As summer approaches, I know we are all trying to determine what we will do with our children for 8-10 weeks when they are used to being busy, busy, busy all day.
I do believe kids are like adults in that it takes them a few days (or a week!) to really ‘unwind’ from the hectic schedule of school. Give them this time! Let them adjust slowly and don’t ask too much of them for a few days.
If you are a full time working parent and you leave the home each day, you may be considering summer camps as an option for summer.
If you are a stay at home or work at home mom, you’ll have other issues to consider. For instance, when will you work and where in the world will you take the children (or what will you do with them!) when you aren’t working?
Today’s post covers a few fun ideas for summer that will not break the bank. If you have others, please send them in.
- Library. You probably already KNOW about this option, but the library is FREE and it keeps children READING! Take your children to the library regularly. See what the library has to offer kids. Oftentimes they run summertime programs. Our library has a summer kick off complete with Ronald McDonald. They also show free movies and have activities such as story time and reading clubs throughout the summer – and we are in a small town.
- Check out Michael’s craft store. Year around Michael’s offers craft classes once a week (or a few times a month). We attend on the weekends. You purchase something small for the craft and the kids do the craft in the store. It’s fun and inexpensive and gets the kids doing something creative.
- Bowl for free! Check out this link: www.kidsbowlfree.com. See if a bowling alley near you participates in this program. I recently took my oldest daughter bowling and we had a great time. I was shocked to drop nearly $20 on one game, though; but if I could do it for a cheaper price, I would.
- Do your own crafts at home. You can find great craft books at the library and the supplies you need at Michael’s, other department stores or other craft stores. We do crafts once a week. We make puppets, then a puppet box, and put on shows. You might do cards you can mail to family members, or masks you can wear while putting on a production.
- Speaking of productions, put one on! If you are really crafty and organized you can choose a play (or book/story) and have your children do everything to turn it into a production. They can create the lines they’ll say, make costumes and a set, and put on the play for those in the neighborhood.
- Hit the park. Kids love to play, so make sure you are getting out. Do it early in the day before it gets too hot, and then come home for some ‘down time’ activities like reading or crafting.
- Check with local zoos and amusement parks to see if they offer yearly passes. At times they are cheap enough to pay for the first few visits – and they give you a great place to go when you need to get out of the house for a while.
- Work with other adults to swap kids for a while. If you know you’ll need a break or time to clean or work, talk to various friends about setting up babysit swapping days. This way your children can enjoy the company of other kids and you can have some downtime to get things done around the house. Plus it is free!
- Get out with the other adults! Hire a babysitter every few weeks or once a month and get out with friends. One of the hazards of summer is child overload. You’ll know it happens when you sit down in the restaurant and ask for a sippy of iced tea! Pool your money with several friends, hire one babysitter, get the kids together in one home for movie day, and go to lunch. Your family will thank you.