Please welcome Jolene of A Random Woman’s Life. She has four boys and has some wonderful ideas to make summer time a blast!
Summer is here and I have the daunting but delightful task of entertaining 4 young boys day after day. My sons range in age from 3 – 9 years of age and their interests are just as varied. I often find myself struggling to find ways to engage and entertain all four at the same time, especially on rainy days.
I know there are a multitude of craft type projects I could do and that would work for a little while. However, one thing I have learned about my boys is that their attention span for craft type projects is limited. They are boys…they need physical activity. They are not content with being motionless for very long. A Disney movie is about their limit and even then we don’t always make it through a whole film before we start to squirm and complain of boredom. I took them to one of those indoor inflatable playgrounds one day with some friends and their sons – 10 boys in total – and within an hour and a half my eldest was complaining of boredom. So what’s a mom to do?
Here are some of the frugal things I have found to do. See if similar events/specials are available in your area.
~ Visit the local nature center. There are usually a number of trails that you can walk on, some paved some not. Take pictures and put them in a special scrapbook.
~ Check out your local library for free playgroups, or reading program which challenges the children to read a designated amount of hours in order to earn some prizes.
~ I have found a number of free music nights and free movie nights in nearby parks. Some are weekly events, some are monthly but most allow you to bring your own treats and beverages so you can make an evening out of it.
~ Try a monthly home movie night when a new family friendly movie is released on DVD. It helps if you can find someone who has already purchased the movie and borrow it from them for movie night. Make homemade pizza and popcorn, turn down the lights and off you go!
~ Potluck play dates. Get a few of your friends with children together at a local park. Make it after lunchtime if possible then you only need to bring a snack to share and some beverages.
~ Join a local moms group. Most have a yearly cost around $20 – $30 for memberships. Many also have regular kids activities. A great way for your children and you to make some new friends. Two sites to start with to find a group(s) near you: www.weplaygroup.com & http://moms.meetup.com
~ Try Letterboxing. LETTERBOXING is an intriguing pastime combining navigational skills and rubber stamp artistry in a charming “treasure hunt” style outdoor quest. A wide variety of adventures can be found to suit all ages and experience levels. Basically you get clues to find a box or container in your area in a public place such as a park. The containers usually have some goodies to look at as well as a place for you to place your own special family stamp and sign the book, putting it all back in place for the next group to find. A great place to get started is www.letterboxing.org Your family can take a trip to your local craft store and pick out a great stamp & fun inkpad to use in your adventures!
~ Catch lightning bugs! Get a jar or two together and have your little ones catch them at dusk…pair that with making s’mores and you have a great and nearly free night of entertaining, just don’t forget to release the little bugs so you can catch them again another night!
~ Back yard camp. If the thought of going to a campground is not all that appealing, or if time is an issue, camp out for a night in your backyard! Cook out on the grill or fire pit, have a cooler full of drinks, grab your flashlights & sleeping bags and pitch the tent. You get the ambiance of camping with the comforts of home nearby in case they are needed.
With some imagination and input from your kids you are sure to find some fun, easy and frugal ways to entertain the entire family!
Be sure to visit Jolene at A Random Woman’s Life!