10 Fun and Frugal Summer Activities for Kids
By Sadaf Afshan
‘Mom, I’m bored!’ Do you dread hearing these words during the much awaited summer months? If expensive summer camps or exotic vacations are beyond your budget, there’s no need to fret. Here are some fun and simple ways to entertain kids during the summer without breaking the bank.
Libraries are not just for books. Kids can rent movies and enjoy story telling sessions or workshops. During the summer most libraries organize lots of fun events such as magic shows, puppet shows, movie screenings etc. which are either free or have a very nominal entry fee. Make sure to buy tickets well in advance as they sell out very quickly.
During the summer many theaters offer kids’ movies once or twice a week for as low as a toonie. Usually, these discounted screenings are held during mornings. They are not advertised much, so most probably you will have to call a cineplex near you to find out more.
Lake shores and beaches are the perfect summer escape where you can go alone or with a group of friends to unwind and relax. It’s a good idea to inquire about family-friendly spots before hitting the beach. Play beach volleyball, toss around a Frisbee or build sand castles. You can have a BBQ or bring a picnic lunch. Just keep an eye on the kids and make sure that everyone wears sunscreen. (Read our forum discussion on sunblocks and sunscreens too.)
Arts and Crafts
Drawing, painting, scrap booking, jewelry making…..the options are endless when it comes to kid-friendly arts and crafts. Head over to your nearest dollar store to buy inexpensive craft supplies and keep them busy for hours. If you are not the crafty types, watch some YouTube videos for inspiration and you might find yourself developing a hobby along with the kids.
Involve kids in the kitchen to make some fun treats as well as healthy recipes. Bake and decorate simple cupcakes or cookies. If it’s too hot to turn on the oven, whip up some frozen treats or healthy salads. Cooking and baking help to harness imagination, empowerment and creativity in kids. Picky eaters are more likely to try new dishes if they are involved in making them.
Conservation areas and trails encourage kids to explore rocks, bugs, birds and plants. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes and carry a small backpack with drinks and snacks. Make sure not to choose difficult or long trails for young children. You don’t want to end up carrying them on your shoulders while coming back!
Gardening is a great summer activity for kids of all ages. It helps them to connect with nature and learn useful skills that will last a lifetime.
Explore different parks in your city. You will find that they have much more to offer than just swings and slides. Some of them have splash pads, picnic shelters and tennis courts. Kids can ride their bikes or scooters, blow bubbles and fly kites.
Several farms offer free admission. Kids can see farm animals, jump in haystacks and enjoy wagon rides. Pick-your-own farms are also popular with kids. During summer kids can pick strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, peas and rhubarb. Some pick-your-own farms charge admission fees in addition to the cost of the picked fruits whereas others only charge for the fruits/vegetables.
Keep an eye for local events such as Canada Day Celebrations, Masjid carnivals and festivals which offer free or low cost admission. Usually all these events have fun activities such as bouncy castles, face painting and clowns for kids. Many museums also have ‘Doors Open’ days where they offer free admission. Also make sure to check out our Events section for some great happenings around your city.
Remember, spending time with children is more important than spending money on them. Make this summer a time to bond, learn and explore together as a family. And most importantly, enjoy the summers!
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