Tuesday, May 22, 2012

7 Cheap Summer Activities for Kids- A Fantastic Guest Post

In the immortal words of Alice Cooper, “school’s out for the summer” and that means kids are ready for a few months of carefree fun in the sun. It also means parents everywhere are asking the question, “what are we going to do for three whole months?” Since summer camp is reserved for those with a sizeable discretionary income, I’ve put together a few cheap and rewarding activities to keep boredom at bay without breaking the bank.

1. Free Ten Pin Escape the summer heat and cultivate teamwork between your kids with some cheap bowling. By participating in the Kids Bowl Free program, bowling centers give back to their communities and offer a safe and fun environment for kids to spend their idle time. Enjoy two free games every day at participating bowling centers by registering at KidsBowlFree.com.

2. Indoor Crafts Sometimes kids get sick of the hot weather or become restless during those rainy summer days. Have a collection of fun crafts available for these times by following my kids’ crafts pinboard on Pinterest. In addition to inspiration from the Internet, get your kids to write down ideas and collect them in a jar. Once the first raindrop hits, have them choose a slip of paper and spend the afternoon embracing creativity.

3. Tag team Grocery Shopping Just because summer is here doesn’t mean Mom and Dad can take a break from the everyday grind. Get kids involved in the weekly grocery shopping excursion by clipping coupons virtually on the Coupon Sherpa grocery page. Once you’ve collected discounts, have them help you track down products and compare prices of desired items. In addition to keeping them occupied, your kids will learn valuable lessons about budgets and stretching your dollar.

4. Summer Cinema Nothing beats a good lineup of summer movies, except maybe cheap summer movies! Cinemark’s Summer Movie Clubhouse offers 10 shows for $5 when purchased in advance, or $1 per show when purchased at the box office. Additionally, participating locations of AMC Theatres host “Bring Your Baby Matinees” which offer a judgement-free theatre experience with lower volume, brighter lights and all the breastfeeding and crying your newborn needs.

5. Local Attractions Who says daily deals are just for spa services and restaurant discounts? Sign up for Groupon, LivingSocial and Seize the Deal to receive kid-friendly discounts to local activities. You can also purchase a coupon book at EntertainmentBook.com for local discounts on dining and attractions. Finally, research nearby libraries and museums for kids’ activities that keep them both educated and entertained.

6. Dine Out for Free Before you head out to the restaurant for breakfast, lunch or dinner, check out this list of over 100 restaurants where kids eat free. Schedule your dining experiences accordingly, and be sure to order a plate for each child in your family so you can take advantage of leftovers for the next day.

7. Give Back There’s no better way to keep your kids occupied and teach them important lessons by getting them to volunteer. See if your local church, soup kitchen or retirement home is in need of volunteers, or check out VolunteerMatch.com to find other opportunities in your community.

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About the author:
Maisie Knowles is a working mother of two with three-year's experience writing on parenting and partner issues. She received a B.A. in Communications from the University of Colorado and co-founded Kinoli Inc., site manager for a family of money-saving websites, with her husband. Maisie currently spends most of her time at home with her two young girls.

For all media inquiries, please contact Maisie Knowles at 970-672-7572 or email maisie@kinoliinc.com.

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