Summer’s coming, summer’s coming!
Here’s the thing — there are a lot of us. So even a relatively inexpensive trip to…say…a pool or a jumpy-house place adds up pretty quickly. We’ve gotten good at finding super-cheap or free things to do outside during the summer — because while I don’t want to pay for us all to go somewhere, I also don’t want everyone home all day messing with my stuff. Here’s what we do instead:
1. Take a hike. Even a really short one (sometimes we don’t make it past the bathrooms in the parking lot. It’s a season of life, my friends)
2. Take the same hike at different times of day…or different seasons of the year. What changes? What stays the same? How do the flowers and trees look? Do animals tend to be out at one time but not another?
3. Creek-walk! (in the creek, I mean.)
4. Do some face painting.
5. Bring a few “inside toys” to the playground…like small cars or stuffed animals…and let the kids play with them in a different environment.
6. Make your own backyard obstacle course.
8. Do a sound scavenger hunt. Have kids listen for things like birds, cars, and dogs barking and mark them off the list.
9. Pack lunches in small backpacks and let the kids “hike” in the backyard. Let them find their own spot to sit and eat.
10. Move evening storytime to the back deck or front porch.
11. Make sidewalk chalk paint.
12. Round up kitchen items like tea strainers, basters, measuring cups, and different-sized spoons. Fill a small bucket or dishpan with water and let the kids play.
13. Plant something.
16. Make a leaf man. Or a leaf cow. Or a leaf dog. Or…
17. Have a pretend campout. In the backyard. In the middle of the day. Set up a tent, bring out some sleeping bags, read some books.
18. Go on a bike ride.