Cheap Summer Fun Ideas

Summer Fun

(1982 -Josh and Jer playing in the dirt with their Dad)

It seems that God has always had us in ‘tight times’ so we were always motivated to make the most of our situation and enjoy the simple things.

Here are some things we have done that are free or very inexpensive.

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It’s time to get outside in God’s beautiful world!

“You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.
Nehemiah 9:6

I love all the seasons, but especially the warmer ones.  I am looking forward to spending lots of time outside.  As you experience the beauty of God’s creation during this season, please remember to share with your children that it IS God’s creation.  Lead them to praise Him. Make up songs about it.  Here’s one suggestion:

https://youtu.be/AbWgeJOMQ4U

Hopefully you will get to take a family trip this summer, maybe to the beach to get sand between your toes. To The Sea by Callie Grant is a book about a day at the beach that young children will enjoy.  The pictures by Jeremy Tugeau make you almost able to smell the sea air. (The author’s mission is to encourage and equip parents to effectively teach their kids about God and His creation, even at a very young age.) (Check out some of her other books on this site here.) In the book the sand castle is washed away by the sea, but the boy builds one on a rock and it stands safe. Play in the sand and tell this parable from Matthew 7:24-29.

Even if you can’t get away this summer, take advantage of every opportunity around you to enjoy God’s beautiful world with your children.  Jesus used visuals from nature as he taught.
Read Matthew 6:25-33 and be ready to share His teachings the next time you are outside observing birds or looking at flowers.

Hike, explore, play in the sand. Start collecting things from nature – moss, feathers, shells, rocks, leaves, seeds, an abandoned bird’s nest or wasp nest.  Make a nature box full of items you can enjoy all year.  And don’t forget to point out that all God’s creation praise Him!

All your works praise you, LORD; your faithful people extol you.
Psalm 145:10

Nature Box
Nature Box

Side Note: Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says to speak of God and His word as we go.  Everything doesn’t have to be related to a Bible verse, but as you discover things on your nature walk you could say, “Think of the wonders of God” (Job 37:14) or “all God’s works praise Him” (Psalm 145:10)

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Inexpensive Ideas for Summer Fun

It seems that God has always had us in “tight times” so we were always motivated to make the most of our situation and to enjoy the simple things.

Here are some things we have done that are very inexpensive or even free.

Play with Flour- Go outside with a cheap 5 lb. bag of flour. Sift it, pour it, mix it, throw it.

Sock wars- Save your old socks and roll each into a ball and throw them at each other

Run through the Sprinkler

Water balloons and guns

Sidewalk chalk

Mustard and Ketchup finger-painting – (to keep this from being messy, you can put a few squirts of mustard and ketchup in a baggie and seal it with tape and then press it around in the baggie)

Play dough – Just for fun or let children illustrate with play dough something from a story you just read

Goop (non toxic) –Mix 8 oz. of white glue and 6 oz. of water.Separately combine 1 tsp. of borax and half cup of water.Pour borax mixture into glue mixture and mix with hands until all liquid is absorbed and texture is smooth.

Lava pitTake all the pillows in the house and place them around on the floor and you can only get from one place to another by stepping on a pillow.

Avalanche – Take all the pillows again and build a high tower, then take cover as it comes toppling down on everyone

Nature walk – Take a walk and discover some of God’s toys like Maple tree seeds or as we called them twirly bird seeds.

Build tents inside and out with sheets and blankets

Camp out in the backyard

Picnicking with cookie cutter peanut butter sandwiches in backyard or at a park or under a sheet draped over the kitchen table

Play with Cornstarch – Mix one part water with one-and-a-half to two parts cornstarch, adding a bit of food color for fun.It is like a thick liquid; you can sink your hand into the mixture slowly, but it will not give if you punch it quickly.

Rubber band guns – Nail a clothes pin to a stick of wood to make the gun and use rubber bands to knock down army men or whatever.

Create with masking tape – Use masking tape on the floor to make roads for cars or use it to make a pretend boat for you all to get in…just use your own imagination.

Popcorn in the backyard  If you have an electric popcorn popper, take it outside and place it on a sheet.Start it popping with no top on it and watch the popcorn fly.

Invent your own fun – A few years ago our family invented a new twist to playing catch…every time we caught the ball, we had to say a movie quote.

Here are two websites with more great ideas for summer:

http://ministry-to-children.com/water-games-for-kids/

http://www.thrivingfamily.com/Features/Magazine/2013/around-the-world-in-60-days.aspx

 

Don’t be hesitant to make a mess. Sure, there will be a lot of clean up, but you will be making memories together. On Mother’s Day a few years ago our oldest son, who was 30 at the time, gave me a card for Mother’s Day with 30 reasons he was glad I was his mom –  one was that I always let them make messes.

Don’t ever get too old to have fun as a family. Our children are all adults now but we still enjoy acting like kids. Jesus said that we must come to Him with the humility and faith of a little child (Luke 18:16-17, Matthew 18:1-4)…I think He wants us to approach all of life with the wonder and enjoyment of a little child.

Speak of God and His word as we go“And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again.“ (Deut 6:6-7)

  • As you play with play dough you could share, “God tells us ‘work with your hands’ (I Thessalonians 4:11)
  • While playing with flour, say  “God gives us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Tim. 6:17)  
  • While discovering things on your nature walk you could say, “Think of the wonders of God” (Joel 2:25, Job 37:14, Psalm 40:15)

HAVE A FUN FILLED SUMMER!

 

 

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