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Entertaining Your Child on a Budget This Summer

School is out for the summer. That means you may hear your children saying, “I’m bored” and “There’s nothing to do.”

Whether you live in a city or small community, you probably can find some low-cost activities to keep your child or children entertained. 

Check with your county office of the NDSU Extension Service ( to see what summer youth activities are available in your area. A lot of county Extension offices host no- or low-cost youth programs. You children may not need to be a 4-H member to participate.

Libraries are a great place to take your children this summer. They offer:

  • Summer reading programs
  • Movie rental

Summer sporting activities are a great way to keep them active.

  • Use hand-me-down sporting equipment.
  • Buy second-hand sporting equipment.
  • Carpool with other families.
  • Teach your kids games you played as a child so they can play at home.

Keep cool this summer.

  • Hook a sprinkler to your garden hose and have the children run through the water.
  • Have a water balloon or water gun fight in your backyard.
  • Buy a season pass if your children go to the pool a lot.

City parks and recreation services may offer no- or low-cost activities.

  • Arts and crafts
  • Physical activities
  • Community gardening

Finding opportunities to keep your kids busy this summer may take a little homework on your part, but it will be worth the effort.

Source: Carrie Johnson, NDSU Extension Service Personal and Family Finance Specialist, 701-231-8593,

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