There is nothing like camp registration this time of year to get us all wanting to be at the pool. So what will we do this summer? How will we balance out the kids’ schedule and our social life? What activities are we going to overbook ourselves on and what carpool schedule will we be stressing over?
From city fun to park district, a local pool and endless summer evening activities, all of us fill our days up quickly. With so much available, what do the kids really need? Is a full camp schedule necessary to give our children an exciting couple of months? Is camp necessary for Mom more than it is for our kiddos?
Everyone needs a break from one another, so we’ve come up with a list so everyone can have fun and no one is overbooked. Of course we’ve also included ways to have a fun summer without spending your entire earnings.
7 Fun Activities to Plan for Summer
1. Build-your-own camp schedule. Camp is fun, but it doesn’t have to break the bank and be an everyday thing. A lot of camps allow you to build your own schedule. Take advantage of that! Find the weeks that your kids really will have the most fun at. If a camp schedule isn’t available with details of the week, call. The camp should be able to give you an idea of a week-by-week schedule. If your kid isn’t big on football, they can probably miss that week. Do they love dance? Make that one a must.
2. Local museums offer free admission days. These tend to not fall conveniently on rain days — but this is a nice change of pace from the fast-moving heated days. Take some time to reel those kiddos back in and move slowly. Look into your local city magazines and check online for kids-based museum days. These days tend to have hands-on activities to keep all age groups engaged.
3. Library book clubs are sure to quiet the mind. These clubs are adorable and offer a variety of ages and are always free. This is a great way to keep up with all our kids have done in school without taking out the fun of summertime. Can’t find a club that works? Create your own! Let your older child “run” a club for the younger kids.
4. Splash anywhere you can whenever you can. Local pools, community centers and splash parks are inexpensive, cooling fun. Pack a lunch and make a day of it. Invite friends — water days are most fun with friends!
5. Find trails and make a treasure hunt. Get a group together and create a treasure map. Spend a day exploring new territory within your city. Find new hidden gems, ride a path or go to a botanical garden farther away.
6. Visit family. Send the kids to relatives for a week of vacation on their own. Everyone live in town? Set up a little staycation for the kids at a family member’s house for a fun “getaway.” It’s a nice break for you, too.
7. Sensory play stations. Rainy days will happen. Be prepared with sensory play stations at home, using water beads, dollar-store toys, old water tables, bathtub toys, etc. Fill a wash tub or the bathtub with everything and let the kids play. Always have arts and crafts and baking ingredients on hand as well.
Preparation is key for a fun summer. Take time to look online and make a list. Be informed with what your city offers. Make a plan so you’re not going crazy spending money. Space is necessary for everyone to have a fun summer. Chose wisely!
How do you find balance over the summer? —Jennifer