7 Ways to Keep Kids Busy When You Can’t Afford Camp


I loved summer as a kid, probably because my dad could easily afford to send me off to day camp. Those blissful days of fun in the sun, splashing in the pool, playing sports, making arts and crafts, and non-stop activity are what I dream of giving my own daughters.

Unfortunately for them though, I can’t afford to send them to camp. At over $100 per week per child, my only option is to keep them home with me while I work.

As you can guess, it is not very fun for my kids. While I do have work that needs to get done, I have been splitting my time between being productive and trying to give them a fun summer within my means.

If you are in the same boat and running out of ideas to keep your kids busy this summer, here is what I have been doing to break up the boring so my kids are not staring over the top of my laptop at me with sad little eyes.

1. Take them to the pool

If you have your own pool or your neighborhood has one that you can use, nothing beats a hot day like a dip in the pool. Do not forget to put on the sunscreen though or you will have nothing but red and whiny kids to listen to later.

2. Arrange a play date

While it might seem like your Facebook feed is full of friends frolicking away on expensive vacations, if you look more closely, you will find other moms who are also looking for cheap thrills at home.

Take turns hosting play dates at your homes, meet for a picnic at the park, or team up at the playground. Make sure to bring plenty of water to stay hydrated!

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3. Window shop at the mall

When the heat is too much for everyone but you are aching to get out of the house, head to your local mall. Nothing beats the air conditioning there, plus you can window shop and get ideas for upcoming birthdays and holidays.

4. Color your world

You can color together with pages from a coloring book or you can print them out online. While kids will tire of coloring after a while, it is a nice indoor activity that will keep them busy for a spell.

5. Make something together

Crafts are a great way to make memories while making something nice for your home. Old magazines and old boxes can be made into picture frames that you will love to show off. There are no shortages of crafty ideas out there on the internet that you can use to create things for kids of all ages.

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6. Bake a treat

Kids love to help, especially when food is involved. Make a dessert that they can’t wait to taste when it is done.

7. Create an adventure

Indoors or outdoors, you can design an obstacle course or devise a scavenger hunt. Who needs expensive camps when you can have an adventure at home?

If you can’t afford a summer camp, do not worry because you are not alone. Just get creative and allow your kids to come up with their own ideas as well. How are you keeping your kids busy this summer? Tell us!