Summer is here again and everyone wants to be outdoors enjoying the sunshine and clean air. However, sometimes family fun can become quite an expense for parents. Here are some inexpensive ways for you and your family to have some fun in the sun without breaking your wallet.
Construct a Nature Scrapbook: Search the backyard for leaves, flower petals, feathers, pine cones, etc. Add the items to a store bought scrapbook or, even better, make your own!
To make your own, glue your backyard treasures onto construction paper or card stock. Add pictures of the family, their names and dates. Help the children cut shapes out of construction paper or colored tissue paper and glue them in the album as well!
When finished with the decorating, simply staple the pages together or use a hole punch and tie them with yarn. Not only is this a fun project but it’s also a family keepsake!
Have a Picnic in the Backyard: Children can make wonderful fun and creative to a picnic. If you have an old plastic tablecloth, have the kids take it outside and decorate it with markers or paints. Using their markers they can also create personalized plastic drinking cups for everyone. And, for the table centerpiece, give the kids some construction paper and ask them to make paper flowers. After their flowers are completed, staple them to plastic, bendable drinking straws and place them in a plastic cup. Place the cup in the center of the picnic table.
Hunt Treasures: Make a list of several things that can be found outside; leaves, sticks, pine cones, etc. Give each family member a copy of the list and set out on a backyard journey to find them. Whoever finds everything on the list first, wins!
Build Sandcastles: You don’t have to live near the beach to enjoy making sandcastles! If you don’t have a sandbox, you can go to your local hardware store and purchase a bag of sand. Place the sand in a plastic dishpan or a large plastic punch bowl and add a little water to make the sand stick together. Use different shaped storage bowls, kids’ toys or plastic cups to build with.
Make Pet Rocks: Gather together some paints, chalk or markers. Help the kids search for some smooth rocks and decorate them. You can also glue on pompoms, plastic eyes or paper cut-outs to make the rocks look like animals!
Have a Balloon Popping Race: Blow up balloons and lay them in straight lines. Have a race to see who can pop the most in one minute!
*Note: Balloons are loads of fun but please be cautious, they are a choking hazard!
Finally, on the days that it’s too hot to spend time outdoors, spend time inside by visiting your local library or museum, popping some popcorn and watching a movie together or just spend time reading to the kids.
Whatever you decide to do with your family this summer, have fun, relax and be safe!