If you were to believe what you hear on TV, then you might think that the only way to make your kids happy is to load up the car and head to Disney World. Fortunately for your sanity and your budget, this is not the case. There are plenty of fun family activities you can do with your kids that don’t require hours and hours of planning or tons of money. Without further ado, here are five activities you can do with your kids this summer that don’t require a lot of planning.
1. Wash the car
While it may seem like a chore for some kids, washing the car can be a blast for kids and easy for parents! To get them up and running, you don’t even need a ton of materials or equipment. Just grab the garden house, a couple of buckets, and some car wash sponges or towels. Tell your kids to put on their bathing suits so they can enjoy the inevitable water fights without making too much of a mess.
2. Family picnics
It has been studied and shown time and time again that eating together can greatly improve overall family happiness and has an effect on reducing adolescent alcohol and drug abuse, as well as improving children’s academic performance. The trick is to involve children early in the planning process. Ask them to help you choose a venue and menu, or if they’re old enough, ask them to prepare the food and pack the dishes and utensils.
3. A trip to the library
Going to the library is an excellent option to entertain children during the summer. One benefit is that you rarely need to plan or prepare for the trip, other than to gather library materials that are due from the last time you went! Most libraries even offer youth programs during the summer, allowing your children to earn points for every book they read, giving them a great sense of accomplishment as they expand their minds.
Another great way to keep the kids busy and out of reach for a few hours (or maybe even a few days) is to send them camping. What kid doesn’t like spending the night in nature with his friends, telling ghost stories and roasting marshmallows? What’s more, you can have a quiet house to yourself only at night. Even if your kids aren’t the outdoorsy type, they all love creating their own indoor forts and tents!
5. Exhibition of the medieval period
Another educational and entertaining activity that is really fun for the whole family is going to a medieval time exhibit or Renaissance fair. Your children will delight to see knights in shining armor on horses in their flowing shells. They’ll love experiencing what life was like in the days of yore, including eating with their hands and watching a real live jousting tournament!