Summer is HERE!
One would hope that with the “end of the school year” hectic pace coming to a halt, we can sit back and sip some lemonade. Right?! Wrong! Reality knocks you on your booty when you realize over half of the summer camps are filled, and of the ones available, they bring hefty, per week, price tags. You could spend thousands trying to fit week after week of camps into the schedule. (Who can afford that?) Face it, you still need to entertain the kids this summer or you will be throwing a parenting tantrum within the first week. If you’re anything like me, you’re on a budget and trust me, I feel your pain.
Here are some tips for entertaining kids on a budget this summer.
First, check with your local library for great programs from reading to STEM projects and arts and crafts. Also, when entertaining your kids on a budget having someone else set a list of activities to choose from is a sanity saver. Create a schedule for going to the library on certain days for story time or just quiet reading. Check out a book of activities. Give kids a budget and have them find or shop for the materials needed to complete projects from the books.
Next on my list is a personal favorite. Michael’s is my second home. It would be a problem if it didn’t bring me such joy. Camp Creativity is a summer program for hour-long crafting sessions. I mean, is there anything better than that? Check your local store. If you don’t live near Michael’s, check your local craft store for what they offer or ask if they can offer a similar program.
Standing Playdates were my savior last year! A group of
angels sent from heaven local Mom’s set up a Facebook page and set up standing playdates for different age groups. Everything from visits to the park to a tour of the Fire Station was pre planned. This was the perfect way to know that things were scheduled and we RSVP’d to the dates that worked for us. If you don’t have a magical group in your area, be the first to organize it! Grab a group of your Mom friends and start getting a calendar together. Have them each invite a set number and friends and your summer will be a breeze. An Orlando Mom Blog friend recently mentioned a book club for chapter books. This will definitely be on our must-do list.
Invest in a Season Pass
I was looking into Science camps for my early elementary school kiddo. The price tag was $250/wk. PER WEEK! The annual pass for the Science Center family membership is $155…for the YEAR. We invested in this annual pass this year and it has been amazing. Pick a family favorite location and look into their annual pass. It may be more worth the price than you’d expect.
Pick One Splurge
My last summer budget suggestion is a splurge. I know, confusing. Take a look at your budget and if you or your kids have something specific in mind, both of my kids want to try soccer and one wants to do dance, see if your budget can handle one splurge for the summer. Ultimately, the drop off and more structured program may be a nice break for kids and Mom.
WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS…
Sprinklers, popsicles and good old fashion Florida fun in the sun! Or wait until the end of the afternoon rain showers and go splash in puddles. Pick a local beach you’ve never visited or a local Orlando splash pad your kids have been begging to try. Pack up lunches and water bottles to keep the cost low.