The Heat is On - Indoor Fun

It has been brutally hot here in NJ for several weeks now with no reprieve in sight.  My boys don’t even want to go outside into the kiddie pool or the slip ‘n slide.  The Destroyer takes one step outside and whines, “Mama, too hot out here!”  So - we’ve been spending A LOT of time indoors.  Thankfully, we live right next to a park, so as soon as it hits 7:00 pm and the sun begins to set, we go outside for our fresh air of the day.  Here are some of the activities we’ve been doing indoors to keep busy:

  1. Crafts - I love some of the inexpensive sets they sell at Oriental Trading.  Generally, when we make crafts we like to give one to Oma, Grandma, Great-Grandma, Aunt Kristen, Aunt Lisa - so it is good for us that the sets usually come in 6 or 12′s.  Just this week, we made these Sun Magnets.
  2. Board Games - My boys like board games and we’re making our way through our stack, though, much to my dismay, Cootie seems to have become the favorite.  Cute game - takes WAY too long!
  3. Play the Wii - The Wii provides both fun and exercise.  And if you have a few kids, they can all play together.
  4. Take your spare change to the bank - Our local TD bank has one of those change counting machines and the boys love to use it.  If they don’t have a ton of change, I let them keep their money to buy something on our next shopping trip.  But, if it is over $10, it goes into their bank account.  They also like that they can guess how much money they have and possibly win a prize from the bank.  The last time, we won a mini ball puzzle for coming within $2 of our actual amount.  Our bank is also only a few blocks away, so we often walk over, even on a hot day.
  5. Make a Slurpee or Slushie run.  I like to call this $5 FUN.  A simple run to 7-11 for Slurpees makes my boys very happy - especially when they have the flavors they want!
  6. Storytime - Our local library has been having many free events for the kids, so we’ve been cycling through our books pretty fast this summer.  In order to get the books back in a few days for the next event, we’ve been having afternoon and bedtime storytime.
  7. Mooch off of a friend who has a pool - I’m ashamed to admit this, but yes I do it.  My good friend, who is a teacher, and I don’t get together often during the school year since we are so busy.  So when summer comes around, she knows I’m looking for swim dates and since we have time to get together, this works out perfectly.  I bring lunch and/or snacks and a fun day is had by all!
  8. Storytime at the Book Stores/Craft time at the Craft Stores - Our local Barnes & Noble and Borders stores have storytimes.  Afterwards, I treat the kids to a cookie in the cafe and we browse the kids’ section and add to our Christmas lists.  Our local AC Moore runs a weekly free craft on Wednesday and we love to hit these.
  9. Super Cheap Movies/Free Bowling - Take advantage of all of the summer freebies/discounts.  Various Movie Theatres offer $1 or very low cost kids movies in the mornings.  AMF has a free bowling program for kids during the summer (shoe rental required).
  10. Hit the Mall - our local mall has a free, indoor play area, as well as a low-cost carousel and train ride - all in the comfort of air conditioning.
  11. The Toaster Oven- Do not underestimate your toaster oven (who wants to heat up the house by turning on the oven?! Not me!).  It can be used to make your own pizzas, make store-bought cookie dough (in mommy friendly portions!), make homemade cookies in small batches.
  12. Smoothies - Fruit + Ice + Your Blender = Fun, Tasty, Healthy Treats for the Whole Family.
  13. Ice Cream Machine - Make Your Own Ice Cream.  Try one of our favorite, simple ice cream recipes.
  14. Check out your local pet shop - you can see lots of interesting little creatures!
  15. Burger King or McDonalds’ Play Place - you don’t have to buy lunch, you can do ice cream cones!  And technically, you don’t have to buy anything!

All in all, we are trying to keep summer fun (and not too hot!) for the kids, while still operating on a tight budget.

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