Ideas for Summer Family Fun

by Tiffany Austin, Courier & Press, June 16, 2015 –

When it comes to summer fun, many parents find themselves searching for things that will keep their children happy, busy and interested. Good news! There are plenty of enjoyable and inexpensive activities out there.

Here are some ideas to help parents start an interest list of enjoyable, affordable fun.

First, think “traditional fun.” As parents, we sometimes overthink what would be enjoyable for our child. Sometimes giving your child simple toys like a hula hoop, sidewalk chalk, jump rope, board game or bubbles can go a long way. These inexpensive items can keep your child happy for hours.

Next, take “traditional fun” to the next level. Fill a kiddie pool with water and dish soap and use a hula hoop to make huge bubbles. Use a jump rope for a competitive game of limbo or tug of war. Allow your child to have a game, movie or glamour night with friends. Go for a bike ride along the river instead of around the block. Take lunches to a local park for a picnic. Use a pool noodle to hit floating balloons, or use green, red, blue and yellow spray paint on the grass to make an outdoor Twister board. There are limitless possibilities!

Cool down outdoor fun by adding water to your child’s play. Play a batting game and use water balloons in place of a ball, use a sprinkler during any outdoor game, or begin a water war by using spray bottles, water balloons, etc. as a safe and creative way to drench the opposing team.

At night, take the fun outside. Use a flashlight for a nighttime scavenger hunt. Float glow sticks in the pool for a nighttime swim, or open up a few glow sticks and add the inner liquid to a bottle of bubbles. You can also place glow liquid inside balloons, blow them up and grab a water noodle for some outdoor glow batting fun.

Lastly, if you and your child choose to go to local events, facilities, or attractions, remember there are ways to save on these activities. Take a good report card to a local participating ice cream shop, restaurant, or game center (for example, Chuck E. Cheese) to redeem for free or discounted items/tokens.

Try to visit local establishments on a family night. These nights are offered at some restaurants, local health facilities (like the YMCA), skating rinks and community pools to allow the usage of the facilities at a discounted rate.

In addition, public libraries offer free kid-friendly activities and summer reading programs. As a reward for reaching certain reading milestones during the program, children are usually offered free coupons to take to local businesses to redeem for treats and activities. Also keep in mind websites or apps like Groupon offer meals, items, and tickets to attractions at a discounted price.

These helpful tips can help any parent get started with some safe, inexpensive summer fun ideas for their child. For additional summer fun ideas, search online or use specific websites/apps like Pinterest. Remember, creativity, time, and love go a long way toward helping your child have a fun and memorable summer!