Fun ways to fill those long summer days.
When school’s out for the summer, how will you entertain the kids all day, every day? We’re here to help with 10 ideas that are fun for the kids and easy on your wallet:
- Get crafty at home: Odds and ends lying around the house, like toilet-paper rolls and buttons, can make for an afternoon of fun. Your little ones can learn to transform a paper plate into an adorable nest, banjo, purse or other creative pieces. Prefer to take the kids on a field trip? Look for free in-store demonstrations and workshops at your local craft stores.
- Make ice-cold treats: The kids will love them and you’ll like knowing what they’re made of. You can either pour juice or lemonade into a Popsicle®* maker, or create them from scratch ― with help from the kids! Looking for some healthy options? Try these recipes packed with fresh fruit and plenty of flavour.
- Have a beach day: When temperatures begin to soar, declare it an official “beach day.” If you don’t live by the water, you can still create your own chilled-out afternoon. Start by running through the sprinklers and enjoying ice-cold treats (see above!). Then, pack a picnic and head to the local park ― or simply park yourselves on the front lawn.
- Go berry picking: You can find a ton of delicious berries across Canada. Search for local pick-your-own farms and associations in your province (for example, find Ontario berries here). You can also teach your kids about everything from blueberries to buffaloberries, making for an educational adventure. Tip: Go early, pack sunscreen, double-check that your berry of choice is in season and always make sure that any and all berries you pick are edible.
- Set up a lemonade stand for charity: Bring out your child’s inner entrepreneur while helping out the community. You can involve the kids in every step, from making signs and mixing lemonade, to choosing the charity and counting the money you raise. Consider paying them a small percentage for their hard work and donate the rest. Get a few more tips on how to set up a lemonade stand.
- Plant your own vegetable garden: If you have a yard and a little time and know-how, you can make a vegetable garden in your backyard and grow your own organic vegetables. It’s a great ongoing family activity that’s not only fun, but can also help cut back your grocery bill. If you don’t have the space or time for a vegetable garden, try planting some herbs indoors.
- Go camping in your backyard: Pitch a tent, roll out the sleeping bags and bring on the marshmallows. Even if you don’t actually sleep outside overnight, the kids will have a great time playing in the tent, telling stories and eating real camp food. Tip: Roast marshmallows in the toaster oven (or make some s’mores), then bring them outside for everyone to enjoy.
- Visit a local fair, festival or farmers’ market: Throughout summer, fairs and festivals abound. It’s a wonderful and inexpensive way to get out into the community, spend a fun day with the family and possibly pick up some neat crafts and foods from local artisans. Search for upcoming festivals in your city, and be sure to get there early to avoid the crowds.
- Spend a day at the zoo: For a special treat, pack the kids in the car and head for the zoo. Not only are there cute animals aplenty; many zoos have live shows, activities, special events and even splash pads. Search for deals and coupons and, if you frequent the zoo, consider getting an annual pass to save on the cost per trip. To save a little more, pack a lunch.
- Hit the dollar store: If all else fails, there’s always a trip to the dollar store. To kids, it’s a goldmine of toys, crafts and activities. To adults, it’s an easy way to fill some time without draining the wallet. Just be sure to establish some rules before you go, like how much they can spend and what sort of things they can buy. Find a store near you.
Looking for a few more fun ideas? Don’t miss our article on 5 stellar staycation tips.
®* Popsicle is a registered trademark of Unilever