Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer On the Cheap

School is out and the kids are home. Now what?

Keeping kids busy can get expensive if you start looking at camps, play groups, movies and activities. I have two kids and so everything we do has to be multiply by two and that can get really costly. So, I am challenging myself to have summer time fun with the kids on a budget. I think it can be done. I sent out a call for help to my twitter peeps and got some great ideas.

@psmom http://www.problemsolvinmom.blogspot.com offered up this list of great free things to do with kids over the summer:  park, arboretum, library story time, water scape, gardening, firefly catching, sprinkler.

@MumsnChums Sara Hodge http://www.mumsnchums.com had this great list for me:  Splash pads, picnics, beach visits, camping in backyard, picking fruit, hiking, crafts, scavenger hunts.
@JenPinarski http://www.decafplease.com  says she turns to library programs and farmers markets as a great budget friendly source of fun for kids.

 I took my girls strawberry picking a few weeks ago and because I was short on time I just washed and froze the berries. One summer time activity I am hoping to do with my girls is make strawberry freezer jam. It is fun, the kids love to mash the berries and this jam recipe is no cook so easy kitchen fun for kids. And we will be able to taste test at the end of the job.

We are lucky to have a free splash pad nearby and a beach too so both of those will be on the summer agenda. We are going to plan a few library trips and there is a couple church camps in our neighbourhood that are a nominal price, one is $20 a kid. Not bad for a week of half day camp.

A few gardening projects might be fun too. Kids love to weed, heck who doesn't. Pulling stuff up is always a good time. And of course, turning on the sprinkler is a great afternoon of fun. Oh, I forgot all about the disco party in the basement. My oldest daughter got a disco ball for her birthday (it lights up) so the kids love to go down to the cool basement, blast the music and dance their hearts out.

What do you do with the kids during the summer that is fun and free ( or at least budget friendly). I would love to hear your ideas.... I need all the help I can get.