Being a mom to 2 children has been a challenge but has been so much joy. I know one of the largest challenges has been discovering ways to keep them entertained without spending a ton of money going somewhere or getting a ton of toys. However, I have become really good at finding things to do on the cheap and this summer is going to be wonderful and on a low budget.
The first item I got was chalk and it is incredible what you can do with it. If you are just like me last year then letting your kids to draw all over the sidewalk with chalk is about as much as you do with it. However, there’s so much more you can do with it, even though drawing can be so much fun. Sometimes I’ll outline some circles in a rectangular pattern using a couple different colors of chalk. Then the kids and I try to cross the rectangle only stepping in a certain color. Not only is this fun but it also aides them in learning their colors. You could also draw an obstacle course with chalk where your kids will follow a squiggly line, then they jump over some cracks, then have to cross polka dots and so on.
This year I was determined to get swings. We have an incredible tree in the backyard with a branch that would easily hold 3-4 swings and we only need 2. After talking with my hubby we chose to get some 2×6 wood and rope to make my oldest son a swing, however, my 20-month-old wasn’t ready for a backless swing so we got a fisher price swing so I won’t have to be anxious about him falling.
My kids also like doing an bean toss. We created our own bean bags and it was simple. Then we made a simple teepee with some plywood and cut various sizes and shapes of holes into one side, then my kids can throw the bean bags into the holes. This activity has really helped teach my children how to share and has increased the stamina in their arms. It has also really helped improve their hand-eye coordination.
My final word of advice for inexpensive outside fun is a sandbox. Purchasing one from the store is simpler however you could build one with either plywood or inexpensive cedar fence planks. Just have the store cut all the wood to the size you want the box then either attach the pieces together with some screws or you can use metal stakes to hold them standing up. Now that the sand box is finished, get some cheap bags of sand and a few beach toys and then you are ready to play.
I hope these tips will find a way into your house, or really your yard. Just remember that you can change things up, if your own kids do not like a game the way it is than change it; just have fun and get outdoors.