Summer is here and there are loads of things you and the kiddos can do to keep busy and entertained on a budget. Here’s a list of 15 must-dos for some good old-fashioned fun in the sun without breaking the bank.
1. Grab a towel and hit a nearby splash pad. Better yet, make a backyard beach complete with swimsuits, sprinklers and sunshine. Why not incorporate chalkart into the mix to channel some artistic expression. Draw sea creatures and waves along the fence to surround yourself with a tropical vibe.
4. Visit a local farmers’ market for inexpensive fresh local goods and entertainment. Click here to check out my list of markets across the GTA for some inspo.
5. On a rainy day, throw a dance party, make a craft, or build an indoor fort. Click here to check out my list of indoor activities for tons of creative play the kiddos will surely love.
6. Create a moonlight cinema in your backyard, complete with a concession stand and blankets to snuggle up to. Click here for free printables to use as incentives and rewards to encourage good behaviour leading up to the evening.
7. Visit a local farm that is open to the public for some seasonal berry picking and animal interaction. For an additional bargain, make your own jam with the excess bounty. Click here for some homemade recipes. Check online prior to your visit for rules and regulations regarding feeding and petting the farm animals.
8. Grab a sketchpad, strap on binoculars, and check out nearby conservation zones for some bird watching. Bring along some day-old bread to feed the birds along the way. Click here for your online guide to birding and download the free app too!
9. Visit the Zoo and get face-to-face with the wild life. Watch comedy film, Zookeeper and read related children storybooks such as Zoo-ology and Goodnight, Gorilla to help build excitement and prior knowledge before the anticipated visit.
10. Plan a picnic play date with friends at the park and pack a lunch to munch on. Don’t forget the buckets and rakes to build free-standing sand castles. Be sure to bring along a kite if it’s a windy day.
11. Go to your local parks’ website, print the schedule of activities offered throughout the month such as, tree planting or hike and bike trails.
12. Invent a new game with your kids. Get a ball, a bat, a racquet and a piece of rope and let them make up the rules along the way. Reward positive play with build-your-own fruit kabobs.
13. Participate in your local library’s summer reading program, or create one of your own. Have your littles pick a theme that interests them and sign out a book to read each week on the topic. Set up a cozy reading corner in a quiet nook around the house, equipped with bean bags and big pillows. Click here for a reading log reproducible for the kiddies to keep track of their accomplishments.
14. Gear up for a camping trip! For camping tips, expert advice and guides to some of the best campgrounds in Canada, visit Camping in Canada: An Experts Guide to the Great Outdoors.
15. Go on a nature walk
and check out if nearby forested areas participate in Geocaching for an added adventure.
The choices are endless, even without having to splurge on anything too extravagant! Always remember, whatever you decide on, spending quality time with family tops the list.