Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Budget Friendly Summer Fun with the Kids

Enjoying an activity filled summer with the kids does not have to break the family budget. Here are five easy activities that offer both fun and educational opportunities that you can enjoy with your children:

  1. Weekly Themed Dinner Parties: As a family, choose an international country that you would like to learn more about. Visit the library to check our books about your country, be sure one of the books offers menu items that you can research and cook in your home. For an arts & crafts activity, have your children create a placemats and table decorations that represent the different symbols of your country. Together prepare a menu, shop for groceries and prepare a traditional meal or menu item for dinner. If everyone enjoys the activity, pick a new country each week for the remainder of your summer vacation.
  2. Go on a Nature Walk: Find a national park, local park or other outdoor area to visit as a family. Have your children gather different items that they find along their walk; glue the items to construction paper to create a collage. Nature walks offer a great opportunity for children to safely explore the world around them and learn more about nature.
  3. Bird Watching: Bird watching is a simple and enjoyable way to learn about the different birds that live in your neighborhood or surrounding area. Children are fascinated by birds, and learning the different breeds that live in your area is a great way to inspire a love of nature. Before you set out on your first bird watching expedition, be sure to visit your local library or book store to  gather bird identification books to help your child learn to recognize as many different birds as possible.
  4. Ice Cream Sundae Party: Purchase a variety of ice creams, sprinkles, flavored toppings, whip cream and maraschino cherries; allow your children to create their very own "dream sundae". Expect that this will be a very messy activity, so allow the children to build their creations outside where it is safe for things to get messy. Don't limit sugar intake, creative recipe construction or suggest any rules at all. On this day, just let the kids be kids. They will remember this for a long time and you just might have a "what I did last summer" classroom essay topic for one of the kids.

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