Summer of Money Home Page
By Scott Biggs
Pack a picnic
Grab an old blanket, some sandwiches and apples, fill a jug with ice water or tea and head out to your local park. Bring the Frisbee and wear your old shoes to walk a cool creek on a hot afternoon. Turn off your phone and leave the Game Boy behind. Play all day and nap in the shade. Walk in the grass barefoot. With all of the technology that surrounds us, it is easy to forget that this was how families had fun together for thousands of years. And it is still a great way to reconnect and share a summer day.
- Host a Family Talent Show
Designate a night of the week as New Talent Night. Every member of the family shows off a talent, big or small. Learn a simple magic trick, teach yourself how to juggle, tell some jokes, or sing a song. No judges allowed. It's not about the mastering of skills or winning, it's about FUN!
- Have a Neighborhood Fun-Course Meal
Assign each of your neighbors one course of a grand meal. You serve drinks with everyone at your place, then everyone moves to the next neighbor's house for appetizers. Everyone walks to the next neighbor's for the salad, and it continues until every participating household has served their menu item. It's easier than you think (you only prepare one course), you get to walk off a few calories, and you'll get to know your neighbors like never before!
- Play a Game of Disc Golf
Grab or borrow a Frisbee for everyone and head to your local park or schoolyard. Unless you want to get serious about, any flying disc will do. Follow the general rules of golf, with each player picking the next "hole" - it can be a tree, a swing set, or a wall (anything but a roof!). You can keep score (fewest throws wins) or play for fun. Many cities and universities also provide free or low-cost official disc golf courses. These feature poles with baskets as the "holes".
- Organize Your Photographs
Kids LOVE this one! Pull out the box(es) of your loose photos or open your digital collection and go through them with the family. For the cost of an inexpensive photo album, you can laugh and relive some treasured memories, while organizing them for the future. Send your best digital photos to get prints and (carefully) mark identifying info on the back of your prints for future generations.
- Play "Minute To Win It"
You have probably seen the TV show, which challenges contestants to accomplish silly skills using household objects, like pencils, plastic cups and ping-pong balls. Review the games here and gather the items for a night of hilarious living room Olympics.
- Swap a Box of Fun with Another Family
Invite another household to swap a box of their favorite DVDs, video games, board games, and books with a box of yours for a week (label them so they all get back to the proper home). You will both be surprised with new discoveries and fresh new fun without paying a cent on rentals.
- Explore Nature
Borrow a nature identification book from your local library, and explore a park or woods nearby. Identify the many trees, plants, birds, water creatures, insects and other animals that you see, and collect leaf samples to press at home. Bring along a jar, a net, binoculars and a magnifying glass for closer inspections. You and your kids will be amazed at the diversity that lives along a trail, and in your neighborhood park.
- Play "Old-School" Paper Games
Long before Mario Bros. or Halo, kids entertained themselves with paper and pencil. Pass on these old-school games to your kids and show them there is more to life than an Xbox! Fold and play paper football, play Battleship with two sheets of graph paper, mark your territory with dots and boxes, challenge each other with tic-tac-toe, sharpen your vocabulary and noose-tying skills with hangman, or play others you remember.
You can also play Top 10 Games that teach you how to GET RICH!
- Make a Homemade Art Gallery
A fun indoor activity for rainy or extremely hot summer days! Find some of the world's most famous paintings in a book or online and grab the crayons or paint. Everyone selects a painting and recreates it (hey, it's not forgery unless you claim it's the original!). Hang them up around the house to give your home a new touch of sophistication!
Got more ideas? Share them on Facebook below or Twitter with the #moneyandstuff hashtag!
Color Sunny Money, the mascot of The Summer of Money! Print this page
Match the front of the coins to the back of the coins, then color it! Print this page
7 Ways to Help Your Kids
Understand Money Concepts This Summer
1. Plan a family get away with a set budget. Ask your child to pick a destination and include the cost of travel, lodging, food, entertainment, and miscellaneous expenses.
2. Save the loose change in your pocket and give it to your child each day for a week. At the end of the week, talk about saving a portion for the future and spending a portion on a need.
3. Ask your child if there is something they would like to have before they go back to school, such as a nice pair of jeans, backpack, or computer. Give them an allowance that will add up to enough money to purchase the item, but also incorporate room for saving.
4. Have you children sit with you when you pay the monthly bills. Explain how you budget for such expenses, save for future expenses, and monitor miscellaneous spending.
5. Build a piggy bank with your kids that includes four separate slots for coins – one for saving, one for spending, one for charity, and one for investing.
6. Open a youth account at a local credit union or purchase a prepaid VISA gift card. Teach children about depositing into accounts and how debit cards work.
7. Help your kids become local entrepreneurs. Have them open up a lemonade stand or start a lawn mowing business. There are many great examples of youth entrepreneurs on the Emmy nominated PBS television show Biz Kid$. PBS stations across the state are showing Biz Kid$. For air times go to www.pbs.org.