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Summer vacation is here! It’s exciting, but also overwhelming, especially if you stay home with your kids. Check out my favorite cheap summer activities for preschoolers.
Geocaching & Nature Hikes
This is FREE! Why not go out and do it? You don’t even have to leave your neighborhood when you have a preschooler with an imagination! You can easily “hike” with your preschooler even if you don’t live near trails. We live in a gated community and call our morning walks “nature hikes” when we go off the sidewalk.
Geocaching is a great way to get off the beaten path of your normal sidewalk. Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game that uses GPS-enabled devices such as your phone. You navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. Download this app to find out more and get started. Kids as young as 3 can easily get the hang of this.
Explore State & National Parks
Most state and national parks are extremely reasonably priced. Our closest state park is only $6 to park all day. Click here to find a state park near you.
National parks are just as fun, and also very affordable. You can even find great deals. If you have a 4th grader, they get in free to all national parks all year long! Pretty cool right? Get your pass here. We already missed free national park week for 2017. The one for 2018 occurs from April 21st-April 29th. Click here to find a national park near you.
Head to your Neighborhood Park
If you go early enough in the day, it won’t be too hot for kids to play for a while. It’s even better if you can find a neighborhood park with a splash pad! Our favorite parks have playgrounds with lots of little activities for kids to do so they stay entertained for at least an hour.
If you don’t know of any good parks in your area, search for a mom’s group + your town on Facebook. Then ask the moms about their favorite parks.
Arts & Crafts
It’s fun to think of all the outdoor activities you can do in the summer, but sometimes it’s too hot to too rainy to get out. That’s when we break out the arts & crafts.
Put together a kit of crayons, coloring books, paint, construction paper, scissors (cutting is a must now for kids entering kindergarten), and glue.
We even like to make our own play dough.
Sometimes my preschooler can be entertained for an entire afternoon with a table full of arts & crafts.
Memberships to Museums, Zoos & Aquariums
This one is a little pricier, however if makes up for it if you use it. I don’t ever recommend paying for a single day admission to a museum, zoo, or educational center in your town if you plan to visit again. Do the math for a single day admission versus a year long membership and see which one works out better.
An even better tip is to check Groupon to see if they have a deal. We buy our membership to the Naples Zoo through Groupon every single year for the price of a single days admission.
You can take this a step further and take advantage of the perks you get from reciprocity when visiting other museums, zoos, and aquariums. Learn more about that here.
Preschool Prep Curriculum
All parents need a break during the day, right? I suggest using the Preschool Prep videos during the day when mom or dad needs a break. These videos teach kids as young as 9 months old everything from letters to site words. My 4 year old is already sounding out words because he’s been watching quite a few of these videos while mommy works and cleans.
This is another Groupon deal! You can pretty much always find these on Groupon for $39.99 (affiliate link).
It shouldn’t be a chore to entertain your preschooler this summer! Hopefully these tips will help. Remember, the main thing your kids want from you is time. If you can’t figure out something to do for the day, stop and ask yourself if you really need to spend money to entertain the kids.
Chances are, your preschooler would be just as happy to sit down and play a game or read a book with you, and that is free!
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