Summertime, and the momming's easy! Well...sort of. It can be tough to keep your kiddo occupied during these humid days. And I know, trust me - it's tempting to take the kids to a McDonald's PlayPlace and just let them crawl their wiggles out. But those Happy Meals can really start to make a dent on your pocketbook! With a fairly tight budget, I've gotten really good at finding free ways to entertain my kidlets. It's easier in the summer because you can get outside and enjoy the sun at no cost! What a treat! Just don't forget your sunscreen before you head outdoors.
No, I don't mean just sitting quietly at home with a good book! Although, let's be honest: that's a great way to check off the hours until your babysitter can take the kids off your hands. Specifically, I mean story time at the library! Every public library I've ever known has had story time for kids of different age groups. Often you'll find some of the same kids and caregivers attending week after week, so this is a great way to not only make friends but also get some time without the kids trying to crawl back up into your uterus.
I don't know about you, but bubbles were and still are a delight! This one might not technically qualify as free - but you can get a pack of bubbles for a buck at the Dollar Tree! Better yet, find a DIY recipe and use what you have on hand! Water, corn syrup, and dish soap is a popular combination. You don't even need a bubble wand! Just grab two sticks and a long piece of string. Tie the string into a triangle connecting the sticks, and voila! A bubble wand in any size without leaving the house!
Playing At The Park
Take advantage of the beautiful weather and head out to your local park! Ours is close enough to walk there, but I've been known to drive to a park just because it's a little bit nicer. Pro-tip: look for one that has comfortable seating for caretakers. If the park is just fabulous but doesn't have much seating, bring a chair! Don't forget to bring water and a few snacks for the kiddos - the longer you can keep them running around, the faster they'll fall asleep at bedtime. Trust me, the park is a foolproof way to tire out my little toddler torando, hands down.
Simply A Sprinkler
Grab the hose and put on your swimsuit! Running through the sprinkler - or even just spraying each other with the hose - is a great way to cool off on hot summer days. I've been working on coordination with my toddler, so I wave the hose to make the water jump and have him jump over it. It's fun and simple, but that's the beauty of this freebie! There's no wrong way to play! Just be sure to turn off the hose when you're done (I forgot last week...).
Playing With Puppies
Who doesn't love a cuddly little fluff ball? We just moved into our new house and I am not ready to take on a pet right now. My two year old will be totally useless as a helper when it comes to caring for an animal, so let's not kid ourselves here. I'd end up cleaning up after the dog or cat, and I simply don't have the time to fight fur. Instead, I figured out a great mom-hack! Teach your kids the joy of volunteering and giving by dropping off a supply donation to your local animal shelter. While you're there, take a look at all the cute animals. Maybe you'll even be able to take a few out of their kennels to pet them!
What ways have you kept the kids occupied this summer? Are there any freebies that I've forgotten about? Tell me more on Twitter @pi3sugarpi3.