In some parts of the world, summer vacation is drawing to a close. In others, there are still several weeks left of rest and relaxation to enjoy. Whether you’re in mid-Summer or Summer’s End, there’s still great fun to be had as a family.
Here are five cheap and easy things to enjoy with your kiddos:
Have an unplugged Sunday.
I love this idea of unplugging and getting away for a day. Perhaps you’re going to spend a day hiking or an afternoon splashing at the lake. Whatever you do, make it a point to turn off the phone, sign off, and have real facetime with your family. Unplugged Sunday can provide you with all you need to know to get off the grid.

Make a (practically) free sand and water table.
Unless you find a good deal on a used activity station, these toddler tables can be expensive. Instead, pull out some short tables and make your own. We’ve used under-the-bed boxes to fill with water or sand. Add bath or beach toys and your kids have hours of fun waiting for them.
Set up a DIY smoothie station.
Smoothies are the modern mom’s healthy version of milkshakes. Funny how substituting yogurt for ice cream transforms it into a wonderful snack. Set out crushed ice, yogurt, juice, milk, and a variety of fruits so kids can combine their own combinations. If you have a Magic Bullet, so much the better. (Jen has great ideas for that here.) You can use party cups so that no one has to wait for the blender.

Find a good book and pull up some shade.
There are so many wonderful family read alouds to experience with your kids. And with widespread library locations and free Kindle downloads, you’re sure to find a good one without spending a dime. Find a cool place to hang out together and read aloud. You’ll be amazed at the shared adventure.
Hit the splash pad.
Find out which of your local parks offer a splash pad. Don your suits and grab your towels for some wet and wild fun. You are never too big to play with your kids. And experience tells me that the other kids at the park will flock to your side. Children crave that adult interaction — and you’ll be making sweet memories in the process.
What do you do for a little summer fun with your family?

— Jessica Fisher is a busy mom of six kids, making her home in San Diego. She shares delicious ways to act your wage at Good Cheap Eats and posts a variety of parenting and homemaking hacks at LifeasMOM. She is also the author of Summer Survival Guide, a complete planning workbook for the best summer ever.

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