8 Fun, Cheap and Free Summer Activities & Ideas

Fun, Cheap and Free Summer Activities

I am so excited for summer and am looking forward to doing activities with my kids. Recently I had a friend ask me about easy, fun, cheap and free activities that she could do with the kids during the summer, so I’ve compiled a list of what you can do with your kids this summer that won’t cost you too much money.

1.) Kid’s Movie Clubs

cinemark summer movie clubhouse

Cinemark Theaters has the Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse where you can see kid-friendly movies all summer long for $1 or less. If you purchase 10 movies for $5, then it’s just $0.50 each show! Or there is an option to pay $1.00 for each show you attend. And all movies are rated G or PG. To get the tickets, go to the ticket office the day you are seeing your first movie and you can purchase a punch pass for $5.00. Parents and kids all get in for the same price. Head over to Summer Movie Clubhouse to see which Cinemark movie theaters are participating near you.

 

Regal Theaters 2016 Movies
Regal Theaters also has a kid’s movie club called Summer Movie Express where kids movies are only $1. The movies are G & PG. Just purchase the tickets at the box office. Head over here to see if there is a theater near you and to find out what movies will be playing.

2.) Kids Bowl Free

Kids Bowl Free Logo

Register your children at KidsBowlFree.com to receive two free games of bowling for each of your children daily during the summer. Keep in mind that you do have to pay for the shoe rental. To see which bowling alleys are participating near you, head over here.

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7 Ways to Save Money on School Lunches

7 Ways to Save Money on School LunchesWith the school shopping complete or nearly complete, the kids are headed back to school. But one thing you still need to think about is school lunches for your children. My daughter will be in third grade this year, which means she will be eating lunch at school. However, paying for cafeteria lunches each day can start to cost a lot. With some planning and preparation, you can pack school lunches for your children that are nutritious and yummy, and if done correctly, can actually be cheaper than buying lunch. And packing school lunches doesn’t have to be too much of a hassle. Here are 7 ways to save money on school lunches.

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Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag

Ice Cream in a Bag

A few years ago, my sister-in-law introduced me to this homemade ice cream in a bag. It was so much fun to make, and it’s is so easy to do. The recipe only has three ingredients. Since it’s been so hot lately, I thought this would be a fun activity to do with my girls outside. My oldest daughter had the most fun shaking the bag. And she ended up shaking my younger daughter’s ice cream bag too.

 

Ice Cream in a Bag Ingredients

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How to Make Easy Tissue Paper Flowers

How to Make Easy Tissue Paper Flowers

WELCOME!

Thanks for coming over to Saving Cent by Cent to learn about how to make tissue paper flowers. Every month I help to plan activities for the Relief Society women’s organization. This month, we held a birthday dinner celebration. We wanted the activity to look nice, but we didn’t have a huge budget, so we had to find ways keep things simple and inexpensive. These Tissue Paper Flowers were so easy to make, and they really added to the decor of our activity. They would also make a beautiful addition to your home or a party you are planning.

 

Relief Society Dinner 2

For our activity, we chose green, purple, and pink spring colors. Each table had a square piece of colored wrapping paper in the middle. We then placed a bouquet of tissue paper flowers in a vase in the center of each table and also added a few tissue paper flowers around the vases.

 

Relief Society Dinner 1We also hung balloons around the room.

Relief Society Dinner 3And placed presents and flowers on the serving and dessert tables.

Relief Society Dinner 4It was a wonderful night and everything turned out great.

If you want to receive a FREE Tissue Paper Flower tutorial download to your inbox, Click here!

Tissue Paper Flower Tutorial

 Here’s how to make a tissue paper flower.

Tissue Paper Flowers

You’ll need these items:

 

Next button

 

 

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Clay Art Projects for Kids – 3 Simple Ingredients

Clay Art Projects for Kids Final

If you are looking for a fun activity for the kids, these Clay Art Projects for Kids are easy to do. My daughters really loved making them, and the clay is made of 3 simple ingredients.

  • 1  1/4 cups warm water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

Directions to Make Clay:

  • Combine the water and salt in a bowl and mix well.
  • Add the flour and mix until the ingredients are combined.
  • Then mix the clay with your hands.

 

Clay Activity - Kneading Dough

Clay Activity - Kneading Dough Together

  • Sprinkle flour on a flat surface and place the clay on the flour. Knead the clay until smooth.
  • Tip: If the clay is sticky, add more flour. If the clay is dry, add more water and knead until smooth.
  • Create a project of your choice (Below are step-by-step instructions of how to create a picture frame, snake, pig, and cat).
  • Keep the leftover clay fresh for several days by placing it in a plastic bag or container.

 

Clay Activity - Dough with Tin Foil for Pig

  • Tip: If you are making a project that is thicker than 1 inch, crumple aluminum foil into the shape you want to make the project. Use a rolling pin to flatten the clay to about 1/4 inch thick. Cover the foil with the clay and smooth out the seams using a little water on your fingers. I used this method for the pig and cat. By placing aluminum foil in the middle, you use less clay and it won’t take additional hours to bake in the oven.

 

Clay Activity - Ready to Bake

  • Place your projects on a baking sheet, and bake at 200 degrees for 2-4 hours. The smaller projects only need about 2 hours. The larger projects such as the pig and cat need about 4 hours.
  • Tip: If a crack appears in the clay after it bakes or if a part of a project falls off while baking, wait for the project to cool. Use dough to fill in the cracks or attach the part that broke off. Bake the project again until the clay is hard and dry.
  • Allow to cool. Paint your projects using acrylic paint. Allow to dry and then apply a sealant such as Mod Podge or make and apply your own sealant using equal amounts of glue and water.

 

PICTURE FRAME CLAY PROJECT

Clay Project - Heart Final

Clay Activity - Heart with Blog

Clay Activity - Dough Heart with Paper Clip

Picture Frame Clay Project Directions:

  1.  Choose two cookie cutters and make sure one cookie cutter fits inside the other.
  2.  Using a rolling pin, roll out the clay.
  3.  Take the large cookie cutter and cut out a shape. Take the smaller cookie cutter and cut out the shape inside the large shape.
  4.  Press a paper clip into the top of the frame. This will be used to hang your frame.
  5.  Bake at 200 degrees for 2-4 hours until hard and dry. Allow to cool. Paint and seal the frame. Tape a picture on the back.

 

 

SNAKE CLAY PROJECT

Clay Project - Snake

Snake Clay Project Directions:

  1. Take a piece of clay and roll your hands back and forth over the clay until it becomes a long rope.
  2. Shape one end to be the head, and shape the other end into a point to be the tail.
  3. Form the clay into an S shape or curl it up into a coil.
  4. Bake at 200 degrees for 2-4 hours until hard and dry. Allow to cool. Paint and seal the snake. After the paint dries, embellish with googly eyes.

 

 

PIG CLAY PROJECT

Clay Project - Pig

Clay Activity - Dough with Tin Foil for Pig

Clay Activity - Pig Tail

Pig Clay Project Directions:

  1. Using a rolling pin, roll out the clay to about 1/4 inch thick.
  2. Crumple aluminum foil into a round or oval shape to make the body. Cover the foil with the clay and smooth out the seams using a little water on your fingers.
  3. Make a smaller ball of clay to create the head and attach it to the body.
  4. Roll four small balls for the feet and place them on the bottom of the body.
  5. Make a curly tail by wrapping a thin rope of clay around a toothpick. Attach the tail to the body. I used the toothpick to secure the tail so it wouldn’t fall off.
  6. Make the nose by flattening a small ball. Poke two nostril holes using a toothpick. Attach the nose to the head.
  7. Make two triangles for the ears and attach them on top of the head.
  8. Use a toothpick to create two holes for eyes.
  9. Bake at 200 degrees for 3-4 hours until hard and dry. Allow to cool. Paint and seal the pig. After the paint dries, embellish with googly eyes.

 

 

CAT CLAY PROJECT

Clay Project - Cat

Clay Activity - Dough with Tin Foil for Pig

Cat Clay Project Directions:

  1. Using a rolling pin, roll out the clay to about 1/4 inch thick.
  2. Crumple aluminum foil into an oval shape to make the body. Cover the foil with the clay and smooth out the seams using a little water on your fingers.
  3. Make a smaller ball of clay to create the head and attach it to the body.
  4. Roll four small balls for the feet and place two of them under the head, and two of them at the back of the body.
  5. Roll out a short, thick rope to create the tail and add it to the body.
  6. To make the face, roll two small balls for the cheeks and put them side-by-side right above the feet. Roll a smaller ball for the nose, and place it on top of the cheeks.
  7. Make two triangles for the ears and attach them on top of the head.
  8. Use a toothpick to create two holes for eyes.
  9. Bake at 200 degrees for 3-4 hours until hard and dry. Allow to cool. Paint and seal the cat. After the paint dries, embellish with googly eyes.
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Simple Frozen Birthday Party Ideas

Frozen Party - Simple Ideas - Table

My two girls, ages 6 and 3, absolutely adore Frozen’s Elsa and Anna. So this year for my oldest daughter’s birthday, we had a Frozen party and invited girls to come dressed up as princesses. Here are some simple Frozen Birthday Party Ideas that were fun, yet not too expensive.

Frozen Coloring Pages – As the princesses arrived, we had them choose a coloring page that they could work on until everyone arrived. I just found them online and printed them off. Most of the girls kept coming back to their coloring page to work on it throughout the birthday party. I thought this would just be a filler at the beginning of the party, but it turned out to be really enjoyable for the girls. Be sure to print extra Elsa coloring pages, because that’s the one that most of the girls wanted.

 

Frozen Party - Hide and Find

Frozen Hide and Find – We played a Frozen Hide and Find game where one girl would leave the room. We would then hide an Anna doll with a ring on her arm. When the girl came back in the room to find the doll, she had to listen as all the girls sang the Frozen song soft or loud. If the girls sang soft, that meant the girl finding the doll wasn’t close to it. If they sang loud, that meant the girl was very close to the doll. We gave each girl a chance to find the doll, and they got to keep the ring. The girls loved playing this Hide and Find game, especially since they received a Frozen ring.

If I didn’t already have the Anna doll or another Frozen character, I would have just hidden the ring somewhere in the room for the girls to find, and I think the girls would have loved it just the same.

 

Frozen Party - Dancing

Frozen Freeze Dance – We played the Frozen song and let the girls sing and dance around the room. When the must stopped, the girls had to freeze in place.

 

 

Frozen Party - Pin the Nose

Pin the Nose on Olaf – Using orange construction paper, I cut out triangles to make noses for the girls to pin on Olaf. We placed a blind fold on them and watched as they tried to pin the nose on Olaf. It was quite entertaining and cute!

Since we had an Olaf poster, we used it. But to keep it less expensive, rather than purchasing a Frozen poster, print a picture off of the computer of Olaf or use a poster board and draw a snowman.

 

Frozen Party - Decorate Cupcakes

Frozen Cupcakes – I used Frozen cupcake liners and made yellow cupcakes. I also made blue and white frosting using a simple butter cream frosting recipe. The girls then decorated their own cupcake with frosting and sprinkles. Everyone loved using sprinkles, and of course the were all over the floor. 🙂

 

Frozen Party - Olaf

Throw Snowballs at Olaf – I printed off a picture of Olaf and taped it to one of my white laundry baskets. I then found white styrofoam balls at Michaels and used a 40% off coupon to get them less expensive. You can also find them on Amazon. The girls then each threw the balls and tried to get them in the laundry basket.

 

Frozen Party Take Home Gifts

After the party, each girl took home a small bag with Frozen trinkets and candy.

 

Frozen Party 1

And my girls said they had a really fun time!

 

Frozen Birthday Party Ideas

And be sure to head over to Pebbles and Piggytails where you can find more Simple Frozen Birthday Party ideas.

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26 Inexpensive & Fun Date Ideas + Our Inexpensive Anniversary

Inexpensive Date Night Ideas Final

It’s more challenging to go on date nights with my husband since we’ve had children. And it seems to be even more difficult now that we have a newborn baby. My husband and I want to do better about going out on dates at least once or twice a month so I looked around and found 26 Inexpensive & Fun Date Ideas that would be enjoyable for us to do together. And most of these dates don’t cost a lot of money or anything at all.

  1.  Go to a park and feed the ducks.
  2.  Cook a nice dinner together and eat it over candlelight.
  3.  Go on a coupon date where you only use coupons for your dinner and activities.
  4.  Make homemade pizza together.
  5.  Play a board game together until someone wins.
  6.  Go to a bakery and choose a treat for each other.
  7.  Take a drive and enjoy the beautiful scenery around you.
  8.  Camp out in the living room with sleeping bags, camp chairs, flashlights and anything that will make it feel like a camp out.
  9.  Exercise together by going on a walk, jog, or to a local gym.
  10.  Volunteer at a local food pantry, soup kitchen, or retirement home.
  11.  Have a video game night.
  12.  Grab some quarters and head to an arcade to play games.
  13.  Go for a walk together.
  14.  Sit outside at night to stargaze and look at constellations.
  15.  Make ice cream sundaes with your favorite toppings.
  16.  Go to a thrift store. Give each other $5 to spend and see who ends up with the best item.
  17.  Have a picnic indoors on the floor.
  18.  See a play at a high school or local community theater.
  19.  Build a snowman or have a snowball fight. Go back inside to warm up with hot chocolate and blankets.
  20.  Choose a book you both are interested and read it together.
  21.  Organize a scavenger hunt where you hide clues that take you around the neighborhood or town.
  22.  Head to a local dealership and test drive your dream car.
  23.  Play the Newlywed Game to see how well you know each other and have prizes for every correct answer.
  24.  Visit a local museum.
  25.  Create a homemade spa with scented candles, soft music, massages, and a bubble bath.
  26.  Watch a no-drive drive-in movie in the car on a laptop with a movie of your choice.

 

Our Inexpensive Anniversary

FH000020

I can’t believe that my husband and I have now been married nine years! He is such an amazing man! Because our little baby was only 3 months old, my husband and I decided to keep our anniversary simple this year. We thought about panning an overnight trip, but bringing a newborn baby with us just wouldn’t work. We had tried that when our second child was a baby and that was hard.

So for our anniversary, my husband took the day off work and his mother came to watch the kids so that we could go out on a date, which was awesome because it had been months since we had gone out on a date. We went to Romano’s Macaroni Grill, and we each ordered a lunch special that was really good. We had a $25 gift card that had been given to us as a present months ago, so we were able to use that to get our meal for free.

My husband is sweet and remembered that I had been saying I needed a new cardigan because my other ones have holes in them. I have a hard time buying clothes for myself because I always feel that we need to the money to get clothes for our growing family or to save for other things that we want as a family. We went to Old Navy where I was able to purchase a cardigan for myself with a $25 gift I had received as a birthday present. We even had some left over for my husband to get a new shirt. We then went next door to Famous Footwear where I splurged (yes, I do this sometimes), and purchased new black dress shoes for me. They were of course the ones on sale. This is probably sounds pathetic, but the last time I purchased shoes for myself was four years ago. Like I said, I just have a hard time spending money on me.

Before the day ended, we exchanged small gifts for each other. Even though we didn’t spend a lot of money for our anniversary and we used gift cards that we had saved, it turned out to be a really enjoyable date with my husband. I do want to be real for a moment and mention that even though we try to be frugal, our dates aren’t always inexpensive. Sometimes we pay full price to see a movie that both of us have been wanting to see, or we go out to eat without using coupons. The reason I save money here and there is so that we can splurge every so often on things we enjoying doing together as a couple and as a family. But I also want to point out that when you go on a date, you don’t have to spend lots of money to have fun. The thing that counts the most is being together, talking and enjoying each other.

What dates have you gone on that were fun, yet inexpensive?

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How to Make an Inexpensive Centerpiece

How to Make an Inexpensive Centerpiece

This past week, I had the opportunity to help create the centerpieces for a church activity. We wanted to do something that was simple and looked nice, but not expensive. Here are the items we used and the directions on How to Make an Inexpensive Centerpiece. And it’s a centerpiece that can be used for almost any holiday occasion.

Items needed:

  • Red craft paper
  • Greenery – pine, cedar or spruce (This could be from your yard, or purchased from the store. My family and I took a drive up the mountains and trimmed an evergreen tree to get the greenery.)
  • Cranberries
  • Lantern (The lantern was purchased from IKEA. They can also be found on Amazon.)
  • Battery Powered Tea lights (Purchase them from the dollar store, or purchase them in bulk on Amazon.)

Directions:

  1.  Place a 3×3 foot colored craft paper in the center of the table.
  2.  Cut small pieces of greenery and lay it in a circular motion in the center of the craft paper.
  3.  Place a lantern in the middle of the greenery and add a battery-powered tea light.
  4.  Sprinkle cranberries on the greenery.

It was simple, yet it turned out beautifully!

You’ll also notice  jars on the table. A friend of mine created these jars as a take-home gift for the women who attended the activity. The jars are also so simple to make. Take a pint-size (16 oz.) canning jar, and spray paint it using a Frost Spray Paint. Place a vinyl cut out picture of your choice on the jar. Tie twine on top, and place a battery-powered tea light inside the jar. The women who came to our activity loved the jars so much that I almost didn’t get one to take home. That’s how quickly they were picked up and taken home.

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Homemade Bubbles Recipe

homemade bubbles summer activities for kidsMy daughters love blowing bubbles, especially my youngest daughter. It seems that every time we blow bubbles, most of the bubble solution ends up being spilled on the ground because they want to do bubbles by themselves. That of course leads to purchasing more bubble solution, which the cost of it can add up quickly. I decided to try out these Homemade Bubbles, and they worked really great! My daughter and I enjoyed blowing the bubbles in the backyard.

Homemade Bubbles

  • 3 cups water
  • 6 Tablespoons corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup dishwashing liquid (We used Sun Dishwashing Liquid because that’s what I had, but any brand will work.)

Directions: In a medium bowl, combine and stir together the three ingredients. Place the bubble solution in a flat dish with enough solution that will cover the end of the bubble wands. Store the extra bubble solution in a mason jar.

 

Blowing Bubbles 2

 Have fun blowing bubbles for the rest of the summer!

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Fun and Frugal Summer Activities for Kids

summer activities for kids

I’m looking forward to doing some fun activities with my girls this summer. Here are ideas of fun and frugal summer activities to do with children.

activities for kids - hot air balloon
Hot Air Balloon – This activity will keeps the kids entertained for hours!

 

Activities for kids - ice chalk
Homemade Sidewalk Ice Chalk – Mix together half cornstarch, half water, and washable tempura paint. Pour it into ice cube trays, and freeze it. Make sure the kids wear clothing that is okay to get messy.

 

activities for kids - hula hoop
Do It Yourself Hula Hoop – I loved the hula hoop when I was younger! This looks like such a fun activity that the kids would love, and for me too.  ;)

 

activities for kids - water balloon pinata
Water Balloon Piñata – Sounds like a fun way to get wet this summer!

 

activities for kids - water pistol target range
Water Pistol Target Range – Stacking some paper cups into a pyramid shape, then use a dollar store water pistol or spray bottle to shoot them down.

If you have any fun summer activities that you’ve enjoyed doing with your kids, please share with everyone! And here are more activities to do with your kid this summer:
Frugal and Fun Summer Activities (Part 1)
Frugal and Fun Summer Activities (Part 2)
Frugal and Fun Summer Activities (Part 3)
Frugal and Fun Summer Activities (Part 4)

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