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Frugal Ways to Fight Summer Boredom

By Alyssa Davis

It’s a common complaint among kids and teens in the summer.  I’m bored!  Unfortunately, many of the traditional things that kids want to do to fight boredom and monotony that tends to set in over the long summer break cost a lot of money.  But there are some creative ways that you can fight boredom without spending a ton of cash.  Some fun things to do with your kids, or that they can do on their own for free or at low cost include:

  • Reading.  Sure, it takes some effort to get some kids interested in reading, but if you can convince your kids that reading is fun (and drive home the fact by helping them pick out fun books), then they can really stay entertained over the summer.  As a bonus, they will develop larger vocabularies and maybe learn something in the process.  The library is obviously the best place to stock up on reading material this summer, and many libraries offer summer reading programs and events to encourage reading.  Otherwise, look for popular titles on Amazon.Com or Ebay.Com. 
  • Swimming.  Not everyone has the benefit of a pool in the backyard, but there are many different places that you can take your kids swimming locally.  Most communities have one or more pools, and taking a dip regularly is one of the simple pleasures of summertime.  Most community pools charge just a few dollars admission, and some even offer a family pass that allows your entire family to swim as much as they, all summer long. 
  • Summer camp.  Summer camp can be expensive, but there are affordable options out there.  Check with other parents in your community to find out where the affordable local camps are, and register your child early to take advantage of any pre-pay discount (many camps do this to beef up attendance).  There are also many day camp options that can help to keep your kids entertained (and serve as an inexpensive baby sitter for you).  If you cannot find any camp options, check with your child’s school guidance counselor. 
  • Camping.  As a family activity, camping is inexpensive.  If you already own your own camping equipment, it costs very little to camp in one of the many national or state parks or local campgrounds.  Kids don’t really care if the camping trip is local, at least most don’t.  It’s the act of “getting away” that they love.  Camping is a great way to get back to “basics” with your kids and to find tranquility and peace. 
  • Summer jobs.  Depending on the age of your child, staying entertained can actually be profitable.  Help your teen to get a job over the summer. She will appreciate the extra cash in her pocket and you will appreciate the fact that the job keeps her from being bored all summer.  From dog walking to mowing grass, there are a number of ways that teens can stay busy while pocketing some back-to-school cash.

These are just a few ways that your kids can stay happy and be entertained when summer boredom sets in.  With some ingenuity and creative thinking, you and your children can likely come up with even more.

Designer and writer, Alyssa Davis of, has many ideas for bringing style to your home with decorative metal wall cross and metal sculptures.

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