Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Keeping Your Kids Cheaply Entertained This Summer

Are the kids driving you crazy this summer? Here are some fresh ideas for frugal summer fun. Keeping your kids cheaply entertained will help parents stay sane and give kids something to tell their friends about next fall.

Encourage Them to Read - Sometimes summer can do major damage on learning progress made through the school year. Keep your kids reading this summer with free and cheap books. Sign up for the Summer Reading Program with Half Price Books and for every week they read 15 minutes a day they’ll earn a $3 gift card.

Take Them for a Free Treat - If your child is either really short or really young, they can qualify for free ice cream at Bruster's. Every child under 40 inches receives a free baby cone. Take them every day if you want. Just don’t be too disappointed when they hit a growth spurt.

Get Cooking - Help your kids become chef for a day. Let them plan the menu and prepare the meal. Give them some suggestions using kid-friendly recipes from Martha Stewart. She’s got several recipes that are easy enough for beginners, but still tasty for adults.


Be Crafty - Take them to a local craft store and help them start a new hobby. Let them make tie-dye t-shirts, teach them how to cross-stitch or help them create a summer scrapbook. Look in your Sunday paper for coupons to big chains like AC Moore or Michael’s. Hobby Lobby has printable coupons on their website.

Play Board Games - Are the kids feeling bored? Pull out a board game. When the sweltering heat forces your family to stay inside, try entertaining them with some old-fashioned fun. Here are coupons for Hasbro board games like Monopoly and Scrabble.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors - Help your kids start a lifelong love of nature and outdoor activities. REI wants to help. They’ve created this free PDF for you to print out so your child can record all of their fun outdoor activities this summer. Once they complete and activity they can send in a postcard to get a free prize. Live in a more urban setting? Let your kids camp out in the backyard—or even in the living room. Cook up some s’mores in the microwave and create unforgettable summer memories.

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