Summer is in full swing — along with the start of kids’ boredom. Sleepovers and play dates will occupy their time and give you a little relief. Save money on activities by creating fun, at-home experiences for their next get-together. With a little planning and creativity, you can create memorable times your kids and their friends will love.
1. Cooking party
Kids love to cook, it’s that simple. Save money and create your own in-home cooking class and let the kids cook their own dinner. Make sure to supervise any cutting activities. For extra fun, make it a competition and judge each kids’ food.
- Plastic cutting board for each child
- Ingredients and cooking utensils for each recipe, divided into stations
- Printed recipes for the kids to take home
Italian Soda Recipe
This is an easy but fun recipe the kids can make all by themselves. You can change up the flavors with different syrups. We used Torani brand, which offers both regular and sugar-free options.
- 1 bottle syrup in a flavor of your choice
- 1 bottle club soda
- 1 can whipped cream
- Handful of blueberries
Pour 1/3 cup of syrup in a glass, then fill with club soda. Top with whipped cream and a blueberry.
2. Kids’ DIY spa party
Source: Betty Crocker
Girls love to paint their nails and get a facial. There will be lots of giggles and hours of fun as they soak their feet, paint their nails, and lie around waiting for their facial to dry. Add to the fun by serving sparkling spa water with fresh fruit and a yogurt parfait bar.
- Variety of nail polish
- Emery boards
- Facial ingredients (yogurt, oatmeal, lemons, cucumbers)
- Bowls for soaking feet
- Make your own scrubs with salts and brown sugar
3. Dubsmashing party
Everyone is using the Dubsmash app this summer! This activity costs zero money but will take up hours of their time and is available through both the Apple Store and Google Play.
The kids love using their creativity making their own Dubsmash videos by selecting sound, then dubbing over it with filters. After dinner they can show their mini films to you! (Or you can embarrass your kids by making one for them.) Wait for the eye rolls and laughter to begin.
4. Outdoor game day
Source: Lemon Thistle
This is a two-for-one activity. First, let the kids take white paint and create large dominoes with 1×6 boards, then once their project is finished they can play games. They’ll find you lounging inside enjoying the quiet!
- 28 1×6 boards, cut and sanded (check for straight boards before you buy)
- White paint
- Paint brushes
- Plastic sheet to paint on for easy clean up
5. Princesses & pancakes party
Source: Betty Crocker
Little girls love to dress up. Pair that with pancakes for a fun sleepover activity. They can “dress up” for breakfast and parade to the table. For extra flair, match your pancakes to the color scheme by adding food coloring to your favorite pancake mix.
- Costumes for dress up
- Color and cut crowns for them to decorate and wear
- Pancake topping bar with fresh fruits, chocolate chips and whipped cream, of course!
6. Sports day
Get out all that extra energy with a DIY sports day. Make up a menu of activities and games, then pass out individual scorecards or make a giant scoreboard with poster board. At the end award prizes and celebrate with one of these fun food bar ideas.
- Nerf wars
- Relay races
- Freeze tag
- Ring toss
7. Outdoor movie night
Source: Family Fresh Meals
Outdoor movie nights are always a fun way to spend a summer evening. Spread out blankets, pop some corn, and enjoy your favorite movie. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Project onto a back wall or a garage door
- Create your own screen with a sheet
- Buy large, movie-size candy from the local dollar store
- Create a popcorn bar (popcorn, cheese corn, and caramel corn)
- Fill a cooler with drinks
- Bring extra blankets or towels to keep warm as the sun goes down
8. Water games
Source: Sweet and Lovely Crafts
Let your little ones have an outdoor water play date. Create a tinfoil river and freeze their toys in water for cool activities on a hot summer day. Other fun ways to cool off are:
- Pass out water guns
- Fill up water balloons for water toss (be sure to pick up scraps afterward!)
- Fill a plastic pool for rubber duck races