Low Cost Fun Activities

It's summer time. Have you heard these words from your child? "I'm bored!" Having a few fun activities available can help everyone have a fun summer. When selecting low cost activities, keep in mind the interests of you and your child. Also, think about the amount of time available to do the activity.

Let your child be an active player in the decision process. Put a list of possible ideas in a jar and have your child pick one or two and make a choice. Your time and resources will be important.

Check out the local newspapers for planned events.

Listed below are fun activities to do at home.

  • Plant vegetable and flower seeds and watch them grow in the ground or in containers.
  • Help your child draw a map of your house or apartment.
  • They could draw the block or neighborhood.
  • Have an evening to play board games like Junior Monopoly, Game of Life, Scrabble, checkers or card games like UNO. Have pizza and make it a festive time.
  • Try some creativity ideas. Let the children create the puppets for the puppet show. Or put problem-solving puzzles together; tell jokes and stories. Have a spelling bee; experiment with bubbles; make a scavenger hunt as a walk in your neighborhood; or play charades.
  • Play simple outdoor games like jump rope or hop scotch. Fly a kite or rollerblade. Cook a family barbecue or let your child bake something and give it away to a friend. Rent or borrow a video from a friend and make your own popcorn, pop or juice and watch it as a family. You can pause the movie for the needed bathroom break. Start a collection by organizing baseball cards, buttons, stickers or rocks.

Listed below are fun activities to do in the community.

  • Visit the local library to see their selections of videos, books, and programs. Have your child find a book on puppet making or kites or cookbooks for kids. Then pick an activity to do with the kids.
  • Enjoy your local park or forest preserve by packing a lunch. Take some games or frisbee and play in the park.
  • Eat breakfast out as a family. It is often more reasonable than other meals.
  • Attend the under attended local events in your neighborhood like Little League, softball, soccer or community band concerts.
  • Experience a culture by eating at an ethnic restaurant.
  • Going to a movie, try the matinee or second run theatres, as the ticket price will be less.
  • Be part of the park district programs or rent a rowboat on a lake for the afternoon.
  • Go window shopping in a town with different types of shops.
  • Visit your county fair and local festivals. There are exhibits and parades to watch. Be a part of your community fun.
  • Most museums have a free or reduced price day. Visit an art, children's, or science museum. Maybe your child would like to go to a planetarium or aquarium.
  • Don't try to conquer the whole museum in one day. Think about what your child can handle.
  • Swim at the local pool or at the beach.

Prepared by: Susan Taylor, Extension Educator, Consumer and Family Economics, University of Illinois Extension. Manteno Extension Center.

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