Trying to keep your kids busy and entertained during the summer is no easy task! You want them to have fun, but not in front of the screens all summer. At the same time, you don't want to spend a fortune on various entertainment venues. What should a parent do? Here are some inexpensive summer activities for kids. These are great ideas for inexpensive summer activities for kids that won't cost you a fortune.
Activities in your own backyard (or neighborhood)
The last thing you want to do on hot summer days is play driver! And it is good that children learn to have fun even when they have to stay at home. Here are some ideas for having fun in your own backyard or neighborhood. Follow these inexpensive summer activities for kids if you want to explore your own backyard.
- Water fun!
- Have a water balloon or a fight with a water gun. Fill the balloons and, GO! If you are doing gun fights, try to set up buckets for filling stations.
- Make a DIY slip-n-slide. They are not difficult to do. Use a tarp, a large piece of plastic, an old plastic tablecloth, throw it in with baby shampoo, cover with water and start sliding!
- Play under the lawn sprinkler.
- Wash the car.
- Plant and maintain a garden. Gardens can teach children where food comes from. It can also teach them responsibility. Plant foods that your kids love to eat. Try something new and different! Giant sunflowers are a lot of fun to grow!
- Go on a treasure hunt. Depending on the age of your children, you can limit this to your own yard or set boundaries in your neighborhood. Put some nature items on your list - colorful leaves, a purple flower, a feather, a special type of rock, etc.
- Camp in the back yard. Set up a tent in the back yard. Make a fire and toast marshmallows, make s'mores. Then let the children sleep in the tent for the night.
Explore the areas around you
Sometimes it's good to get away from home and do something different. Check out these suggestions for inexpensive day trips. Here are some inexpensive summer activities for kids that let you explore the areas around you.
- Go to the library. Libraries are great places to spend time on a hot summer day. Today, most libraries have different toys and games that children can play with while they are at the library. Many libraries have puppet and puppet theaters. Register your children for story time at the library. Or a craft day. Take advantage of the different programs, events and experiences that your library has to offer.
- Discover different play areas and play areas. Are your kids bored with your local playground? Find a new one. Explore several different playgrounds in your area. Be prepared for parks that have splash pads. Find a new favorite park.
- To take a walk! And bring a picnic. Even in urban areas there are plenty of places to hike. Explore your local forest reserves. Visit the natural centers of the region. Take a trip to a county park or state park. If you're close enough, visit a national park. These parks almost always have trail systems. Be adventurous, but stay on the trails. State and national parks often charge entrance fees, but they are not excessive.
- Go to the museums in the area. Many have free days or reduced admission days. Some local libraries offer free passes that you can check out to visit museums in the area.
- Go camping. If you already have the equipment, camping is not very expensive. You have to pay for your camping, which can range from $ 15 to $ 50 or more, depending on the type of camping you choose. If you want to give camping a try, maybe someone you know has a tent that you can borrow for a few days.
- Go to garage sales. Make it an adventure. What is the most unusual thing you can find on this day? What's the strangest thing you can find?
What to do when you need to stay indoors
Sometimes it rains. Or it's so hot, the thought of going anywhere makes you wither. Sometimes it is enough to stay indoors at home. But you can also find fun activities there. Here are some inexpensive summer activities for kids when you need to stay indoors.
- Read books. Help your kids academically without them even knowing it! Reading will help your children with vocabulary, sentence structure, spelling, comprehension, etc. Find books on topics that interest them. Include illustrated novels, picture books, and even cartoon books. Reading is ideal for quiet activities.
- Play board games. Bring out those board games that collect dust on your shelves. Or look for "new" ones at garage sales and thrift stores.
- Make a puzzle. Or two or three! Again, you can find new puzzles at thrift stores and yard sales. Turn them into wall art when finished. And if you find that a room is missing, challenge your kids to create a new room for the place.
- Start a paper airplane challenge. Get a book from the library or find instructions online and see who can make the best airplane. Or find out which airplane model will fly the farthest or the straightest.
- Have a cook-off or a bake-off. Try out different cookie recipes and decide which one is the best. Or maybe your kids are more interested in making pizza. Who can make the best pizza? Help your kids learn to cook or cook - and clean up the mess!
- Simple science experiments. Your library will contain many books on simple science experiments that you can do with things you already have at home. Or you can find many websites with this information. Grow crystals. Make a battery of potatoes. Make magic milk. Explore the world of science!
- Artistic / craft activities. Draw. To paint. Cut and paste. Color. Learn to knit or crochet. Weave paper from fabric strips. Make potato printing stamps. Tie-dye t-shirts. Be creative and have fun!
- Read a chapter book aloud to your children - just a chapter or two a day. Keep them going! Mystery or adventure books are great books to read aloud. Ask your librarian or your child's teacher for ideas, if necessary. Let the children color, play quietly with blocks, draw while you read. Don't worry, they're still listening!
Summer doesn't have to mean glamorous vacations, expensive trips to theme parks and long road trips. There are a lot of fun things you can do at home, in your neighborhood, or in your area. Choose activities from the list above and get ready to have fun with your kids!
Whether you regularly whip up Michelin-worthy meals at the drop of a hat or your cooking skills are best described as “fine, ” you can always benefit from the helpful little tricks of others. Here, 14 of our friends’, families’ and coworkers’ most-used cooking tips.
There’s a time and a place to whip out that complicated coq au vin recipe you’ve been dying to try. A dinner party isn’t that time. With a new recipe, you’ll likely be chained to the kitchen the whole time, plus, when you’re trying something for the first time, there’s always the possibility that it could go horribly wrong. When cooking for a group, we always err on the side of tried-and-true crowd-pleasers.
You do hours of prep work on an intricate dish, only to be totally disappointed once you taste the terminal product. Bummer. Instead of putting in all that effort only to be disappointed, taste while you cook. That way, you’ll realize sooner that the dish isn’t tasting how you’d like it to, and you can make all kinds of last-ditch exercices to save it. This doesn’t just work for bad-to-OK meals. Tasting midway through and realizing how perfect a dash of cayenne or a squirt of lemon juice would be can take a great dinner to legendary status.
Plating pasta means tossing some onto a plate and finishing it with a nice dollop of sauce right on the middle, right ? Wrong. Here’s how to take your carbs to the next level : On the stove there should be two pans, one with pasta and one with sauce. Cook the pasta to al dente and transfer it into the sauce. Then, add a little bit of pasta water ( literally just the starchy water the pasta has been cooking in ), which will help the sauce cling to the pasta while also keeping it the right consistency. Perfection.
In the pursuit of the perfect steak, you have to be OK with your kitchen getting a little smoky. That’s because, to get the mouthwatering sear we’re all after, the meat has to be dry and the pan should be pretty damn close to smoking hot. Trust us, it’s worth a few seconds of a blaring alarm.
Most foods are ruined by too much salt. Steak is different. When it comes to seasoning your meat ( before you cook it ), more is more. Use a generous amount of coarse Kosher salt—more than you think you need. Since most cuts of steak are pretty thick, even though you’re using a lot of salt, it’s still only covering the surface.
This one isn’t too complicated. Whether you’re making avocado toast, pizza, fried rice or a burger, the addition of a fried egg on top will not hurt your feelings. Trust us.
This one seems like a no-brainer, but we’ve definitely found ourselves in a situation where we assumed we knew all of the ingredients that went into chocolate chip cookies only to find out that we had about half the required amount of brown sugar. Ugh. tera avoid a mid-cooking grocery-store trip, read the recipe from front to back—carefully—before you start.
Prepping grains in mass quantities is less about taste than convenience. Rice, quinoa and even oatmeal last about a week in the fridge after being cooked. When we’re prepping any one of those, we double up our measurements and store the leftovers, which are then impossibly easy to use up throughout the week. Too tired to make dinner ? Heat up some leftover rice from the fridge and toss an egg on top ( remember ? ). Couldn’t be simpler.
So you fried up a pound of bacon for an indulgent ( read : delicious ) déjeuner. Great, just make sure you don’t throw out the grease in the pan. Instead, save it in the refrigerator or freezer ( it technically lasts for up to a year, but should be used sooner than that to take full advantage of its flavor ). Then, anytime you’re cooking something you typically prepare in oil, try cooking it in the bacon grease instead. You’ll never want to eat Brussels sprouts the old way again.
You’ve probably heard that whenever a dish is lacking a little something-something, the best thing to do is toss in some salt. But, we have it on good authority that salt isn’t always the answer. When you’re tasting a dish at the end and you think it needs a little oomph, often it just needs a splash of acid ( like lemon juice ) to round out the flavor.
You know the difference between a paring knife and a fillet knife, but do you know how to take care of them ? Or, more importantly, how to use them ? A set of good knives can be the difference between a stressful cooking experience and a great one. First, practice your knife skills. Look up tutorials on YouTube and practice chopping, slicing and julienne-ing. It’s amazing what you can do with your cook time when your prep time is shortened with solid knife skills. Then, once you’ve got your skills down pat, learn how to take care of your set. No one ever achieved kitchen greatness with a dull chef’s knife.
The key to tender, flavorful barbecue and roasts ? Cooking it on a low temperature for a long time. The same doesn’t go for roasting veggies. For crispy, perfectly cooked butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and more, remember the magic number : 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Any lower, and you risk pulling a pan of blah carrots out of the oven. It might seem high, but to get the nice roasted flavor, you need high heat. And while we’re on the subject, stop crowding your veggies in the pan, which will also make them soggy.
You know how just about every cookie recipe suggests that you chill your dough in the refrigerator for at least a few hours, but oftentimes you don’t listen because you just want cookies now ? ! ( Same. ) Unfortunately, this step actually does make a difference. In addition to limiting how much the dough spreads while baking, chilling your dough intensifies the flavors and produces that perfect chewy, crispy matière we know and love.
It won’t do your breath any favors, but never ( ever ) scrimp on garlic. In fact, we typically double the amount a recipe calls for. Apologies to anyone who was planning on kissing us.