Hot Mom Spa Squad Member Bekah shares simple, cost-effective ways to get your kids through the dog days of summer.

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Summer’s halfway over. Your reaction might either be, “Already? Where did the time go?!” or “Good! My kids are so bored!” If you’re in the latter group, you’ve probably run out of easy ways to entertain the kids. So here are some low-cost, healthy ways to stay entertained besides more movies and video games.

Swap with other moms. Your kids might be bored of your ideas, but other moms might be trying different things. Try swapping kids for a day, or do a child-care share, to give kids fresh faces to see and a new person calling the shots.

Volunteer. There’s always yard work to be done in the summer, and older or disabled people who can’t do it. Connect with a local church or senior program to find out how you can help by weeding, mowing, clearing branches, and more.

Hold a family fitness challenge. Have each person pick one physical activity (jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups, etc.) that everyone can do. Count how many reps each person can do, and then practice for a week to see if you can beat that number the following week.

Explore parks. If your town doesn’t have many parks, go to a nearby town and see how many different pieces of play equipment you can find. Or go to a nearby State Park or National Park for a day–it’s usually quite inexpensive and provides great scenery and hiking opportunities, and often educational programs as well.

Bring books to life. Have your kids read a book, and then plan a movie night, food, or crafts that go along with the book.

Be creative! Find out what your kids want to do, and even if it’s not practical, use it to help craft creative alternatives. My daughter wants to go to horse camp, but that’s out of our budget. Instead, I found a local ranch (a friend of a friend) who let her come over for a day and help sweep stables, feed horses, and repair gear. She got a great learning experience, and I saved hundreds of dollars!

meheadshotsmall-150x150Bekah blogs at Motherhood Moment where she writes about parenting topics – family activities and meal ideas, saving money and time, and much more. She lives in Minnesota and works as an online teacher and freelance musician. In her free time she enjoys family activities with her husband and their two young daughters.

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