School is over and summer is here! Just when you think your finances are at rest, think again. Summer is the time parents focus on honing their children’s other skills aside from the academics—may it be a new sport, a new language, the performing arts or some creativity class.

But summer fun need not be expensive.  Here are 5 everyday, easy on the budget activities you may want to prepare for your children to keep them productive and entertained, while they enjoy their summer vacation in the comfort of your home:

Motion Monday

Start the week right by shaking and moving! Improve on your children’s motor development by following simple exercise steps such as stretching, jumping jacks, circling their hips and jogging in place. Better yet, make them break a sweat by learning a simple dance routine while they watch their favorite Hi-5 show or download a clip of a Just Dance video.

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Artsy Tuesday

Be the next Da Vinci and work on your Mona Lisa. Leave craft materials – paper, glue, glitter, clay, and paint – with your children and let their imagination work as they form their own masterpiece.  This is a good activity to drive their ingenuity.

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Knick-knack Wednesday

Bring out those blocks and legos for the next-generation engineers and let them construct the next skyscraper of our time.  Let your children develop and enhance their problem solving skills by putting together something from scratch.

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Commissary  Thursday

Let your children help in the household chores. Give them kitchen duties such as setting the table every meal time, cleaning up the table after and preparing the meal’s smoothie or fresh fruit drink.  You can also make them prepare a simple snack such as a fruit plate or a sandwich.  Your next chef will learn about responsibility and confidence building as he finishes each task.

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Book-club Friday

Though school is over, it’s always a good idea to practice and hone their skills in reading. Let the little children practice and read out loud.  Reading books are like traveling.  Each story brings your children to a new adventure. Studies show that reading literary books help children explore and develop their emotions through books.*

*source: theguardian.com: Literary fiction improves empathy study (Oct 2013)

These simple money-saving activities will encourage creativity, provide learning experiences and teach good values, all in the comfort of your home during the summer season.  Harnessing your children’s potential this summer will both be gratifying to you and your child. Be creative yourself and feel free to customize each activity as you see fit.  The best thing about these activities is, they’re easy on the pocket.

(Originally written by Cristina Calata at http://www.savingstips.com.ph)

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