Summer is officially here! The kids are out of school, the days are longer and you’re trying desperately to figure out ways to fill the hours without breaking the bank. While today’s world is full of high tech and high budget activities, there are still loads of family fun to be had that will cost little to nothing at all!

Invest in sidewalk chalk… Kids love to draw and there is no better canvas than your sidewalk or drive way to let them get in touch with their inner artist. Sidewalk chalk can also be used for games like tic-tac-toe and even laying the designs for a game of hopscotch. And let’s not forget, it’s the perfect way to keep tally on who is winning at hide and go seek!

Have a movie night… Taking the family to the movies these days can cost a fortune, so why not bring the movies to you? Invest in a small projector, one that can be plugged into your laptop. Next, either use your garage door as a screen or tack a white sheet to the backside of the house. Finally, download your favorite flicks from Netflix or iTunes, grab the family and some blankets and make your backyard a theatre!

Make your own water park…Instead of spending $40/person to hit your local water park, why not create your own? Stores like Wal-Mart still carry our childhood favorites like slip and slides and sprinkler bugs and have even added a few news ones. Make a game out of it. Set up three or four separate water fun stations and let your kids compete to see who can be the first to cross the finish line. Want to up the fun level? Bring out the water guns and you’ll be bombarded with smiles and giggles galore!

Go camping…Going camping doesn’t have to mean a weekend trip away. Often times it’s as simple as turning your own back yard into an adventure. Set up tents for snuggling, build a small fire for marshmallow roasting and ghost story telling, and be the first to show your little ones wonders like the Big Dipper and the North Star. You may even find yourself lost in imagination again.

So before you remortgage the house just to keep your kids occupied this summer remember, all they need to have fun is a little creativity on your part. Think back to some of your childhood favorites and introduce them to your children. The money you’ll save and the memories you’ll make will be worth the extra effort!
Photo Credit: Todd Ehlers via Compfight cc