05 Jun Summertime Fun: Entertaining the Kiddos Without Breaking the Bank
When I was growing up, summertime was a bit of a double-edged sword. It was so exciting to finish up the school year and take a needed break from studies. It was also VERY boring. My mother worked a lot and we did not have much money to spend on entertainment. So, our options were limited.
Now that I am a SAHM and have a school-aged child and a toddler, I want to be purposeful in how we spend our time this summer. My daughter has already proposed to making a list for things to do during summer break (she takes after me!) Because we are a one-income household now, we have to be creative and mindful of keeping within our budget.
After researching and checking out various ideas and activities, I’ve been able to obtain some great finds:
- Library: I have had to stop kicking myself for not having tapped into this one resource earlier. The programs in my local library are amazing! I’ve been able to register both children for some fun activities, including a summer robotics camp for my daughter. She LOVES science and gadgetry, so I know she’ll definitely enjoy this. The best part about this is that most of the programs in the local library system are free.
- Parks: This is such a simple idea. But, kids are kids. They love the park. And they’ll get their vitamin D and exercise in, as well.
- Water fun: We live fairly close to some beautiful beaches and the parking fees there are not excessive. There are also pools and splash pads, which have become quite popular. Some are free and others can be enjoyed at a very low price. An even simpler idea: if you have a backyard, get a few water toys and let the kids use their imagination while having fun getting wet.
- Movies: I know that some movie theaters offer summer discounts for children’s movie showings as low as $1. Some counties also have free outdoor movie nights for the community. These will be great options for my home once my toddler is a bit older and has a longer attention span. But for now, we can go the Netflix route with some popcorn and build a “fort” in our living room for them to watch movies.
- Museums: There are some museums that have free events for families to attend. Always keep an eye out for these. Also, by being a member of my bank, my husband and I are able to get in for free on specific days of the month and only have to pay for my school-aged child. I suggest you check out the incentives that your bank offers.
- Church: Most churches have either Vacation Bible School (VBS) or other types of camps during the summer for free or a small price. My daughter has been involved in these camps from the moment she was able to register for them. I love these programs. They bring so much fun to the children while also continuing the process of instilling the values we teach our children at home.
- Arts & Crafts: If you are more of a hands-on individual, this is definitely a great route to go for the kiddos to keep them entertained during the summer. It can be as simple as creating your own bubbles with them or having them assist you in making a fun food recipe. The sky’s the limit here!
I’m pretty sure there are many more ideas for entertaining our children during the summer. But, I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that YOU be part of those experiences. At the end of the day, they’re not going to remember every single toy they had nor every activity they’ve been part of. But, they will remember who was there to create those special memories with them. And THAT is far more important and precious for our children and their well-being.