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Photo courtesy of Feeding America

Summer is a great time to be a parent. The kids are out of school and you get to enjoy spending all that extra time with them.

But when the temperature is hovering above 100 degrees, playing a round of catch doesn’t sound all that appealing.

How do you keep the kids from climbing the walls – and driving you stir-crazy – when its sweltering outside?

Luckily, Pinterest is full of great ideas for free or cheap ways to entertain kids of all ages.

We here at the St. Louis Area Foodbank know that our clients, and even some of our volunteers, are on a tight budget.  But kids still need to have fun!

So, we created a board on our Pinterest page just for the kids.

Here are some of the coolest – and most fun – ideas. For more cool ideas, check out the above link to our Pinterest page!

• Painted Toast! Mix a little milk with some food coloring and hand the kids a new paint brush. A few slices of bread make the perfect canvas. Let them get their Picasso on before you pop the slices in the toaster.

• Masking Tape Town! Get out the masking tape and make roads for all the toy cars! Give the construction paper and safety scissors so they can cut out houses for their town!

• Kid-friendly Science Experiment! Mix baking soda, vinegar and various colors of food coloring to watch the fizzle and pop! Or, microwave a bar of Ivory soap and let the kids mold it into shapes!

• Homemade Stamps! Use apples, potatoes or even the used carboard tubes from paper towel rolls to make fun stamps! With some paper and washable paint, the tots can make a masterpiece!

• Frozen Color Cubes! Freeze water and water colors in ice cube trays the night before. Then pop out the various colors and let the kiddos use them to paint on scrap fabric! The color bleeds as it melts and since the cubes are nice and cold, you can even do this activity outside!

• Kid-Sized Drive-In Movie! Use large cardboard boxes, paint and colored tape to create cars for the kids to sit in. Paper plates make great wheels! Let each kid help decorate their “car” and when they’re dry, park ‘em in front of a kid show for a “drive-in” movie!

Sources: Pinterest, the Share and Remember blog, Creatively Content, Mom to 2 Posh Little Divas, I Can Teach My Child and Not Just A Housewife.

Bethany Prange is the communications coordinator at the St. Louis Area Foodbank