Do you want to save money but still have fun this summer? Totally doable. Read on to get 19 easy-to-do summer activity ideas that are budget-friendly, health-boosting and oh-so-fun!
Guest Post by Prerna Malik of Content Bistro
Save money. Quite simply, it’s one of my biggest goals and constant endeavors as a homemaker.
However, with summer here, I don’t want my budgeting tendencies to negatively impact the amount of fun our family shares!
Not only that, I want to ensure the fun we have is in line with our desire to be more healthy–which includes eating real food and getting regular exercise as much as possible.
Yes, I may have high expectations.
However, I did sit down and brainstorm a list of 19 ways we will be enjoying the summer season without breaking the bank or straying far from our health goals.
I’ve divided them into Indoor and Outdoor Activities so you can pick and choose accordingly for your family, too:
Note from Erin: Want to stay organized while you plan your family’s summer activities? Pick up a copy of the 100 Days of Summertime eBook!
Indoor Budget-Friendly, Health-Boosting Summer Activities
1. Have a “make your own ice cream sundae” party with homemade ice cream and toppings.
2. Build a fort in the living room and let the kids sleep there overnight. It’s a fun way to encourage sibling bonding and independent sleep habits–and also have some good, ol’ fashioned fun. Note from Erin: Our family avoids friend sleepovers, and I think this is a GREAT alternative!
4. Bring out the board games and have a game night. Serve raw fruits and veggie sticks with dips as snacks.
5. Have a Readathon. Collect all the books you’ve bought but never read or finished. Hand them out to everyone, age appropriately, of course. Commit to reading and finishing one book (or more!) in a set amount of time. Set a timer and go! Make sure you have healthy snacks to munch on because if your kids are like mine, reading means munching
6. Plan on having one night every weekend designated as “Eat Fancy” night. Plan and prepare a homecooked meal that has a slightly “special” feel. That will look different for each family! For our family, our favorite special dish is spaghetti aglio e olio. Lay out the table with your best dinnerware, dress up, play some soft uplifting music, light candles and enjoy your “fancy” dinner at a fraction of the cost. (Plus, it is a great opportunity for kids to learn about fine dining etiquette too!)
7. Teach the kids to cook and bake. Bake homemade cookies with the kids and let them put up a neighborhood bake sale stall in your front yard. Or simply bake extras and take them to visit a neighbor you haven’t met yet. Social skills are just as important for our health as physical exercise.
8. Enjoy an “Eat-all-you-can” salad buffet…at home. Summer is rich with some of the best fruits and vegetables. Set up a salad bar on your dining table, complete with homemade dressings and breads. Let the kids pile their bowls high with health-boosting veggies and eat all they can. Here are 3 delicious salad meals you can try!
9. Have a Laugh Riot. Laughter is really good for health. It boosts endorphins, (the feel-good hormones) and it also increases bonding and connection. We plan on watching a funny movie from our home DVD collection and also reading rib-tickling books. How can you have a “Laugh Riot” day at your home?
10. Make new friends. Despite the fact that I am an introvert, I realize that socializing helps me and my little family enjoy the community around us!
11. Write letters to friends and family or a pen pal, the old-fashioned way.
12. Create a summer scrapbook.
13. Teach the kids to do jumping jacks or practice on-the-spot running. Set a timer or count the number of repetitions. Do it every day and keep a log. You’ll all be quite surprised at the increase in stamina by the end of summer!
Outdoor Summer Activities to Savor the Season and Save Some Money
14. Grab the kids and their bikes and go cycling around the block. If you don’t have a bike, you can always jog with them.
15. Have a family picnic. Pack a basket with a nice homemade lunch, some card games, a Frisbee or skipping rope, a blanket and books and you have a fun day all lined up.
16. Introduce the kids to gardening or bird watching. Nothing like spending time outdoors to really bond, connect with nature and get a healthy dose of fresh air. You could start with something simple like growing your own herbs.
17. Depending on where you live, go out on a rock or seashell collecting spree. Bring your stash home, give the kids little glass jars and create delightful summer-themed mantelpiece decorations.
18. Sign up for a summer volunteer opportunity. You can do this as a family or individually, as long as it is manageable. It is a great way to encourage giving back, build character and instill responsibility.
19. Put the sprinklers on in the lawn and let the kids run through them. It’s a great way to water the grass and let the kids have a blast with water play.
What frugal summer fun are YOU planning on having this year?
Prerna Malik is the content chef at Content Bistro, where she shares business inspiration and ideas for time-starved entrepreneurs. When she isn’t baking with her daughter, she’s cheering fellow homemakers and mamas along their journey to be more intentional, productive and peace-filled. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.