Summer is in full swing in our house. We are loving the relaxed schedule, but with it come the need for some ideas to keep the kids busy. Since this site is about being thrifty, here are some of the ideas we have tried so far and most of them don’t require you to buy anything.
DIY Bird Feeder
This project is very inexpensive and my kids loved doing it. I suggest doing it outside because it can be pretty messy depending on the age of your kids. The only item I didn’t have was birdseed, but I was able to purchase a box of seed at Walmart for $1.97. You will also need toilet paper rolls, some peanut butter and something to hang it with. Yarn would work great, I used floral wire cause that was the first thing I found in the craft bin. Just spread the peanut butter on the toilet paper roll and sprinkle birdseed on top. (We put our wire in first so we weren’t trying to string it through the peanut butter and bird seed.)
30 Day Lego Challenge
If you want to help your kids imagination, this one is for you. This 30 Day Lego Challenge forces kids to use their imaginations instead of the step by step directions that come with the Lego sets. My son ended up spending over an hour doing his first creation and hasn’t stopped playing Lego’s since. It has, all of a sudden, spurred his desire to create stuff.
Another Lego activity we loved was this Lego candy dispenser.
It was super easy to build and used pieces that were really common with most Lego sets. It only took us about 45 minutes, including trying to find the pieces in my sons massive box of Lego’s.
If you have a kid who is interested in cooking, this would be a fun activity. John and I love watching the Food Network and they currently have a show called Chopped Junior running. John really wants to be on the show but I told him he will need a lot of practice to get ready. This is a fun way to get your young cooks in the kitchen by starting them off with simple tasks, while making it a fun game at the same time.
Hands Free Bubbles
If you follow Simple & Thrifty on Facebook, you’ve already seen this, but I thought it would go well in our list of cheap summer ideas. Bubble are a timeless activity that all kids seem to love. If you have children like mine, the bubble solution runs out very quickly. We have one child who is a bubble dumper and another one who bends over and accidentally spills all her bubbles. In order to remedy the problem, I taped the tall bubble wands to our deck stair rails and now it’s much easier for the kids to play bubbles. I’m sure this concept would also work with the small bottles of bubbles. They love not having to hold the bubble solution and I love that I don’t have spilled bubbles all over the place.
It’s hard to always have activities planned for your kids and you shouldn’t have too. It’s important that they can learn to entertain themselves for awhile so you are able to do the things you have to. It’s very easy to allow the TV and other electronics to take over during the summer when the kids start complaining that they are bored. I had a feeling this would happen in our house, so before school got out, I found this nifty chart on Pinterest to give John a list of things to do in order to earn screen time. What usually happens is he gets distracted by doing one of the activities and a long time goes by before he remembers to move on to the next item on the list. I have it posted on our fridge so I don’t have to keep telling him what to do, he knows that he just has to go look at the list. It makes my life much easier.
Stay tuned for more great inexpensive ideas to keep your kids busy this summer.