The funny thing about memories is that you don’t need to spend lots of money or go to lots of far places to make them. In fact, some of the best memories can be made right in your own backyard! The most important thing is to be fully engaged in any activity that you pursue, and with the people that you love.
Speaking of cheap activities you can do at home to create some wonderful summer memories, here are 10 to get you inspired.
Inexpensive Summer Fun
- S’Mores Anywhere You Can Make Them: I’m a huge fan of s’mores. We have a chiminea  in our backyard, and it works out beautifully. You can build a little fire in your backyard, use your fireplace, or even use your gas range stove in a pinch.
- Sparklers in the Backyard: Why wait for July 4th again next year to see fireworks? Buy some sparklers and any other small fireworks you can find and periodically host a fireworks show in your backyard with the kids.
- Pitch a Tent and have a Sleepover: You can do this in either your backyard, porch, or even in your living room. The point is that it creates something new and fresh. Turn off the tv for the night, and pretend like you are in the middle of nowhere.
- Catch Fireflies (and Release): Save a few glass jars from condiments or spaghetti sauce, and punch several holes through the top. Give one jar to each of your children (don’t forget the parents!) and spend an evening collecting fireflies. After you enjoy them, don’t forget to watch them fly free.
- Scary Stories Around a Fire: You can make up stories, or read your favorite scary stories over a fire or even a flashlight. Another fun thing to do is to start a story, and then pass it onto the next person in a circle, who then passes it onto the next person in a circle, etc. This can get a little crazy (and is a whole lotta fun!).
- Take Turns at Storytime: Change things up this summer. For bedtime stories, make each night a different person’s turn. On their turn, they get to choose the book, as well as read it to everyone else snuggled up in bed or on the couch.
- Hold a Tournament of Some Sort: It doesn’t matter what type of tournament you choose, just that you set aside time over a day or over a week, and that everyone can participate. Choose a cherished board game, pick out a game on Wii, or come up with some sort of other competitive game you can all play. Tape up a piece of paper where everyone can see, and figure out the scope of the tournament. Are you all going to play five games in one night? Or five games over five days, with the winner being announced at the end of the week? To add a little fun to this, you could have prizes for first place and runner up (and why not some ice cream for everyone so there are no sore losers?).
- Have Tea in the Backyard: You and your little ones can dress up as if you are going to tea, and instead do the whole thing in your backyard! Grab a blanket, comforter, or use your lawn furniture, and make some of your favorite teas. You’ll also want to include some treats and pastries. You can pick some wildflowers (dandelions work as well), and put them in a vase in the center of the table. Have any leftover satin gloves from prom days? Might as well bring them out. And don’t forget to display your pastries or little sandwiches beautifully! If you don’t own a cake stand, you can just turn a bowl upside down and place a plate on top of it.
- Attract some Wildlife: Fill up your birdfeeders, or make your own (think: peanut butter, pinecones and bird food). Then sit back and bird watch! Take turns looking up the birds you attract . Hint: I’ve been quite surprised recently with the types of birds that fly well overhead of our yard that I never noticed before. To check out what birds are bypassing your yard, put a blanket in your yard and lay down. You never know what you will catch!
- Give Each Other Manis/Pedis: It can be so much fun to be pampered and to pamper the ones you love! Gather together your best supplies, set up shop in your living room or back porch, and get to work on soaking feet and hands, buffering nails, and painting toes.