Monday, June 04, 2012

Summer Plans? 4 low-cost ideas to try with your kids

Summer is officially upon most of us. The calendar has turned to June and that means school is out for most of us. It also means we need to fill the suddenly empty days. Whether you homeschool or not, here are a few ideas to get you started. Then let me know what ideas you can pass on to the rest of us!

  1. Become a tourist in your own back yard. With just a little digging, I bet you'll find some museums that you've never explored. I can think of an art museum in our hometown that the kids and I haven't visited. Then we've got the local university which I just learned has an Amelia Earhart collection. I'm sure there are lots of other resources like that in your hometown, too. With just a little searching we can created lots of inexpensive outing and day trips for our families.
  2. Don't be afraid to keep a little school in the schedule. Math flashcards or workbooks can be a great way to keep the math skills sharp over the summer or focus on weaker areas. Summer is also a great time to enhance areas your kids enjoy but may not have time to focus on during the school year. For example, my older two children have had private art lessons in the summer the last few years. It's a subject they love, but slips to the side during the school year.
  3. Scour garage sales or thrift shops for things that will let their imaginations play. Everything from dress-up clothes to books and games can be found very inexpensively. And no matter how many plans you make, rainy days will come. On those days your kids will be thrilled to have some new to them items to play with or read. And any time we can encourage them to tap into their imaginations it's a good thing.
  4. Does your child have friends they don't want to lose touch with over the summer? Then try something like an interest club. Last year, my daughter had a once a month bookclub for her friends. They had a lot of fun. We added things like pool parties and sleepovers, and it became a great way for her to spend time with her friends and mix her friends across groups. Other moms graciously sent snacks so it wasn't even a drain for me. 
What do you do with your kids or plan to do when you have kids? 


Rachel said...

Very nice family photo!
School has let out for us too. I made a list of summer goals for each of my kids. two of them (I hope) will learn to ride a two wheel bike, two will learn to tie shoe laces. I hope to have sport camps with my kids this summer, teaching them to play baseball, soccer, kickball, etc...I can't wait to start the summer. We are close to the Catoctin Mountains and the beach, not to mention a hop, skip and a jump away from DC and it's fabulous museums. (particularly the air and space museum)But a nice picnic under our shade tree makes a great afternoon too!
Thanks for sharing, Cara, have a great summer with your family!

Cara Putman said...

Love those ideas, Rachel! And you live in a great location. We lived in DC for 8 years, primarily before kids. I've always thought that would be a great place for a season with kids -- there's so much to do.

Rev. Kim Justice said...

Love each of these ideas. I have grandkids to try and keep busy.


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