Are you home from the summer and have kids but not a lot of money? Maybe you don’t have kids but you need ideas of what to do during the long summer with nieces and nephews. Well, here are some ideas that you can do to keep kids entertained. I’ve created a list of things I’ve done over the summers with my kids. Some are fun and entertaining. Some are educational and instructional.
Let’s get started!
- Go to the Park! Simple, I know. Here where I live, we can either walk to the park around the corner from my home or drive into El Paso and go to Sue Young Park. The kids love to run around and play at the skate park or on the playground. In El Paso, there is a splash park where they love to run around and get wet. It’s free and enjoyable.
- Go to the museum! I like to take my kids to the railroad and natural history and space museum in Las Cruces. There are many all over the place and I’ll be discovering some this summer. They are free to enter and the kids get to have fun and learn while doing it.
- Horseback riding! Recently, my kids got to ride horses for the first time. It’s so good for them to learn about horses and how to care for them. They learned about what they eat. It’s also a good physical activity because you learn balance and endurance while riding. It’s a fun experience and it’s worth the smiles you see on their faces.
- Board games! I know, some say that it’s “boring!” Well, if you get bored playing games, I suggest you get some new ones. They are inexpensive if you go to thrift shops. We love to play games and learn new ways of coming up with rules. Make it fun for them by making your own rules or changing up the direction of the boards. It’s good to have family time outside of technology and you connect with kids better that way. Plus, it gives kids reasoning skills, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. It also teaches kids how to share and how to socialize and learn that losing is part of life sometimes.
- Go for a walk! If you say, “Ruth Anne, it’s too hot to walk out in this heat!”, I feel you. It’s been in the 90s in New Mexico. Believe me, we sweat and we feel it. So, go at night when the sun is low and the breeze starts or early morning before the heat sizzles. Physical activity is good for the kids and gets out some of the excess energy that comes from not being in school. Walks are good because you can talk, point out surroundings, and kids learn direction. I like to play games while we walk. We point out colors of cars, animals, trees, buildings, and more. The kids ask questions and I get to answer and vise versa. We like to take Buddy, our dog, with us and he gets to get out of the yard and smell other things and get acquainted with the world.
- Ice Cream Party or snack! It’s summer time and the heat is brutal. So, why not give the kids and yourself a treat once in a while? I love Caliches because it is frozen custard and has less sugar than regular ice cream and they give you real fruit topping. But, you could also make your own in the freezer with Popsicle’s. The summer is long and it’s fun when the kids have that little treat to look forward to.
- Sleepovers! If you have nieces, nephews, sport team members, friends, or neighbors, do some sleep overs. You can watch movies or do fun night games and give one parent a break. If you alternate once a month, each parent will get a break and it’ll benefit the entire group. Make sure that you trust the people you allow your kids to sleep at their home. Let’s be safe out there. Don’t just pawn off your kid to some rando. That’s not cool. I’m lucky to live next to my sisters who have kids. My sister sent me this picture recently. Look how cozy!
- Church fun! When we moved to Chaparral, we joined my parent’s church. They attend Open Door Baptist Church in Anthony, NM. It’s nice once a week to take the kids to church, build that relationship with Jesus Christ, and give them something new to learn. I’m lucky to have met a great pastor and his wife. The people who attend the church feel like family and it’s nice to have that for my kids. So, if you belong to your church, get your kids involved with children’s church and have them do activities at home, sing along with some songs, or even go on a camping retreat. We are doing that next month and we are all excited.
- Ride bikes! My daughter loves to ride her bike and I’m teaching my son. It’s a great way to learn balance, stamina, and get some exercise. Plus, you can join a club and ride with other kids. The school my kids went to in Las Cruces had a bike riding club. The park we live around the corner from, has a place they can ride their bikes and it’s fun.
I provided you with some ideas that I’ve done with my kids over the years. Here is another list that you can do with your kids.
- Baking cookies or goods. Make sure you let the kids do it so they learn how to measure, learn about cooking utensils, and the combinations of ingredients.
- Visit a farmer’s market and let the kids see all the types of vegetables. It’s a good way to learn about healthy eating, cooking ingredients, and information on vegetables they’ve never had. Plus, some places let you taste test.
- Read. It’s important for kids to continue reading during the summer. If your kids are behind or need some extra help with reading, it’s time to assist them. Reading also helps them with their imagination, concentration, and writing skills.
- Garden. As I stated in an earlier post, we have started to grow flowers. We are going to put in a flowerbed and maybe try vegetables down the road. It’s good because I learn and they learn about types of flowers, soil, PH levels, and how to care for plants. It also gives you an opportunity to grow your own food and teach kids about pesticides and what it means to take care of them.
- Puppet Shows! You can either create your own or go to a show where they have one put on. I used to take my daughter to the local library and she’d get to watch shows and have fun and laugh. They teach kids how to be creative, imaginative, and express themselves.
- Make a birdhouse. If you get Popsicle sticks, paint, and decorations, you can come up with a pretty cool looking birdhouse. Then, you can put it in the yard and let your kids see how the birds come to the box and eat the seed you buy. You teach them about building, crafts, and you get to teach them about different types of birds. Don’t forget that you get an education too by learning as they do.
- Go to the Zoo! I personally am an animal person and so are my kids. We have 3 animals (pets) in our home. A hamster, a rabbit, and a puppy. We love animals and I love taking my kids to different zoos so they can learn about different types of animals. This summer, we will be going to the El Paso zoo and the Alamogordo zoo. Animals teach us a lot about the environment, ozone layers, waste, and economic stability. There are so many things to learn at a zoo.
- Stargazing. My son loves space and has a little telescope. I like to point out different stars where I live. So, this summer I want to teach my kids a little about astronomy and the different constellations. It’ll be fun to be outside and get fresh air and learn about the different aspects of stars.
- Visit an Amusement Park. They can be pricey but if you look around, you can find discounts. For example, here we have Wet n’ Wild, a water park. If you go to a Circle K, you can get the tickets cheaper than at the door. Look in a thrifty nickle or local paper for coupons. You can see different deals they may have.
- Arts and Crafts. Expression helps kids to learn and be creative. Allow your kids to paint, draw, build, or glue. It’s fun and they learn a lot by creating.
There you have it, some ideas for what to do during the summer that don’t cost too much money and keeps you and your kids entertained. I hope you liked my list.
What are some fun things you like to do during summer? Any fun experiences or anacdotes you want to share? Leave a comment below and share! 🙂