The school year is almost over and you have not even had a chance to think about what to do with your kids this summer.
Maybe your vacation budget is tight or even non-existent this year. But you still want to create fun family memories that your kids will cherish for a long time.
What can you do?
Well here are 5 ideas of fun activities you can do that won’t cost you a fortune:
1. Scavenger Hunt
Kids love scavenger hunts. The beauty of a scavenger hunt is that they can be altered to fit practically any theme and age level. The basis of a scavenger hunt is that each kid or team has a list of things they need to find and the first team to bring back all of the items on the list is the winner.
How to Create a Scavenger Hunt:
Decide what types of things you’ll include on the scavenger hunt and make a list. Give one list for each team, set the ground rules (i.e. You must stay in the yard, You may not go inside, etc.) and let them scavenge for the items!
2. Obstacle Course
An obstacle course requires the kids to make it through a series of challenges that you have created for them. The obstacle course should be age appropriate so the kids can have fun with a little bit of challenge and if you have kids of a wide range of ages, try to make the items adaptable for each kid.
Ideas for Obstacles:
o Target Practice. Use a hose to knock empty milk jugs from a table.
o Egg and Spoon Race. Carry an egg on a spoon from point A to point B.
o Water Balloon Toss. Fill up a bunch of water balloons and have the kids throw them towards each other or a target.
o Slide. Be sure to use your swing set or slide if you have one: Run around it three times. Go down the slide. Do a flip on the rings, etc.
o Shuttle run. Have two lines about ten yards apart. On one line have one bean bag and on the other have two. Kids start at the line with one bean bag, run to the next line and pick up a bean bag. Then they run back, set it down and get the one that’s there. They go back to the other line, pick up the last bean bag, set down the one they have and run back over the line.
o Sand Pail. Have the kids fill a small bucket with sand using a spoon or a small measuring cup before they can move on.
o Limbo. Have a limbo station set up and have them either go over or under the bar without touching it.
o Balance Beam. Set up a two by four (either on the ground or up on brick or benches depending on the age of your kids) and have them balance across it for this obstacle.
3. Celebrity Chef
Let your kid be the celebrity chef for the family dinner. He can plan the entire meal and then serve it to the rest of the family.
How to Create a Celebrity Chef Meal:
Have you kid choose the main course, side dishes and dessert. Together, look at the recipes and figure out a grocery list. Spend the afternoon preparing the meal and setting the table. Enjoy the dinner!
o If you have more than one kid, have each kid plan and prepare one course.
o Give them a theme and let them figure out food items to go along with it.
o Challenge them by giving them a certain food to use in each food they make.
o Help your child make up his or her own dessert recipe.
o Teach your child some basic cake decorating skills and then decorate a cake together.
4. Video Production
Kids love to see themselves on the big screen (i.e. your television)! This is a great activity for the dramatic and even those who are not as dramatic like to do the behind the scenes work for the production.
How to Create a Video Production:
Talk to your kids about planning what type of production they will be making – a short movie, a public service announcement, a commercial, a music video, etc. Then, write a script (or at least outline what they will say and do). Finally, discuss and organize costumes and props.
5. Library Detective
This is an interesting twist on a scavenger hunt.
How to Create a Library Detective Event:
Set up your clues ahead of time and then, if necessary, have the kids look at books in the library while you set up (or, if possible, go a few minutes early and have someone else bring them.)
Your clues can require them to explore different ways to search for books (by author, by subject and by title) as well as how to find the books once they’ve done the search.
Give them the first clue. This clue should lead them to a book that contains the second clue and so on. The clues should be written on color paper and placed within the book on a certain page so they are easy to find once the book is found.
Create memories that will last longer than a trip to the mall!