Don’t buckle under the pressure to splash the cash on entertaining the family this summer. Instead, here are 13 inexpensive ideas for the kids to do that will keep them happily occupied and won’t tug at the purse strings.
1. DIY water sports
Children of all ages love playing with water. For the younger ones, fill a small paddling pool with water so they can splash around in the backyard, or dangle a water hose over the clothesline for a makeshift sprinkler. For the older kids, take water balloons to the local park and have a playful water fight (within a designated area, of course!).
2. Car boot it
Your local car boot sales are a great place to stock up on activities for outdoor and indoor playtime. Find inexpensive costumes to play dress-up, or board games to take to the park or to play indoors when the weather doesn’t cooperate.
3. Summer readers
Most local libraries have free summer activities that the kids can partake in like reading programs or group reading sessions. The library is also a good place to rent DVDs, especially unseen classics for at-home movie nights.
Volunteering can be such a gratifying experience, even for kids. Your older children can get involved with your local dog shelter and volunteer to walk or play with dogs that need a home. Most of these shelters will be able to provide dogs that are suitable to be around young children too.
5. At-home camping
You don’t need to go far to feel like you’re on holiday. Set up a tent in the garden and gaze up at stars well into the evening. Or, if the weather’s not so good, why not create a makeshift camp in the front room? Make a fort out of cushions, blankets and fairy lights and invite their friends over for camping-inspired sleepover.
6. Get cooking
Make treats that the whole family will enjoy. Homemade lemonade or fruit popsicles are perfect for summertime, or have the kids try their hand at making pizza or cookie dough.
7. Crafty counts
A few supplies and a little ingenuity can go a long way when making crafty objects. Empty cardboard boxes, wallpaper rolls or even carpet tubes can be easily transformed into spaceships, castles or dolls’ houses. Or create sock puppets with worn socks or use nail varnish on pebbles to make pretty, decorative stones.
8. Get active
Check what’s around your local area and go on long walks exploring new neighbourhoods. Or, get the bikes out and go for a long ride to a distant park for a picnic. There is nothing like riding a bike to make one feel young again, even you!
9. Free days
Check out your local museums or galleries for any free days or programmes. Often, kids’ free days and programmes are added to their schedules during the summer months.
10. Your mini thesps
There’s an inner performer in all of us. Invite their friends over to write and stage a play, or have your children learn ten new jokes for an ad hoc stand-up routine to perform in front of the family.
11. Take a photo tour
Give your kids the camera (or camera phone) to take artful photos of the garden, their neighbourhood or even document their daily summer activities. Print off the images and have them create a small scrapbook with the images for a lovely keepsake.
12. Treasure hunt
Create a themed treasure hunt indoors or at the local park. It can be as simple as hiding coloured marbles, pennies, or you could even have your kids find objects that start with the letter B, for example.
13. Project Green
Have the kids help plant a small garden patch in the backyard as a wonderfully rewarding summer-long project. The kids will enjoy taking care of their small garden and seeing how it grows over the course of the weeks.
More summertime fun
Don’t miss out on the exciting activities you can do with your whole family using your Nectar rewards for an affordable but fun time this summer.