10 Affordable Ways to Entertain Your Kids

Chartwell Family Oasis is a beautiful and safe kids camp in the Delaware Valley that’s best known for summer day camp events. Thousands of kids have enjoyed our pools and participated in our recreational activities over the years, and we always have plenty of room for your kids at camp. There are also plenty of great affordable summer activities for kids that you can use to keep them entertained when they’re not at camp.

Learn to Cook

Young people love to help out in the kitchen, and there are a lot of great ways for them to learn while you prepare meals together. Young people understand measurement concepts much better when they have the chance to physically measure real ingredients. Recipes are also a great way to get kids comfortable following multi-step directions. And cleaning is a big part of cooking! If you get your kids accustomed to “cleaning as they go,” it might just save you a lot of heartache when they get a little older. If they enjoy cooking, it will also teach them the importance of eating quality food!

Get Outdoors

Many of us were sent outside as children and ordered not to come home until it was time for dinner. Unfortunately, far too many youth now adopt a much more sedentary lifestyle. Getting outdoors can mean a lot of different things. There are plenty of organized youth sports leagues in The Garden State, and if you live in a neighborhood with a lot of children, there might be pickup games taking place at the local park.

If playing sports isn’t your kids’ cup of tea, there are other activities that are just as satisfying. If your kids have never tried geocaching before, there’s a free app to download that helps you go on a treasure hunt using GPS technology. They can also collect rocks and leaves and try to identify them using a number of cool smartphone apps.

Escape Into a Good Book

Some kids are big readers and only require a library card and a ride to the library. Unfortunately, some kids are less motivated to read than others. Part of the problem is that they might not have found the right books yet!

If your child struggles with reading in school, they are not alone. You also shouldn’t assume that the child is lazy. Sometimes they just get frustrated by books that are too difficult and might need some help picking out books that are more suitable. They also shouldn’t feel embarrassed about reading below their grade level, because there are plenty of great reading programs available online and plenty of motivated teachers who will be glad to help!

Make Paper Crafts

Origami is the ancient Japanese art of paper folding, and you’ve probably been amazed to see what a skilled paper folder can do with a small square of paper. You can find plenty of books and YouTube videos that will show you how to make origami shapes. You can also make paper airplanes, boats and just about anything else that you can imagine. Be sure to keep plenty of markers and paper and tape around the house and encourage your kids to let their imagination go wild. Use your best judgment about giving your kids scissors and glue, and make sure that they understand that they need to put their projects away when they’re done.

Put on a Show

While you already have the paper and markers out, you can also turn a couple of plain brown lunch bags into puppets and make a stage out of an old cardboard box. Your kids can recreate their favorite movies or TV shows, or they can write and produce their own! And don’t be afraid to let your kids raid your closet so that they can play dress-up. If you want to let responsible kids wear your Sunday best, just be sure that they know they’re wearing your good stuff. Be sure to save some old T-shirts that they can decorate or tie-dye (with adult supervision) later.

Write a Story

If your kids don’t feel like spending their summer reading, why not let them write a book of their own? They can write and illustrate the book on their own, and you can help them create their own binding. When your kids get older, they’re going to have to do a lot of writing for school projects. If they can get confident as an author when they’re young, they will be in great shape when they get to high school and college. Many young people get intimidated by open response style test questions, and learning how to express their thoughts in writing will make those essay questions a cinch in a few years.

Plant a Garden

Junk food seems to be a staple in most young people’s diets, but that will all change once they start tasting their own vegetables. Vegetable gardening is also an activity that can teach children the value of patience! Old kiddie pools made great gardens for kids! Just drill a few 1” holes so that rainwater can drain out, and fill up the pool with topsoil. Your kids can also decorate popsicle sticks or tongue depressors to make their own plant markers.

Explore Family History and Photos

Some families can trace their ancestry back for generations, but most people don’t even know that much about their own grandparents. If there are any blank spots in your family history, you and your kids can try to fill in the holes together. Let your kids look through your old photos, and see what information they can find on their own. Their great-great-grandparents probably don’t have social media accounts, but you might be able to find maps of their hometown and some vintage photos. Let your kids interview your parents the next time they’re over for a visit, but be prepared for your own youthful antics to be the main topic of discussion.

Play Board Games

Before everyone spent all their leisure time staring down at their phones, people used to gather together and have a game night. Your kids probably already have game nights with their video game system, but you’d be surprised at how many great new games are available that are suitable for the whole family. If you still have some of your old games from your childhood that you really liked, your children will probably like them too!

Backyard Camping

Pitching a tent in the backyard is a tradition that’s as old as tents. If you already have quality outdoor gear, you’ll get a lot more value from it if it gets used frequently. If the kids aren’t ready to completely “rough it,” just make sure that they use an outdoor extension cord.

We hope that you found this information helpful, and we encourage you to contact us online, call us at (856) 983-8827 or email us at if you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a free no-obligation tour of our safe kids camp. Chartwell’s Family Oasis is conveniently located in Burlington County, and we look forward to seeing you at our beautiful summer day camp!