Well, school’s out for the summer and while kids are celebrating, for parents it can be a challenging time of trying to figure out what summer activities are available to keep them occupied. I have three children, ages 7, 5 and 3. Thankfully the youngest one still attends daycare. My older two present the challenge of keeping busy. I already have them enrolled in taekwondo three days a week in the evenings.
As an educator, I am blessed to be able to stay at home with them during the summer. When I see the various costs of camps for one child, I wonder how parents who don’t have my luxury of staying home with kids do it. The camp my daughters want to attend is $200/wk. While I plan to have them attend a camp here and there throughout the summer, I wondered how can I make my dollar stretch. During the summer, many churches offer Vacation Bible School (VBS), and many of the ones I have found are free or have a very minimal activity fee. VBS generally runs half day programs for a week or so. I have my girls already enrolled for about two weeks of free VBS.
Another thing a parent can do is find out their community’s activity calendar. Often time city websites have various family friendly events. I’ve combed my city’s community calendar and found a couple of fun, local events to attend. In addition, find out what the main attractions of your city are and check them out with your kids. In my hometown, we have a world renown rose garden and a great zoo and science museum. Even if you have attended the local attractions before, for younger kids they tend to always enjoy going back again and again.
I have a huge desk calendar at home, and my girls and I created themed days for staycation type events. We have library Tuesdays, bowling Wednesdays and movie Fridays. Every day for an hour I have them participate specifically in math and reading on their tablets. Overall, themed days keep them on a schedule. Don’t be afraid to include the kids in summer planning. It’s important to know what they would like to do. I plan to do a little touch up painting around the house and plan to get them involved. We are also starting an indoor herb garden. Get them involved in some adult like activities as well. Keeping kids occupied for the summer can be a challenge, but know that it serves as a great bonding time with your children.