Saturday, July 5, 2008

Keeping the Kids Busy During the Summer

Summer is in full swing. The economy is hell; gas prices are sky rocketing, food packages are getting smaller and we have to find money out of a budget that is stretched to the limit for summer fun with the kids. What to do?

What I have done is programmed a lot of free, or almost free, activities through out the summer for us to participate in. Every community has things to do that are free or very close to it. Wherever you live, grab the local paper see what is happening in your neighborhood. Remember, a lot of these free or reduced rates are on special days so make sure to check for days and times, then schedule accordingly.

Local Public Library - Public Libraries have summer reading programs for the entire family. We joined with some of the other neighborhood girls, and I mean all of us, me too! I joined the adult program; there is a group for grades 1-6 and the little ones for K. They have weekly fun activities for the kids and they are rewarded with prizes every week for a book read. Of course the best reward is when they go back to school and they haven’t lost any skills but gained more reading experience. This is our second year of the summer reading program; she is going into the third grade. Our little one is a great reader and was levels ahead of everyone during the entire second grade. I know this is thanks to her reading during the summer.

Movies - Local movie theaters offer movie clubs during the summer with very low admission prices or free. It is a good way to encourage the reading club with another club that is all fun. Try AMC Theaters Summer Movie Club there is a search box to locate the nearest theater in your area. AMC offers $1 movies for adult and child and a $3 Kids Pack which includes popcorn, soda and fruit snack.

Museums – Check out your local museums they usually have reduced rates for residents and some may have summer activities for the little ones. You can also take a small day trip to a not so local museum. Enlightening and fun for everyone, this is another of my favorite things to do.

Arts and Crafts - We have a ton of arts and crafts that have been gifted to us during the year which are using up valuable space. Summer is a great time to get them done! One a week, which I usually save for a rainy day, keeps us entertained and cuts down on clutter! If you do not have an accumulated supply of arts & crafts do a Google search for free summertime arts & crafts there is a bunch of cool stuff floating around the internet.

Planetarium – This is another of our favorites. The nearby community college has a planetarium with summer programs on Saturday’s. It is only $2, fun and highly educational. Never know you might just have a future rocket scientist on your hands just have to introduce them to the topic!

Zoos & other – If you are lucky to have a zoo in your area this is another great activity that the kids love and is good for an all day activity. We are not so lucky. But, we are fortunate to live in an area with extensive mountains and lakes. This provides the opportunity of nature hikes and a day at the lake. Let’s not forget fishing either! Great bonding time with dad and all you need is a couple of hours and a small body of water.

Find Local Activities Effortlessly - Click here to search for planetariums in your area. It is really easy to add aquariums, amusement parks, beaches, corn mazes or anything else that interest you to the map. Once the map loads just go to the drop down menu “add interests to your map” on the top left and click on your interests. They will be added to your map. Presto! You have a map with everything you want on it! Additional information and driving directions for each place can also be found easily. Just rollover the icon of the particular interest and click on more details, a new page opens up. Pretty awesome I thought!

Happy summer!

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Sweet Mummy said...

This is a BIG job, isn't it? Good tips here. I like the pic at the top, too. Very funny! Thanks for stopping by my blog. It's great to 'meet' you!

Barbara said...

Thanks Sweet Mummy! Yes it sure is a big job :-) happy to do it though. Thanks for coming by my blog!