If you’re looking for fun and frugal activities to do with your young children during the summer holidays or on the weekends, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, I suggest 10 fun and frugal activities for kids to do at home that’ll keep them entertained for hours.
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Schools out for summer! At least I know this is the case in the U.K., U.S.A., and Canada and must be so throughout most of the world, right?
My children don’t have six weeks of summer holidays just yet. They’re still in nursery and their nursery is open all year round. However, they don’t go to nursery on Fridays, so I’m constantly trying to find things to do to keep them occupied. I take my invisible hat off to home-school parents – I don’t know how they do this day in day out.
If you’re looking for fun and frugal activities to do with your young children during the summer holidays or on the weekends, you’ve come to the right place. In this post I suggest 10 fun and frugal activities for kids to do at home that’ll keep them entertained for hours.
Some of these activities can be done indoors when the weather isn’t great, while others can be done in the garden on a lovely hot summer’s day.
Depending on the weather, you can either watch the movie indoors or outdoors. If done indoors, you can try and imitate the cinema experience by dimming the lights and serving popcorn and snacks inside little popcorn cones. You don’t need to buy popcorn cones though, instead make it a fun arts and crafts activity for the kids before watching the film. Here’s a simple tutorial by Paging Supermom. If the weather is nice and you have a back garden and a projector, play the film from the projector so that the children can enjoy the movie on the big screen.
I still have fond memories of doing this in my own childhood. I would build a fort with my younger brothers using bedsheets and quilt covers tied to doors and the back of our sofa. We’ll raid the kitchen cupboards and take the food inside our make-shift fort to have a picnic. I’m excited to create these memories for my boys and I know they’re going to enjoy it even more than I did as a child.
Find a few simple plant pots, soil, and seeds and plant some flowers or herbs with the kids. Let them tend to their plants and take pride in them as they grow over the summer holidays. You may not even need to buy the items for this activity. Simply check out your local forums, Facebook groups or even Gumtree as there’s always someone trying to get rid of these things, you can help lighten their load. It’s a win-win situation!
If you have work that needs doing in the garden, get the children to help. Whether it’s weeding the grass, clearing out the shed or repainting the fences, let them get stuck in. They’ll enjoy playing grown up’s and you’ll benefit from an extra set of hands.
When I say games I’m not referring to games played on the Play-Station or a computer. Instead, pull out some board games that will keep their minds active, or try playing physical games that will get them moving. My boys love playing hide-and-go-seek. You could take that game up a notch by turning it into a treasure hunt, hide some treats around the house and let them go and find them.
Arts and crafts can be fun indoors and outdoors. There are so many different arts and craft ideas you can try with kids, I could write a whole blog post on this subject alone! However, if you don’t have any arts and crafts ideas, simply allow them to explore their imagination by setting up an arts and crafts play area.
I love the idea of messy play. I bought my son’s lots of different colours of paints and brushes a year ago and I still haven’t been brave enough to let them use it. Just thinking about all the mess they’ll make and how long it’ll take to clear it all up gives me major anxiety. I’m going to face my fears and let them have a play one day this summer. What’s the worst that can happen?
If your children are anything like mine, they’ll absolutely love this activity. My sons love playing grown-up and doing anything they see their father and I do around the house. They’re always trying to help their dad when he’s doing DIY work and help me with the cleaning. My car needs a wash so instead of taking it to the car wash and paying an extortionate £12.50, I’ll instead kill two birds with one stone by saving my money and getting the kids to help me wash the car.
This is a fun activity to do with the kids which they’ll really enjoy. They’ll love the process of preparing the cookies or cake for baking and love enjoying the fruits of their labour.
If baking isn’t your forte, you could instead give them a simple cooking lesson or let them help with dinner preparation. A lesson around the kitchen would be a fun activity for the kids and helpful to you too. Are you seeing the theme emerging in some of these activities!?
My boys love it when their older cousins come over to play as they keep them entertained for hours on end. Invite some friends and or/family around for a play date. The children can have fun playing with their mates, and you can enjoy some adult company – another win-win situation!
We’re currently in the process of redecorating our house and my boys love helping out. They were so excited to help us paint the living room with their little paintbrushes. Do you have a special summer project that you can work on together? Maybe they can help decorate their bedroom or play area. You could make it fun by letting them help pick out the furniture, accessories, and artwork. Let them put their stamp on it and decide where their artwork will go on the walls or where to put their accessories.
Although its summer in the U.K. the sun currently isn’t giving off much heat. If you’re fortunate to experience sunshine where you live, make the most of the summers day by letting the kids get wet outside. Set up the paddling pool if you have one, or if not, improvise with plastic buckets and bowls. Let them run around get wet and have fun.
There are so many fun and frugal activities that the kids can get involved in around the home, they don’t even need to go out every day in order to learn and/or have fun. They can find enjoyment by helping in everyday tasks around the home, and you can enjoy the pleasure of having an extra set of hands to help you. Not only will they enjoy doing what you do, but you’ll also simultaneously be teaching them priceless life skills.
Young children are really quite simple beings and we don’t need to break the bank to keep them entertained. They find joy in the simplest of activities so don’t overspend on lavish activities until you have to!
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Wife and mum of three boys on a journey to achieve financial freedom. Earn more, spend less and invest the difference.