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Swings at the playground

Summer is here and your kids are probably out of school and looking for ways to get outside and have fun.  As a parent your mind is probably racing with all the ways to keep your kids busy this summer.  Let’s not lie, kids are expensive and sending your little ones to day camp all summer is child care that not everyone can afford.  Don’t sweat it.  There are actually a lot of fun summer activities for the kids that don’t cost a single penny…you just need to know where to look.

Here are four free summer activities for the kids:

Go to the library

When you first tell your kids that they’re going to the library during summer they may not be impressed.  The library is full of books and books means reading and reading is like school.  However many local library branches offer free activities for kids during the summer such as story time, painting parties and arts and crafts.  The New York Public Library is offering 89 events in the Bronx alone, so check your local listings.

Visit museums on the free days

If you’re lucky enough to live in a city with museums check their website for cultural days.  Sometimes museums offer free entry for children under a certain age or offer free admission for everyone on a certain day of the week.  I am thankful to live in New York City where The American Museum of Natural History offers admission based solely on donations.  Museums are a great way to get out of the house, give the kids come culture and it’s an affordable activity for the whole family.

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Plan a day in the park

One of the easiest summer activities for the kids is to pack a bag and spend a day at the park.  There are so many different activities you can do all in the same location that you never need to leave – except for bathroom breaks.

You can play baseball, throw a Frisbee around, go for a walk or relax in the shade under a tree.  Most parks also have a playground where kids can run around, play, swing, climb and meet other kids.  Lots of activity means they’ll be tired when they get home and that means a good night sleep for the moms.  Don’t forget to pack the sunscreen.

Get in the kitchen

Can you think of a better way to spend a few hours than teaching your kids to cook?  It’s not an outdoor activity, but it is a fun (and practical) way for the whole family to spend time together.  Teaching your kids to cook is a lesson they can use throughout their lives and it will be a big money-saver when they get older.

If your kids are at home with a babysitter ask them to start preparing dinner or at least thinking of ideas and finding recipes online.  Then when you get home from work you can all cook together.  Quality family time.

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