With school out of session and summer time here, it can be hard to keep the kids entertained and not break the bank.

Here are a few ideas of things you can do with the kids that won’t cost a lot of money and are certain to be fun for everyone.

1. Make a list of area parks and cross them off of your list as you go

A fun idea is to make a list of area parks – especially ones you haven’t visited- and cross them off as you go.

Make it a point to try to visit a new one each week- maybe even pack a picnic lunch or get ice cream afterwards.

You and the kids both will appreciate a change of scenery.

You never know, you may find a new favorite park! We will be making a new blog post soon detailing Dayton Area parks to visit with your family!

2. Visit your local library

Not only can you explore technology, books, and magazines, your local library most likely has summer programs as well.

Many public libraries have great programs over the summer to help take the pressure off of parents to keep kids entertained.

Some have reading time with therapy dogs, magicians, or even animal encounters!

Check the website or Facebook page of your local library for more information.

3. Make a time capsule

This is an especially fun activity for a rainy day.

Have everyone in the family think of something they’d like to include in the time capsule.

Some idea of things to include are: movie tickets from a show you’ve seen recently, coins you found on a walk, drawings the kids have done, or letters to your future selves.

Seal the box well with tape (or invest in a more heavy-duty option such as a rubbermaid container), mark a date on the outside of the box when you can open it (say… 5 years? 10 years?), and store it away for the future.

4. Build some paper airplanes and have a family contest

If you don’t know how to build a paper airplane, find a quick tutorial on YouTube.

Everyone in the family can make and decorate their own airplane. Parents or older siblings may have to help the younger ones with construction.

When you’re finished, have a contest to see whose plane can fly the farthest!

Make it as interesting as you like- winner gets bragging rights or something more exciting- such as a day off from chores!

5. Build a blanket fort

This is another fun thing to do when it’s raining outside. However, you can also get creative and build one outside, too!

Younger kids will especially have fun with this one. However, if you need to entertain older kids as well, maybe try playing board games or cards inside.

You can also make the opening towards the television and make it so that you can watch a movie or play video games from the fort after you’re done.

To take this activity to the next level, break out some camping gear if you have some and set up camp in the yard.

6. Volunteer at a local organization

Sit down as a family and come up with ideas of places you could volunteer your time together.

Many animal shelters or soup kitchens welcome volunteers and really could use the extra help.

This is a fun way to give back to your community and teach your children the act of giving.

If you can’t find any local organizations or live in a smaller town, clean up your favorite park or plant some flowers in a public place that could use some sprucing up.

Do you have any other great ideas you can do with children that don’t cost a lot? Let us know in the comments- we’d love to hear them!