The summer is half over and my kids are starting to get bored. All throughout the school year they look forward to summer vacation but after only a couple of days they begin to fuss about being bored. It is easy to spend money taking them to the movies, water parks and attempting to entertain them. Their entertainment demands can get expensive and overwhelming. Here are four simple ways to combat midsummer boredom:
Family Game Night – Get together with a couple other families in the neighborhood and arrange to meet at a local park one night every other weekend. Arrange games and activities for all the kids perhaps including games like ring toss, red light green light, Mother May I, Simon Says, three legged racing, freeze tag and the like. Each family can bring one large dish and a picnic can be had as well. This is a very low cost way to get neighborhood kids together for some summer fun they will always remember.
The community pool – If you don’t have a pool don’t fret. They are costly and time consuming to maintain anyway, so consider yourself lucky. Most communities have public pools that you can join for a small annual fee, usually $15-50 for the whole family. They also usually offer low cost swim lessons too, so if the lack of swim prowess is holding you back you can always make sure the kids get lessons. The latest community trend is the small community water park or water play area. The cost is usually a bit more than a community pool but they offer slides and uniquely designed water play areas that kids love. The best thing about using community pools is that you don’t have high water bills at home and you can get out of the house as much as you want… a few hours every day even.
Road trips – There is no need to go very far if the budget won’t allow it. Do an Internet search to find destinations no more than 2-3 hours away from home and plan a few special outings this summer. Pack some snacks and prepared lunches in bento boxes, grab some travel games or crayon rolls, and hit the road. To avoid sibling fights plan ahead and have some games and activities planned like I-Spy or travel trivia. When looking for places to go think about museums, historical homes, and State parks.
Summer Movie Festivals – It is a rare community that doesn’t offer some sort of family movie festival. Check with your local parks service to see what they have to offer. Local drive-ins may also have $1.00 nights were admission one week night every week is only $1 per person. Large chain theatres will often host summer fun programs for kids. Admission is usually free to one kid’s movie on a selected weekday morning. Ask around to find some free or low costs movies in your area this summer. Invite grandparents and friends to come along too.