5 under $5 Cheap things to do to stave off the boredom and keep kids moving
I've been reading a lot (and some of us have been experiencing) the lack of cash to go somewhere this summer- let's face it even local amusement and water parks can be pricey especially if there are more than one or two of you.
Fortunately, you don't have to head farther than your discount store to have a ton of fun- and I'll bet most of you played these games when you were little yourselves and just forgot.
The great thing about them is that they are good for ALL ages- seriously, we get right on in and play with Ian because it's fun for us, not cuz he's pestering the living daylights out of us. ;)
Okay, here goes:
Jump rope- this can be done alone or in a group or even if there are two you can tie one end to a tree or rail and take turns. For the fairly coordinated, double dutch is a blast. If you forget the old rhymes, they're easy enough to look up. I recommend SwagBucks so you can earn Amazon GC's or other prizes, but Google or any other search engine will work as well.
Hehe you can also play ponies like the little divas did when they were little and one would have the rope around the waist and another hold behind her and run- don't ask, but they spent hours playing this. ;-)
Bubbles- if you have kids and/or pets (cats or dogs, at least) there is little more entertaining than blowing bubbles for them (with if the kids are old enough) and watching them chase them- our dogs, especially, go crazy and Ian and his best friend Dude have a blast trying to pop them before the other can.
Hula hoop*- although the exact origin is unknown the modern hula hoop has been around since the 1950's and while the popularity rises and falls, they don't fade into obscurity like so many toys for the simple reason that they are fun. They are also extremely versatile.
Where else can you get so much fun packed into a powerful workout? Back in the day (yes, I'm old enough to say that and mean it) we would all bring out our colorful hoops and challenge each other to all kinds of contests- everything from the traditional how long can you keep it spinning on your waist to limbs, necks, taking turns keeping all of the hoops spinning, ring toss (yes, using a person as the target, it's not too bad if you get whapped upside the head) and more.
Those games are still fun for kids of all ages, as well as others such as musical hula hooping (like freeze- one person starts then stops the music and stop in the middle- if your hoop falls you are out) and if you are my kids, the hula hoop makes a great harness when paired with a jump rope to play ponies with.
Sidewalk chalk- Another fun, cheap activity is playing with sidewalk chalk. Just drawing pictures is great, especially if you can draw like Bert from Mary Poppins, but one of our favorite things to do is draw a hopscotch board and challenge each other. Aside from the traditional, you can do a search and find a ton of elaborate boards and rules.
Water balloons- when the temperatures are rising and (at least around here) tempers are flaring, it's a great time to break out the water balloons. We have had so much fun over the years with water balloons, and still do. Separately or in teams we love to have water balloon fights, when we make up teams it is hysterical to listen to the kids strategize.
Another super duper fun thing to do is play balloon toss (like they do at company picnics) where you take turns tossing the full balloon to each other til it pops. Great, clean wet fun. And I have to say that although all of us like to win (we REALLY, REALLY LIKE TO WIN) this is one game we don't mind losing as the loser gets wet.
One caveat- when you are playing with water balloons this is not the time to wear your polka dotted bra under your thin white shirt. Just sayin' is all. *grin*
*Hula hoops can easily be found for just a couple few dollars, but if you are planning to use them for an adult workout you would want to invest in a better quality one- either go more expensive or wait til you find them on clearance.
I know there is nothing new here, but they are so simple we tend to forget about them when we're listening to the kids whine that there is nothing to do. What I love about them is that they are so inexpensive (and a good many of us already have them in our homes) and they are things we can have the kids do on their own or we can join in and everyone has a great time.
What are some of the things you like to play with your kids (especially if they are inexpensive)? Are they games from your childhood or do you go for the new? We'd love to know.