Frugal Summer Activities for Kids
If you have recently looked into summer camps for your kids, you were probably shocked to realize it could cost over $500 per week to keep two kids occupied from 9 to 3 every day. Insanity! Instead, you may want to get creative and entertain your kids for free or nearly free over the summer months.
Library and bookstore programs
In addition to regular year-round storytimes, many libraries and bookstores ramp up their summertime offerings for kids to include craft classes, visits by authors, and book clubs – all at a low cost, and sometimes absolutely free. Local libraries may even host magicians, clowns, cartoonists, and more.
Vacation Bible schools
Week-long day camps are a mainstay for many church youth programs. Usually the cost is minimal as the programs are subsidized by the church. The kids are treated to crafts, songs, outdoor activities, and more. If you plan it right, you can sign up for several camps at different churches in your area. Sometimes parents are enlisted for staffing, snacks, etc., so be aware of the requirements before you commit.
Your friends with kids are in the same position you are – a long summer with no relief in sight. Team up to provide each other support. Enlist several of your friends with kids, and each family takes one day a week to host the kids for three or four hours. One day per week in exchange for three or four days of freedom is a great bargain!
If you have younger kids, you may want an extra pair of hands to help you entertain them while you get some work done around the house. And if you have older kids, you may just need someone to keep an eye on them to keep the living room from becoming a battle zone. In either case, a mother’s helper may be your ticket. Usually a mother’s helper is younger than a babysitter hired to watch the kids while you’re out. A mother’s helper also would typically charge less than the average high school sitter. Perfect for at-home, part-time help.
Start your own part-time daycare
Turn your pain into a gain, and watch other people’s children at your home for pay. Most states don’t require licensing for casual babysitting of just a few children, but check with your town and state to make sure you’re fulfilling all requirements. Be sure you have a schedule that remains structured in order to provide reliable care. Offering a safe and fun place for several children to remain while their parents are at work may be a perfect solution to your own family’s summer activity plans.
Having enough activities for your children this summer doesn’t have to cost a fortune. You can keep your family active and happy all summer long with just a little bit of ingenuity. Have fun for very little money and create a summer full of fun!