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4 Ways to Spend Summer With Your Children Without Breaking the Bank

kids watching a movie in the backyard

It is the perfect time of year for those looking for fun ways to pass the time during their summer break while trying not to burn a hole in their pockets, so I have come up with a list of four ideas guaranteed to make this one of the most memorable and fun-filled summers of your life!

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Affordable Ways to Enjoy Summer Activities with Your Kids

1. Make a Waterpark in Your Backyard

As the temperature shoots up, so does the kids' boredom level. Waterparks can be too pricey and too much of a hassle even to plan a trip for. So why not have a waterpark in your backyard? Gather all the kids in your neighborhood for an inexpensive aquatic festivity! Create a Slip-N-Slide using a tarp, water, and tear-free shampoo or soap. A water balloon fight station adds friendly competition, with water balloons found in your local stores for less than $10, and remember to grab the water guns. You can also have a homemade beach by taking a small kiddie pool and play sand that can be found from your nearby hardware stores that are less than $10, along with beach toys to make the beach experience more realistic.

2. Organize an Outdoor Movie Theatre

Do you want to avoid the hassle of fighting over seats, agreeing on the best movie time, and paying for overpriced snacks? Why not create your own backyard movie theater? You can use a mini portable projector that costs between $30-$50 and a portable projector screen that is less than $30. To work smarter and not harder, find a large, blank wall or a wide white sheet or curtain that will accommodate your movie display. Next, gather pillows and blankets from around your house, patio chairs, and lawn chairs to provide comfort for your family and friends enjoying the movie. To create a truly memorable experience, a portable popcorn maker ($20-$40) would be one of the best things you could add to your backyard movie nights. Alternatively, you can find other sweets and snacks at a dollar or convenience store. This one-time investment can be used over and over again for years to come.

Do you love the outdoors? See our feature in 15 Tips for Camping With Kids.

3. Conduct a Friendly Cooking Competition

Hosting a cook-off competition with your loved ones can be just as exciting as watching the popular competitive cooking show, Chopped. Simply choose a meal or course, and decide who prepared the best dish. To make things fair, a non-participant can select four random ingredients from a grocery store (within a limited budget) so that no one has an unfair advantage. Alternatively, you can use ingredients from your kitchen for a lower cost. To determine the winner in this friendly competition, players can rate each other's dishes or have non-participants vote on who made the best use of the ingredients.

4. Find a New Hobby by Taking Classes and Participating in New Activities

Finally, returning from summer break is a great time to brag about what you've accomplished or even find a new talent you didn't even know you had. Several art classes are available for various prices, including pottery classes that begin as low as $20 per hour or painting classes that cost less than $50 per person each class for individuals interested in expanding their creativity and artistic abilities. Take a cooking class that ranges from $25 to $100 an hour, and you will be able to improve your cooking skills in no time. Additionally, you can participate in physical activities like skating or ice skating classes ranging from $20 to $30 per hour. In contrast, roller skating classes are cheaper at $20 per hour.

See how we spent our spring break in Haven Life: How parents are planning Spring Break this year

Are you prepared to keep your kids occupied during the summer months? It's best to plan ahead to avoid hearing the dreaded phrase, "Mom/Dad, I'm bored. Can we do something fun?" Planning activities and outings in advance will ensure that your children have a fun-filled summer without the need for constant stimulation from electronic devices.

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Summer can be a very expensive time! Thank you for the inexpensive ideas to keep the kids busy!

Annette Harris
Annette Harris
Jul 29, 2023
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Yes, it can. And all of these activities can be done without leaving home.

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