Looking for a few kid- and budget-friendly activities that’ll help your family celebrate summertime? Read on for five DIY ideas that’ll keep your family entertained and your wallet happy.
It’s no secret that ice cream is a summertime favorite. To make your next ice cream indulgence even more fun and include a learning experience, teach your children how to make their own.
There are countless homemade ice cream recipes available online, so it's easy to find one that features the flavor of your choice. Check out this easy DIY recipe from Delish.com. All you need besides the ingredients are some plastic food storage bags and ice!
Blowing and chasing bubbles is a great way to get your whole family outside on a sunny day. Making your own bubbles is a quick-and-easy project to do with kids, too. This only requires two ingredients: water and dish soap. You’ll want to use about 1/4 cup of dish soap for every cup of water. To combine them, slowly pour the mixture back and forth between two containers or stir gently, trying not to create bubbles and foam while you mix.
To make your bubbles more resilient, you can add in a small amount of corn starch or glycerin and/or sugar. Do your research and determine what method best meets your bubble-making needs.
If you want to add a bit of color to your bubbles, you can use a few drops of food coloring. Just make sure you don’t let the bubbles pop on anything you don’t want stained.
If you don’t have a bubble wand on hand, you can get creative using household items, such as straws or pipe cleaners, bent into a circle. Turn your bubble-blowing into a friendly competition and see who can blow the biggest bubble or the most bubbles at once.
Help preserve memories from a fun vacation or day trip by having your child create their own memory jar. You can use a jar you already have around the house, such as an empty mason or jam jar, as the base for this project.
Have your child choose items that are meaningful from your trip or will make them think of your destination. For example, if you visited a beach, sand or seashells would make a great addition to the jar.
You can use this idea even if you’re enjoying a staycation. Go on a favorite walk or hike and let your child find items to include such as rocks or small pinecones.
To make the jar a bit more personal, you can print out a photo from your trip or adventure and cut it down to the height of the jar. Tape or glue it inside to create a backdrop for your memories.
Once all of your items are inside, use a sticker or marker (make sure it can write on glass without smudging) to note the year and/or location of your trip.
A bird feeder is a great ongoing project for kids. First, they can design their own bird feeder using common household items you likely already have. Then, you can help them learn responsibility by tasking them with checking the feeder periodically to see if it needs more seed.
There are countless ways to make your own bird feeder with kids, but one simple approach is using popsicle or craft sticks. Line up popsicle sticks to make a base – use as many as you need to make your base. Then, glue popsicle sticks going the opposite direction at each end to hold the base together. Next, stack the popsicle sticks vertically until your bird feeder is the shape and size you desire.
When assembling your bird feeder, choose a glue that can withstand the elements so it doesn’t fall apart the first time it gets hit with rain or wind. If you have more time, let your children paint the popsicle sticks first. Just be sure to choose a paint that’s intended for outdoor use, and allow them to dry fully before you glue them together.
Once your bird feeder is complete, fill it with bird seed, and hang it up. Once it’s hanging in your yard, your kids can learn about birds by identifying which species stop by to eat. Swing by your local library to borrow a birding book for a free way to teach your kids about the birds they see at their feeder.
To get your kids’ creativity flowing, help them make their own sidewalk chalk. Once it’s done, they can have fun outside coloring your driveway or sidewalk all summer long.
Before starting this project, you’ll likely need to stop by the craft store to pick up plaster of Paris powder and tempera paint. You’ll also need cups or bowls, silicone molds, and water for this project. You’ll need one cup and one mold for each chalk color you want to make.
Once you have your materials ready, follow the instructions found here. Pro tip: When cleaning up, it’s important to follow the instructions on the plaster of Paris container for proper disposal. You’ll want to avoid pouring the mixture down your drain, as it could harden up in your pipes the same way it does in the molds.
There are plenty of ways to give your wallet a break this summer. If you’re looking for more ideas for how to have family fun on a budget, check out our blog for money-saving ideas for meals, trips, and more.