Summer can be expensive! The typical cost of a sports camp can set you back about $200 – $300 a week, and even camps at the Y or a local park can still add up to a big chunk of change by the time school starts.
If your kids will hang out at home most of the summer, with or without you, it’s nice to have a few go-to ideas for those days when it seems the only choice you have is between screen time or boredom.
So stockpile what you’ll need (it’s not much) for our 5 ways to have summer fun under $10!
1. Water Balloon War:
This one will cost you about $6 for a couple hundred water balloons and the all important water balloon spigots. Believe us, the spigots are worth it; they fit on a hose and make filling up the balloons easy. If your children are old enough, let them fill the balloons and tie them. If they’re not dexterous enough to tie the balloons, go ahead and fill and tie them ahead of time. Then, open the door, point them to the baskets of balloons and let the fun begin!
If you don’t want an all out war with them throwing the balloons at each other, mark off targets on the wall or fence or trees with chalk. Get lots more water wars ideas from our friends at All Pro Dad, here and here.
2. Freezer Pop Play:
Grab a fiver or two and pick up a box of flavored ice pops. A hundred of these cool treats will set you back about $9. What can you do with a freezer pop?
- Draw with them. Yep. Grab any type of white paper, cut open the pop and let your kids draw with the melting ice.
- Hold ’em. Slide the frozen pop out of the bag and see who can hold theirs the longest without melting.
- Before you freeze the pops, set aside a few to use unfrozen. Snip them open and let your kids dye their hair, toes, tummy, etc.!
3. Small Pool – Big Fun:
Even if you have a big swimming pool, spring for a little one for about 10 bucks. Fill the pool with water and play these games.
- Fill the pool with water, and ice. See who can stand in the cold water the longest without jumping out.
- Toss pennies into the water. Start about a foot away from the edge, and then have the kids step back. See who can make the shot from the farthest away.
- Use some food coloring from the kitchen and let your kids color the water.
- Blindfold the kids and have them sit in the water. Scatter small items around the pool. Have your child feel around to find them, and then tell you what it is.
4. Plant It:
Ready, set, grow! You’ll have to mix in a little delayed gratification for this idea, but, hey, that part is free! Buy a small bag of potting soil for about $3. Pick up some seed packets with fast growing plants and veggies like sunflowers, zinnias, radishes, or lettuce. Use our cute plant labels, follow the seed packet instructions, and get growing!
5. Krazy Kitchen:
There are some foods that are just plain fun. Grab your 10 dollars and buy:
- Maifun Noodles $2.50 — they’re the kind that expand when they hit the oil. You’ll have to supervise, of course, but these noodles are fun to cook, and eat.
- Vinegar and Baking Soda $4.50 — Grab a big pot and let your child pour in about a quarter of the white vinegar. Then, let them add the baking soda bit by bit. This one is bubbling, foaming, fun. It’s messy too, so lay out a towel underneath.
- Jiffy Pop $3 — Have you ever popped Jiffy Pop? It’s a campfire staple, and was the go-to “instant” popped corn before microwaves were invented. Read the instructions and enjoy as the flat foil cover expands over heat. You’ll need to supervise this one too. And, here’s a tip: better to set the burner at a temp that’s a little too low your first time. The first time we made Jiffy Pop the burner was too hot and it scorched the popcorn.