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Summer Sweeps Tips

Party Like It’s 1776!

Sick of the same old sparklers and hot dogs? Change it up this year with these fun and low-cost recipes, games and decorations so you can throw the best BBQ on the block!

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Summer Ideas For Fun

20 Hot Ideas for a Cool, Low-Cost Summer

With longer days and warmer nights, there’s no shortage of opportunities to spend money over the summer. Don’t sweat it, though! Whether you prefer indoor or outdoor activities, cooking or crafts, there is always room for fun in the budget. Having the perfect summer is a breeze with this list of free and low-cost ideas.

FUN IN THE SUN

Play Outdoor Games

Summertime means game time.

Playing football or soccer can get old quick. Try some DIY outdoor games to liven up your BBQ or birthday celebration. Trash bag Slip ’N Slide, giant Jenga or ladder bean bag toss are bound to bring laughter and smiles to your next event.

Have a Backyard Campout

Nothing says “summer” quite like s’mores.

You don’t have to go far to get away. Play your favorite summer games and fall asleep under the stars. When the ghost stories get too scary you can always head inside.

Visit a Public Park

Swing into summer at your local park.

It’s easy to have a ball on a budget. Get a team together to play volleyball, kickball, basketball or soccer at your local park.

Have a Lake Day

Make a splash with a fun day at the lake.

Whether it’s playing water games, fishing or just relaxing with friends and family, there’s an option for every budget at the lake. Just make sure you don’t forget your sunscreen!

Get Dirty in the Garden

A little green goes a long way.

Gardening is a great way to get outside, try something new and save cash at the grocery store. Spend a little on seeds and reap the rewards of fresh produce and healthy dinners all summer long.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

Check Out the Farmers Market

Green beans, small business and low prices, oh my!

Keep things fresh this summer by shopping at your local farmers market. Walking around the farmers market is a free way to get to know your community and maybe try something new.

Give Back & Get Involved

Beat the heat and make a difference.

Impact your community and impact your life by volunteering this summer.  Whether you’re passionate about helping animals, working with kids or cleaning up the environment, there’s always a way to help. Use a website like https://www.volunteermatch.org/ to find opportunities near you.

Go to a Minor League Baseball Game

Make this summer a home run.

Enjoy America’s pastime without the Major League prices. Spend the day cheering on your local Minor League team for half the price of an MLB game.

Have a Garage Sale

Out with the old, in with the new.

If you’re in the market to buy or sell, a garage sale is a great way to make or save money. Cleaning out the garage or attic not only makes room for what is really important, but may put a few extra dollars in your pocket. Also, attending local garage sales could lead you to treasures you didn’t know you needed.

Experience Local Fairs and Carnivals

You can’t go wrong with funnel cake!

From carnival games to ferris wheel rides, there’s something for everyone at the state or county fair.  Tons of free and low cost activities like competitions, petting zoos and shows will keep the fun rolling all day long.

KEEP IT COOL

Get Your Game On

It’s all fun and games, all summer long.

Break out your old favorite board games and play the night away.  All you really need is a deck of cards and some friends to get the fun rolling. Check out this article for free or low cost game ideas that’ll help you host the best game night ever.

Get Lost in a Book

A good book can take you anywhere you want to go.

The library is a great resource for books, audiobooks, movies and music.  Reread your old favorites and discover new ones — all for free. And don’t forget to check the library calendar for free events like readings and book clubs for all ages.

Have a Movie Marathon

There’s always front row seating in your living room.

A rainy day doesn’t have to hit pause on your summer fun.  Skip the pricey popcorn and enjoy summer classics like “The Sandlot,” “Caddyshack” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” from your very own couch.

TREAT YOURSELF

Make Your Own Ice Cream

Make it Sundae every day this summer.

It’s easier than you think, and inexpensive, too. To make this simple recipe, all you need is heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract. Add in sprinkles, cookies or strawberries  — whatever you have on hand — for the perfect summer treat.

Get out of the Kitchen

Keep it fresh with simple recipes for the whole family.

Don’t get stuck behind the stove this summer. It only takes three ingredients and a few minutes to make a meal or snack that everyone will love. Check out these three-ingredient recipes for inspiration.

Have a Picnic

Try this low-cost way to go “out” to lunch!

Pack a tasty lunch with food you already have at home and head to your local park.  Whether you’re looking for a fun date idea or a great afternoon with the family, having a picnic is the perfect way to enjoy the sunshine.

DO IT YOURSELF

DIY Your Own Butterfly Feeder

Invite some new friends into your garden.

Add some life and color to your backyard by making a DIY butterfly feeder. It’s an easy craft that’ll make everyone smile. You can even simplify the steps listed here and use things you have at home like a paper plate, string, and a sponge.

Plan a Scavenger Hunt

Create an adventure they’ll always treasure

Teach the kids to explore nature with this fun outdoor activity. Make a list of riddles to guide them around your backyard or local park in search of flowers, candy or coins. Here’s a list of clever outdoor themed riddles and answers.

Try Nature Crafts

Crafts aren’t just for the classroom. Make priceless art with things you can find in your own backyard.

Painting rocks is a fun, creative activity for any age. Also, pressing flowers brings the beauty of the outdoors inside. Just place the flower between parchment paper and leave it under something heavy for about a week. That’s all it takes to make your very own masterpiece!

Take a Photo a Day

Make this summer last forever.

While you’re busy having a blast this summer, make sure you capture the memories on your phone or go old school and use a disposable camera.  When the summer’s over, put together an album to remember all the fun you had.

Summary

Keep the fun going 24/7 this summer without breaking the bank. Try out these tips to make your dream summer a reality and use the hashtag #SummerAF247 to share your memories with us.

Halloween Crafts

Easy Halloween Crafts To Do With The Kids

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Halloween is the best time for crafts with the kids. Between carving pumpkins, making scarecrows, and making your own spooky decorations, they are bound to have some great childhood memories. To help you make even more memories with the kids this Halloween, we have outlined some super easy and kid friendly crafts to try out.  Enjoy!

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Halloween Crafts

Easy Halloween Crafts To Do With The Kids

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Halloween is the best time for crafts with the kids. Between carving pumpkins, making scarecrows, and making your own spooky decorations, they are bound to have some great childhood memories. To help you make even more memories with the kids this Halloween, we have outlined some super easy and kid friendly crafts to try out.  Enjoy!

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Hand Paintaing

Easy and Fun 4th of July Projects to do with the Kids

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With parties, parades and fireworks, 4th of July is a holiday that all kids love. Doing easy and fun crafts with your kids this Independence Day will just enhance their experience along with the fun. So to help make this the most patriotic July 4th yet, we have put together a list of easy and fun crafts to do with the little ones in celebration of our nation’s birthday.

Uncle Sam hats

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All you’ll need is some red, white and blue construction paper, scissors, glue and a stapler. Have kids draw stars on white paper and then cut them out. Cut a sheet of blue paper in half and loosely wrap around the child’s head to create the base of the hat. This may require two sheets of paper. Once you have the correct size staple both ends of the base together. Cut 6 to 8, 2-inch strips of red paper and create the top of the hat by stapling each piece to the base upright (see image). Let kids glue on the stars they cut out, as well as add additional artwork with markers.

Sidewalk chalk mural

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Get some red, white, and blue sidewalk chalk and have your little ones work together to create a huge 4th of July mural. Create an American flag Mural or a group of fireworks shooting off on a street sidewalk or a local park parking lot.

Red white and blue finger painting

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What is easier than giving your kids 3 colors of paint and a piece of paper? No tools required for this one. Have kids use their hands to create their own masterpiece of the American flag. For easy clean up make sure and use this paint – finger paint

Firework stamp painting

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Paint, paper and an empty toilet paper roll are all you are going to need for this project. Simply cut tiny slits 2 inches long around the end of multiple toilet paper rolls to create a firework stamp. Have kids dip the ends in paint and stamp onto paper. Try layering different colored paint stamps on top of each other to create a multi colored firework painting.

Firework pins

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For this craft you will need some colored beads, large safety pins, a glue gun, and thin metal twine. Have your kids thread the beads on the needlepoint of the open safety pens and close the pins once the entire needle is covered with beads. Place safety pins in an outward circle and connect the ends threading the metal twine through the small holes at the end of the safety pin. You should now have a circle of beaded safety pins resembling fireworks. Hot glue another safety pin on the back, horizontally to make it where you can pin the design on a shirt.

Bake something patriotic

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Kids love to help in the kitchen. If you are planning a 4th of July party, then a patriotic dessert would be perfect for the kids to help out with. There are tons of receipts for red, white, and blue desserts that you can find online. Here is a link to some of our favorites – Patriotic baking