Posted by Dana Hinders on May 25, 2012
Have you started planning for summer vacation yet? Depending on where you live, summer is right around the corner. My son, for example, has less than two weeks of school left until his summer break.
Finding ways to fill your summer break on a budget can be challenging, but it’s not impossible.
First, keep your eye out for opportunities that come home in your child’s backpack. My son has received several fliers for various day camps and workshops offered by different groups in the community. Scouts, career exploration days, and museum-sponsored events are often advertised in this way. Even if your child doesn’t do regular dance or karate lessons during the school year, check with these types of locations in your area to see if they have special summer classes he or she can participate in.
Second, check out opportunities at your public library. Public libraries often sponsor summer reading programs for kids designed to encourage them to read for fun. There are usually crafts, speakers, and snacks involved. Some programs might even have prizes you can win. One library in a town not too far from us lets kids enter a drawing to win a bike when they complete their summer reading program book requirements.
Don’t overlook the importance of encouraging your kids to get regular exercise during the summer months. Swimming lessons are the most obvious choice, but Kids Bowl Free offers kids a chance to register for games of free bowling to be redeemed all summer long or a discounted family pass that includes up to four adults. If you shop around online for cheap bowling shoes so you’re not paying shoe rental fees with each visit, this is a very thrifty summer entertainment option.
Finally, keep a drawer of age-appropriate activities on hand for those days when you have nothing formally planned but your kid is just bored. Markers, sketchbooks, stickers, pads of colored paper, clay, puzzles, and building blocks are all great things young children can play with to inspire their creativity while still allowing you to get some of your chores done around the house. Pinterest is a good site to check out for project inspiration if you’re not normally a “crafty” sort of mom.