Summer holiday activities for kids on a budget

Summer holiday activities
The two-month summer holiday still in use by schools across Canada was created to allow children to spend the summer months helping out on the family farm. But, even as that way of life disappeared, the extended summer vacation remained. Nowadays, kids are more likely to spend their days glued to some device than milking cows and ploughing fields.

But, as many parents know, the same kids who look forward to the end of the school year are the ones that complain of boredom during the summer months.

Moms, dads, aunts, uncles and babysitters are tasked with keeping the little ones entertained but enjoying summer holiday activities are tough when you are trying to stick to a budget.

Luckily, Consolidated Credit has some great tips on frugal fun activities for kids.

  • Where’s the beach? – A day at the beach is a frugal parent’s dream. If you are lucky enough to live with an hour drive of a body of water, take advantage of it! The kids will happily spend hours slashing in the water and building sandcastles while you relax in your beach chair (or better yet, join in the fun). The best part is – other than the gas for the car and any snacks you bring along, it doesn’t cost a penny!
  • Photo Scavenger Hunt – A little preparation will give you a lot of peace and quiet. Make a list of things that your kids need to find and take a picture of. Put them in teams or make it an individual challenge and send them on their way. While they’re running around the neighbourhood looking for a maple tree or an elusive squirrel, you’ll be enjoying a glass of ice tea on the porch.
  • Coloured chalk and a piece of sidewalk – Concrete squares of sidewalk are the perfect canvas for aspiring young artists. Pick up a box of coloured sidewalk chalk and have your kids decorate the sidewalk in front of your home. Your little Picassos will get to think creatively as the hours tick by. Other than the sidewalk chalk that will be used again and again, this activity will cost you nothing while keeping the kids entertained.
  • Backyard camping – You don’t have to go far to take a trip. Setting up a tent in the backyard will seem like a vacation to your children. Take this opportunity to roast some marshmallows, tell some ghost stories and strum the guitar if you are able. Other than washroom breaks, enforce a strict “no going inside” rule to make it even more authentic. Your kids will enjoy the break from the normal routine – even if you are just metres from the back door. And guess what? It’s free!
  • Bike rides – If done properly, a bike ride will keep the entire family entertained for a full day. Pack a lunch and set out from your house in the morning. Depending on where you live, you should be able to bike for a bit before stopping at a park. Let the kids play while you prepare a snack and then head on your way again. Utilize bike paths that take you through a wooded area or down by the river. Your kids will love the change of scenery and you’ll all be getting some good exercise. Have a picnic and head back home. Your kids will have exerted so much energy so sleep won’t be a problem. Sounds good, right?

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