other items to create a backyard challenge for your kids and their friends. Time your kids as they work to complete the course and set new records.
Go on a bug hunt: My kids love insects. We have bought a picture book about bugs, and every day we spend a bit of time in the garden looking for new specimens. Give your kids a jar with some holes poked in the top and let them explore at home or at the park.
Go on a park excursion: Last summer we went on a park hunt — we drove around the city looking for parks we’d never been to before, and then we’d play there for awhile before moving on to find the next one. It was a fun way to explore different neighbourhoods — and my kids really enjoyed comparing the different park equipment.
Gardening: I’ve been getting my kids to help me in the garden. It doesn’t always work (my son knocked all the buds off my Asian lilies with a badminton racket the other day — heartbreaking!) but they do love watching things come up. I can’t wait until we eat our first green beans and tomatoes when they’re finally ready.