It’s been a little while since I’ve put up a guest post, but today I’ve got a great one from Jessica at Life as MOM. This one spoke to me because while school’s only been out less than a week I’ve already heard “I’ve got nothing to do” once or twice. Enjoy!
Spice up your summer evenings with family fun. You don't have to spend a lot of money to make some memories with your children. The following are suggestions for almost free family fun nights:
1. Pick up a $2 gallon of ice cream (even if it’s the bargain brand) and raid your cupboard for sundae toppings. Think outside the box: crushed cookies, maple syrup, sprinkles, chocolate chips, jam and cinnamon sugar will all make delicious toppings that won’t cost you a cent if you already have them on hand.
2. Browse your library’s online catalog and request newly released movies. You may have to wait a week or two for availability, but you’ll get to watch any number of flicks for absolutely free. Pop some popcorn for an inexpensive snack.
3. Slip on sturdy shoes and grab some water bottles, sunscreen, and a hat, and head for the hills – or the nearest hiking trail. Spend a few hours exploring the great outdoors, pick up sticks, inspect the bugs with your kiddos, breathe deeply. Start in the late afternoon so you're not out after dark. See a directory of hiking trails by state here.
4. Bust out the board games that are gathering dust in the cupboard. Have a marathon night of playing games, munching on snacks and listening to music. Treat everyone to their favorite beverages of choice.
5. Create a visual scavenger hunt. Write a list for each child of things and places in your city, drawing pictures for non-readers. Hop in the car and tour the town. Players get to check off each item on their list that they see from the car window. End with homemade root beer floats. You just might want to add "root beer float" to the lists, then everyone is a winner.
6. Call a family friend and find out what night she doesn't have any plans. Warn her that you're bringing supper and your family for an evening together. Make sure she doesn't tell her kids. You and your brood pile in the car and surprise the rest with dinner and a fun night together.
Jessica Fisher, aka FishMama, is a mother of six children under 12. She regularly writes about fun, frugality and the pursuit of a clean house at Life as MOM. You can also find her on Twitter at @fishmama.