Summer is HERE! Entertaining Kids On A Budget

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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. 

Local Library

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. 

Craft Stores

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 Playdate

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. 

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Chenoa
A Florida native, Chenoa is originally from Miami but has been living in Maitland for 22 years with a short 2-year break where she lived in (and fell in love with) Raleigh, NC. She's part "adopted Southern charm" with a streak of feisty Miami girl! She's Mom to two strong-willed, preemie babies, a 25 weeker and a 35 weeker, who now are thriving big kids (6yr old girl and 3yr old boy). They have led to a hot mess parenting style that's fueled by coffee to get through the day and wine to try and soothe the nerves at night. She's married to her college sweetheart who she met at the University of Central Florida (GO KNIGHTS) while studying English-Creative Writing and the fine art of Greek life. She's a DIY junkie who loves Fixer Upper (of course), loves reading, cooking and writing. When out and about with her husband, sans kids, she loves eating at new local places around Winter Park, enjoying coffee from a favorite local coffee shop or enjoying a date night at Eden Bar in Maitland. Her adventures through motherhood have included recently transitioning from full-time working Mom to stay-at-home Mom, raising a sassy, hilarious little girl and helping her silly little guy navigate some developmental delays that have challenged her to slow down and let him guide her way. She hasn't lost hope that she can control all the things that parenting brings and her kids haven't given up trying to prove her wrong. Her husband is the Helicopter Parent to her Free Range which is the perfect topping to the chaos of everyday life! She frequents social media and uses her Instagram to document the fleeting moments of "put-togetherness" that occasionally happen by accident...sometimes.

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