Zero (or Almost Zero) Cost Tips for Keeping Kids Entertained This Summer
Keeping the kids busy during the summer is means endlessly bouncing from one activity to another. For parents, that means constantly having a bundle of activities in your back pocket to pull out the moment boredom sets in. While your calendar may be full of trips to Burlington’s local attractions and to your favourite play café, there are bound to be times when you just need to chill out at home and beat the heat … and boredom.
Some of our favourite summertime activities ready at the hand are:
“Find Something That” Sensory Scavenger Hunt
I first came across this activity as a mindfulness game, but this can be done anywhere; from the backyard to the park, on a walk to the grocery store, literally anywhere! Pull out your sensory thesaurus (don’t worry I’m listing a bunch of sensory words here for you), and ask your kids to find something that is … Prickly. Bumpy. Smooth. Rough. Squiggly. Wet. Hard. Soft. Orange. Crunchy. Sticky.
There’s an endless variety of adjectives you can choose from and send kids on a chase. This is a great way to engage their senses and spark some creativity. When I asked my 4-year-old to find something “skinny” in our backyard he came back with a blade of grass!
The only thing you need for this one is a bucket of soapy water and a sponge. My son spent at least a half hour cleaning his playhouse. Get kids to clean the fence, their swing set. Don’t have a play structure in your yard? Gather up all of their toy cars and set up your own backyard car wash station.
Teddy Bear Picnic
Gather a few stuffies and take your lunch outside. If you have a picky eater, or one who just won’t sit still at the table, picnic lunches are a great way to make eating fun.
Grab some chalk and head out to the driveway or sidewalk and let your child’s imagination decorate your neighbourhood.
If you’ve be to our play café, you know that we’re huge board game fans. We have a collection of games for all ages. Board games are a great way to reinforce lessons of team work, cooperation, practice taking turns, winning and losing.
Do you ever notice that your kids will go to a friend’s house, or come to our play café, and spend hours being entertained by a new toy, so you hop on Amazon, spend $50 and buy the toy only to find once it arrives on your doorstep the novelty has worn off and they now refuse to play with it?
A toy swap is an economical way to get new toys for your kids. Team up with a couple other parents and host a toy swap; exchanging your child’s previously loved toys for those of their friends’. Each child gets something “new” to play with and you didn’t have to spend any money!