Are you dreading trying to keep your kids cool and entertained and yourself sane in the midst of the summer heat this year? Without breaking the bank just trying to keep your family cool, ditch the house and try some of these ideas that are kid-approved for fun and dollar-approved for the frugal mom!
Do you realize that more often than not, our own hometowns have local tourist destinations that we never even go check out because we don’t think they’re “touristy” enough? Just because they’ve been there your whole life doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go see them! Make this summer the summer of the tourist. Go hit the museums and kid-friendly art galleries or old shipyards and nearby ghost towns! You’ll get away from your own house, get to bask in the cool free AC of your destination hot spots, maybe even learn a thing or two, and if nothing else, get an adventure out of it all!
While I’m not a big fan of TV-watching, I am a fan of the occasional trip to the dollar theatre on super hot days! It’s a terrific way to while away those 100 degree + afternoons in a dark, cold spot. Plus, tired, hot children often turn into very unhappy children and a good movie can put a smile on anyone’s face. If you want, you can even splurge on some fruitsicles in the park for the perfect ending to the perfect afternoon.
Hit the Water
There’s almost no easier way to cool down than to go find yourself some water! Whether that’s a pool in the backyard, the local city pool, a kiddie pool in the park, a lake, or even the beach, go, go, go! Make sure that if you’re headed to the ocean your parking is free, or you’ll wipe out any attempts at being frugal – same with a city pool: always check prices before you go. Pools are a great way to keep your kids cool and get them some exercise to wear them out for the day in a safe way. If all else fails, you can always fill up the bathtub with cold water and have a party!
A “Shopping” We Go!
Malls are one of the coolest places you can find. Go window shopping to kill an afternoon. 25 cent gumballs actually make a terrific treat! You should also try and do your own shopping during the heat of the day. Take the kids to the grocery store and send them on a scavenger hunt (divided copies of your grocery list). They’ll have a blast, you’ll get your errands done, and even better, you’ll get free AC all afternoon!
Eco-friendly kids do super cool things like: hiking, planting gardens, volunteering, making fun dehydrated fruits and going fishing! Do some more “hands-on” natural things that have results your kids can get into and that allow you to do them preferably outside in shaded areas. Volunteering is also a great option, like writing letters to soliders, stuffing goodie boxes for children overseas, etc. You’re out of your house, and more importantly, doing something good for someone else. When kids are busy doing things fun and exciting and new, they’ll be that much more less likely to realize just how hot it is and how miserable they would typically be. If you’re gardening, make sure to plant things with quick produce so you can keep their interest and keep them coming back to weed!
With a little creativity, a dash of extra energy and a good helping of fun, you can keep your kids entertained all day, all summer long! The most important thing: put yourself in the mindset of a kid (a frugal kid!) and just join in the fun with them. Usually that’s all they care about anyway.
About the Author:
Freelancer Jocelyn Anne writes to help families live greener, more frugal lifestyles. She’s currently writing alongside a heating and cooling company promoting the use of a energy saving products like small space heaters to cut costs and energy use.