Many of us are feeling the squeeze with gas prices soaring as high as summer temperatures.
And it’s no secret that inflation is red hot right now.
Here’s the good news: keeping your kids entertained and making lifelong memories with your family doesn’t have to bust your budget. There are plenty of budget-friendly things to do this summer. The best part? Budget-friendly does NOT have to mean boring!
In fact, with some creativity and planning, you can make summer 2022 one to remember! So let’s get started!
1. Start a YouTube channel.
Kids LOVE YouTube, so why not see if they’re interested in creating their own content. Make sure you turn on parental controls and settings for YouTube Kids profiles. You don’t need a fancy camera or any special equipment for this idea. Simply use your smartphone and any editing software that comes on your computer. Of course, be sure to stay involved in every step of the process to keep your kids safe and secure. This is a modern and timely way to keep your kids entertained!
2. Sidewalk chalk games and chalk art!
If thinking about hopscotch makes you nostalgic, then why not teach this classic childhood game to your kids! It’s fun and gets everyone moving, laughing, and brings out a competitive spirit. Use any leftover chalk to create chalk art on your driveway and sidewalk!
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3. Pull an all-nighter: sunset, stars, meteor showers, and sunrise!
The school year is the time for bedtimes. Why not allow your kids to pull an all-nighter at least once during the summer? But instead of staying up all night watching the TV, turn it into an outdoor adventure. Spend time watching the sunset together, counting the stars, and then staying up to see the sunrise. Bust out a tent to spend the night in the backyard!
Bonus tip: I recommend checking out Earth Sky to see when meteor showers are most visible in your region.
4. Make popsicles.
What better way to cool off after a hot summer day than with tasty cool popsicles?! Simply pour your favorite juice into an ice tray or small cup, add a spoon or popsicle stick as a holder, and stick it into the freezer. From making the juice to filling the cups, kids will have fun every step of the process. Plus, you can even talk about the science of how liquid freezes. It’s fun and educational!
5. Build a fort for movie night.
Calling all pillows, couch cushions, and blankets! Instead of having everyone make their beds, why build a fort this summer? Trust me – you might be surprised with the ideas that your kids come up with. I recommend building the fort in your living room or wherever you have the TV. This way, you can use the fort for movie night and watch a movie inside the fort with a homemade bowl of popcorn!
6. Throw a family musical!
Do your kids like musicals? Movies like The Greatest Showman, Encanto, and Sing are extremely popular with a lot of kids. If this is the case with your family, re-watch your favorite scenes and have everyone learn the choreography, lyrics, and various dance moves. Once everyone has learned the songs and dances, you can re-enact the movie in real time. At the end of the night, award all of your kids with “Academy Awards” like best actor, best actress, best dancer, and best costume.
7. Take a hike.
Who said hiking is just for adults and trail runners? Take advantage of the beautiful weather and go hiking with your kids! You don’t need to spend a fortune to enjoy nature. All you need is a pair of shoes, sunscreen, and bug spray. Start by taking a walk around your neighborhood. Then take a longer excursion if you feel like it. If you want to travel to nearby trails or mountain ranges and you want to keep costs down, consider renting a cabin instead of spending money on hotel rooms.
8. Throw a bubble bath… for your car!
Okay, hear me out on this. Your kids aren’t going to want to wash your car. After all, that sounds like a chore. But if you turn it into a fun game (i.e. “bubble bath”) and get huge sponges that the kids can throw at each other, this chore suddenly turns into a fun activity for everyone. After the car is clean, have a soapy sponge fight. Or have the kids run through the sprinklers to rinse off. Bonus tip: turn on some peppy dance music and start moving to the beat!
9. Find time to volunteer.
I love this idea because not only do you get to spend time together as a family, but you are teaching your kids the importance of giving back to the community! You don’t even need to volunteer with an official organization, though of course, you can contact local food banks, animal shelters, and nonprofits for volunteer opportunities. It can be as simple as cleaning up trash at the local park or around your neighborhood. You can even turn it into a game by saying, “Whoever fills up their trash bag first wins!”
10. Learn to bike, skateboard, and rollerblade!
Kids need to learn how to ride a bike at some point, so why not this summer? Be sure to buy a helmet to keep everyone safe and healthy. If your kids already know how to ride a bike, then consider a new challenge like skateboarding or rollerblading. Kids love the challenge of learning something new – and this is a great way to use up all of that pent-up energy!
11. Thrift store challenge.
Going to the bowling alley or roller rink? Why not put together fun outfits with flashy throwback clothes! Give everyone a budget, let’s say $10, and go on a treasure hunt at your local thrift store. Have everyone create an “alter ego” for their 80s or 90s-themed outfit, and then have fun bowling or skating!
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12. Create a family time capsule.
Remember those time capsules we put together in elementary school? Why not make one for your family?! This activity can actually take several days. Have your kids write letters to their future selves, create pieces of art, and find small trinkets to put into the time capsule. After you’ve put it together, everyone can take turns helping dig the hole and bury the capsule in your backyard. Finally, don’t forget to set a date on your phone’s calendar to dig up the capsule in the future!
13. Break a world record.
Kids LOVE challenges. Here are some world records that your kids might want to try breaking this summer. The longest time spinning a basketball on one finger? 10 minutes and 33 seconds. The most grapes caught in a mouth in 3 minutes? 202 grapes. The fastest time to type the entire alphabet on a keyboard? 3.43 seconds. The most spoons balanced on a face? 17 spoons. Fastest heel-to-toe 10 meter walk? 11.66 seconds. Even if your kids don’t break a world record, they’ll have fun trying!
14. Throw a water balloon fight.
No childhood is complete with at least one water balloon fight experience. With temperatures projected to break records this summer, a water balloon fight is an easy yet fun way to help keep everyone cool. The kids can help during every step of the process, from filling up the water balloons, participating in the fight, and then cleaning up the pieces afterward!