Monday, May 23, 2016

5 Fun (and Really Cheap!) Ways to Keep the Littles Busy This Summer!

Summer vacation is here! The school year flew by and, just that quick, I’ll have a second grader in the fall. In the mean time, the dilemma I always face in the summer time is finding ways to keep Cam busy for 3 months without breaking the bank. Summertime activities, while fun, can add up to be very expensive so I’ve found a few activities that will get him out of the house for free (or for only a few dollars).

5 Fun (and Really Cheap!) Ways to Keep the Littles Busy This Summer! -- Get the kids out of the house this summer without breaking the bank!

Free Kid Builder Workshops

This is one of Cameron’s favorite Saturday morning activities year-round. Both Lowe’s and Home Depot offer free workshops for kids where they get to build a different wooden project each month. During the summer, Lowe’s usually does it twice a month instead of once. The kids get all the supplies they need for the project when they get there plus an apron that they get to keep for future projects. It usually only takes about 20-30 minutes to complete. After they’re done, they get either an iron-on patch (Lowe’s) or a pin (Home Depot) to collect and put on their aprons. The biggest difference between the two workshops is that Home Depot projects usually include paint; whereas, at Lowe’s, they decorate their projects with stickers. You’ll definitely want to wear play clothes to Home Depot workshops! All you have to do to sign up your kids is register online! Lowe’s requires you to print and sign a waiver and bring it to the workshop to participate.

Cheap Summer Movies

Several theaters offer $1 or $2 kid movies in the summertime. They usually start the movies around 9:00 in the morning on the weekdays. Our favorite program is Cinemarktheaters. They show a different movie each week for 10 weeks, Monday-Thursday at 9:30 am. You can either buy all 10 tickets for $5 or pay $1 per show per person. Either way, a great deal. We usually just pay per show because I never know how often we’ll be able to make it. Make sure you get there early if you decide to pay per show too because the kids literally show up in buses and they can sell out fast!

Free Church Camp

This, of course, depends on your area, but we’re lucky enough to have a church in our area that offers a free sports camp for a week in June. Pine Lake has such an amazing youth program. Cameron played football for them last fall, and we really enjoyed it. The camp runs from June 13-June 16 this year, and it’s free for kids that just completed grades K-5. If you live in Mississippi, they are offering it in the Jackson area, Starville, and Oxford. All you have to do to sign up is register online and pick a sport you think your child would be interested in. That’s it! You can also look into other church programs, such as Vacation Bible School.

Public Library

We spend a lot of time at the library in the summertime. Cameron is an excellent reader, and I don’t want him to stop just because he’s not going to school everyday. Our local library has a summer reading program that encourages the kids to read books and keep a log of what they’ve read throughout the summer. At the end of the summer, they have a party for all of the participants. Our library also offers free movies throughout the summer, usually on Tuesday mornings. They also offer a number of craft projects and activities for all ages (even babies)! Just check with your local library!

The Local Park

You’d be surprised at how much goes on at the park. We spent Cameron’s first day of summer vacation at a family festival at our local park. There were tons of free activities for kids, cartoon characters, a concert, and a fireworks display! Of course there were vendors there and fair food (I couldn’t resist a funnel cake!), but you could’ve make this outing as cheap or as expensive as you wanted. Throughout the summer there are many other free activities in our local park, including a monthly movie night called Movies-n-Moonlight where people can bring their kids and just camp out and watch a movie. All you have to do is google your city’s parks and recreation website and find out what activities are offered in your area!

What do you do to keep your littles busy during their summer vacations?

5 Fun (and Really Cheap!) Ways to Keep the Littles Busy This Summer! -- Get the kids out of the house this summer without breaking the bank!




14 comments :

  1. Library, cheap movies and the pool! And I do admit to signing my kids up for as many camps as we can swing. It keeps them occupied & active and keeps me sane. One that we haven't tried is the Home Depot/Lowes. I'll have to check that one out! Thanks!

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    1. We definitely do summer camps too! More activity, less TV! Those workshops are great, you won't be disappointed!

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  2. When my daughter was little we used to spend a lot of time in the summer at the public library. She loved it and the park was right nearby. Thanks for the inexpensive ideas!

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    1. You're welcome! Our park is right across from our library too...keeps us busy for a while!

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  3. Great post! This summer we'll be doing swimming lessons, a couple VBS, trips to the park and the beach. I'll be trying a loose schedule with my girls, ages 2 & 4.

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    1. That sounds like a fun summer for them! I'm hoping to squeeze a trip to the beach out of this summer!

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  4. I love the free events at lowes and home depot! I need to remember to put them in my calendar! And the library is one of our go-to places.

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    1. They sneak up on me sometimes but my son makes sure I don't forget!

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  5. What a great idea to do the kid builder workshops! I need to look into it and see if there is an age range because my daughter is only 1, but she would love to help!

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    1. I have not seen a minimum age on these programs...she'll have so much fun helping!

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  6. These are good ideas. Especially the library, they offer so many free activities.

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    1. They really do! My son has a lot of fun there.

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  7. These are great ideas! my little one is almost one, but next year he will have a blast!

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    1. My youngest is 8 months...she'll be ready to go next year too!

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