Coming up with fun activities to keep the kids busy during the summer without going broke can be more than a notion. You don’t have to stock up on expensive toys or resign yourself to a summer of endless video games, though. There are plenty of fun, backyard activities you can organize without breaking the bank.
Soap Boat Races
To make your soap boat course all you need is a rain gutter and a garden hose at one end of it. Your soap boats, as you can probably guess, are made out of a bar of soap with a toothpick for the mast with a piece of fabric glued to the toothpick for the sail. Let your kids get creative with their design. Turn on the hose, and it’s off to the races!
It’s so easy to make and the kids will spend hours chasing after them to do it all over again.
Gunny Sack Races
Invite the neighborhood kids over to join in an old-fashioned gunny sack race. If you don’t have any gunny sacks lying around, a few pillow cases will do just fine (if you don’t mind a few grass stains). Have everyone put their feet inside the sack and off you go! Whoever finishes first wins!
Homemade Slip and Slide
Take a large tarp or two smaller ones and lay them end to end, securing with tent stakes pounded all the way into the ground. For extra protection, you can cover the tent stakes with sand, dirt or even a towel.
Saturate the length of the tarps with water from a garden hoe. Let the hose continue to run along the beginning of the slide. To make it extra slippery add some tear free baby shampoo down the sliding area and spray with warm water. You may have to add more shampoo to keep things going.
This game is fun for older children since it is played in the dark. It’s a combination of tag and hide and seek. The seeker has a flashlight and counts to 50 while the other players hide.
The object of the game is to have the seeker find one of the other players and when the light is shined on them, they become the seeker. The only rule is that the seeker must keep the flashlight on at all times while seeking out the other players.
Another fun tag game that’s suitable for all ages is the game of freeze tag. In this variation, the person who’s “it” has to tag all of the other players and the last person tagged becomes “it”. Once a player is tagged, they have to freeze in the spot where they were tagged. The can be rescued by another player who has not yet been tagged by touching the frozen person and they can continue playing. A good variation for older children is to have them run through the frozen person’s legs rather than touching them.
Finding things for the kids to do doesn’t have to be expensive or involve a tablet or video game. They get to have some fun while exercising and you get a quiet house (at least for a little while).
Do you have any fun summer activities your kids do that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.