2013-05-09 / Columns

Everyday Extension

Budget friendly summer activities for families
By Acacia Stuckle Extension Agent, Emmons and Kidder Counties acacia.stuckle@ndsu.edu • 701-254-4811

It’s hard to believe summer is just around the corner with the absence of this year’s spring season. However, our calendars show it’s May, and that means summer vacation will be here soon.

Here are a number of wonderful low cost summer activities for kids and families that help families keep their hardearned money in their pockets.

With each of these ideas, you might fashion “what to do” boxes. Create two boxes— one for “outside” and one for “indoors”—containing index cards with activities written on them. Rotate who in the family gets to pick the card for that day. This is a great way to avoid activities that cost a lot of cash and a fun way to create a family plan.

Low or no cost outings and activities are something to consider for your own kids or a group of friends getting together that will create fun and memories without heating up your wallet or credit card bills:

• Visit a farm or pet store.

• Have cooking lessons at home (bake bread, make homemade ice cream, grandmas cookies).

• Visit a television station, radio station or newspaper facility.

• Visit a wildlife observatory

• Learn to knit or do needlework.

• Get a giant piece of paper and colored pencils and draw your dream house interior view with all the details.

• Participate in free summer reading programs and story times offered by many local libraries.

• Visit zoos and museums that have free or reduced rates for kids on special days.

• Have paper airplane or paper boat races or try making and flying your own kites (books at the library have the instructions).

• Put on a theatrical performance, a puppet show or a talent contest.

• Write and illustrate a story.

• Plant a small garden or container garden and watch it grow.

• Have sack, peanut or egg races.

• Plan a picnic as an activity.

• Hold a bring-a-dish block party.

• Rent a movie and have special “movie night” snacks.

• Take your kids on a tour of family history and photos.

• Search garage sales as family fun and walk away with a few really good deals.

• Play board games on rainy days.

• Go swimming at the local lake, pond or pool.

• Visit Vacation Bible Schools, Kids Camps, Day Camps.

• Walk, hike and enjoy nature.

• Go camping in the backyard.

• Bubbles are still an age-old summer activity for children. Here’s a recipe to make your own solution to save on costs.

Bubble Solution
1 Tbsp. glycerin
2 Tbsp. dish soap
9 ounces water

Mix it all up (the glycerin added to the mixture is key). Pour it into small plastic bottles or a pie pan, grab your favorite wand and enjoy big beautiful bubbles.

(Source: eXtension.org)

For more information, contact me at 254-4811 or email acacia.stuckle@ndsu.edu.

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