Summer is finally here, and it won’t be long before the kids break up from school for the long summer break. While this is an exciting time for most children, it can be a bit of a frustration for parents who are often left to find ways to keep their little ones entertained all summer long. If you don’t have the money for constant day trips, why not consider buying one or two of the following? These can be used day in, day out during the hot summer months, and will provide hours of entertainment.
1. Hot Tubs and Swimming Pools
We’re not suggesting that you have a permanent hot tub installed, or an in-ground swimming pool built. However, there are inflatable options of both that can be installed and filled up for the summer months. You can find some great inflatable hot tub reviews on Portable Tubs HQ, and inflatable swimming pools can be found cheaply at places like Walmart. Just keep in mind that if you have young children, you will be better off buying a swimming pool as the heat of a hot tub can be too much for them. Supervision will also be required.
2. Activity Swing Sets
If you have active children, it can be well worth investing in an activity swing set. These tend to include one or two swings, a slide, climbing rails, and sometimes even a tunnel. Your children will love climbing through these and come up with imaginative role play ideas that make use of the equipment. It saves you from needing to spend a day at the park too, to keep your children entertained. You can expect to spend at least $500 on a set like this, but many parents find them well worth the investment.
3. Archery Sets
If you have the space, archery sets can be a lot of fun. Most sets come complete with a target, a bow, and some arrows. The sets for young children are predominantly made from plastic and have soft foam tips (so as to avoid injury), but older children may prefer something more substantial. Do make sure that your children are aware of safety regulations if you buy a proper bow and arrow set. They will also only be suitable for those with large gardens so as not to pose a hazard to neighbors. That said, they’re a fun toy and one that children will enjoy practicing with.
4. Frisbee Golf
Mini golf is a fun game that most children love. However, unless you have acres of space around you, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to replicate a mini golf set in your back yard. Frisbee golf makes a good alternative. Able to be used both indoors and outdoors, frisbee golf sets are played in the same way as Par 3 golf. The sets come with a target and a selection of mini frisbees. This is another great choice for active kids.
Kids of all ages enjoy trampolining, and you can buy them everywhere these days. If your children are small, you may want to buy one of the small trampolines that are low to the ground and have a safety rail for them to hold on to. Older children and teenagers will love the large trampolines that they can all bounce on together. These can also be purchased with safety meshing to ensure everyone inside the trampoline remains enclosed and doesn’t fall off and hurt themselves. Lots of places sell trampolines, so check out your local grocery store or shop online for the best deals.
6. Bug Catchers
If your child is more into science and nature than being active, consider purchasing a bug catcher set. These usually come with a magnifying glass, a slider for catching bugs safely, and a little book that explains all the most common bugs. Your children will have tons of fun going on bug hunts and seeing how many different species they can find. You could even dress them up in adventure gear and make them feel like they are going on a real expedition. Provide them with a notebook and a pencil so they can write down what they find, and you’ll keep them entertained for hours.
If you have a lot of paved space in your backyard, one of the cheapest things you can buy for your kids is some chalk. Kids love drawing on the floor, and the rain (or a hose) will easily wash the chalk away and leave no trace when it’s time to clear up. Teach your kids the game of hopscotch or challenge them to draw a certain image on the floor. You could even invest in some “Walkie Chalk” if the floor is too hot for them to sit on. This also helps to avoid getting chalk on clothes.
Again, you’ll need a large garden to be able to install a zipline. However, if you have the space a zipline can be a cheap and easy thing to install. Slackers has created a zipline that can be purchased for $150. It is designed to be fastened between two trees and is very easy to assemble. The zipline itself comes with rubber handles for the ultimate in comfort, and it can provide hours of fun. Just bear in mind that you might have all of the neighborhood kids coming around for a go as well!
9. Water Bombs and Pistols
Two other cheap toys for kids of all ages are water bombs and pistols. These are a lifesaver on really hot days when your children want to play, but they need to remain cool as well. While water bombs take a bit of time to fill up, teenagers should be able to create them without adult supervision. Younger children should also be able to fill their pistols if you have an outside tap. These can be used as part of games, or just mischievous pranks. Either way, they offer hours of entertainment.
Can you think of any other outdoor entertainment options for kids and teens? Let us know in the comments.