FREE ATTRACTIONS , .50 MOVIES , PARKS , CAMPS , READING AND FREE BOOKS , WHAT TO DO WITH THE KIDS WHILE YOU WORK , DON'T LET YOUR KIDS VEG. IN FRONT OF THE TV ALL SUMMER ! TONS OF IDEAS FOR FREE OR VERY LOW COST FUN THIS SUMMER
How about free bowling for your child in the Summer months ? Check out the details here:
More ideas for saving money if you chose to eat in restaurants on your road trips or mini-vacations :
This is on a site for grandparents , but anyone can use the great FREE ideas ! It is a download of 100 ideas of things to do with kids .http://www.grandparents.com/gp/fllpg/dnld/?clktrk=global-bottom-promo-2
Going to a State or National park is a great thing to do with your kids that is low cost. There are many programs at these parks . Some are historical , some have other themes. Some are just plain enjoying nature. Here are some links to check out to see what is in your area :
Try local parks too . A picnic is great fun for kids . Let them get messy and roll in the grass and play frisbee and blow bubbles !
LOW COST SUMMER TIPS AND IDEAS
When summer vacation arrives and school activities are no longer available, it can be challenging to find ideas to keep your kids busy while you are working either at home or away from home . Hopefully , this page will have ideas that provide you and your kids with a carefree and safe Summer !
Great article with ideas for fun low cost Summer . Includes some nice homemade ideas too !
MORE TIPS FOR LOW COST OR FREE SUMMER IDEAS :
Community parks, recreation centers, camps, religious organizations, YMCA camps, health club day camps, libraries, and jobs (for older teens) are all possibilities for the Summer for your kids.
If children will be spending part of the time home alone:
It’s tempting to leave children alone when they are older, or when an older child can ‘watch’ the younger ones.. But avoid leaving your children alone for extended periods of time. It’s lonely for kids to be at home. In addition, unsupervised TV, computer, and friends can be trouble.
Discuss what to do in case of emergencies.
Leave an “at home” notebook with phone numbers and other crucial information.
Leave a number where you can be reached.
Leave kids a list of choices and easy, fun recipes for snacks or for lunch.
Make a list of possible activities other than TV or the computer. Reading is a great choice. Have your child help you make the list.
Assign specific chores or activities for helping out around the house. Have a reward system.
Check out books, videos, and DVDs from your local library.
Make sure either you or another responsible adult checks the kids in person or by phone 2 or more times each day.
Help your children set up babysitting jobs, car washes, lemonade stands, or even a lawn care or dog walking service for your neighborhood.
Set aside time to spend with each of your children individually.
Consider getting a pet to provide company and maybe safety if the pet is trained . Some dogs will be very protective of children , as well as good with them . Our golden retriever was very gentle with my daughter , but very protective if someone would come near when they were playing in the front yard.
If you have any vacation time from work , and you live within an hour or two of a university , you could still find a cheap place to stay and make an away from home vacation The International/American Youth Hostels have bargain-basement prices for dorm arrangements and private rooms, both nationally and internationally. Many hostels now have family rooms with special rates for families . Take mini-vacations. Visit museums, art galleries, parks and other attractions within a few hours’ drive.. Travel or do things with another parent and their kids. It’s cheaper, and safer. You could get a room with two double beds, and rent cots or have the kids ‘camp out’ on the floor. You can split the cost of gas. You will have an adult to talk to, and your kids will be busier and less bored with friends in the car
Garage sales are great places to look for baseballs, tennis rackets, and swimming stuff , cheap kids water toys , and to start looking for things for kids future birthdays , and for holiday presents. Give your kids some change ,and challenge them to a contest of who can find the best stuff ! Whoever wins gets to sit in the front seat and be the scout for the next garage sale
Let the kids have their own garden. Even a small piece area is great for this, and let each kid be creative and pick his or her own seeds (within a budget. Seeds are not that expensive, and you can buy fruit or vegetable seeds with food stamps)
For back yard or living room camp outs, make a tent from an old blanket or bedspread by hanging it over a low tree branch, a clothesline, a sawhorse, or a couple of kitchen tables. A ground cloth can be an old tarp or tablecloth , or even an old shower curtain.
If you have relatives in another town or state, consider asking if they would invite your children for a week. It would be a great opportunity for your kids to get to know extended family and build relationships that will build great memories .
If your children are older, there may be places where they can volunteer. They could even volunteer for an organization that will be a good reference for future jobs and they will get free job experience..
Go on a canoe trip. You don't have to buy your own canoe, many state parks rent canoes by the hour or day.
Build a fort or a cabin or spaceship or ? out of a large cardboard box, such as a refrigerator washer , or dryer box.
Check out the local churches for VBS programs. Even if you do not go to church , these programs are fine for your kids. They are mostly fun , music , and crafts.One of the churches that I went to attracted over 400 kids because we were known for our fun VBS program !
More ideas :
Here is a great article about choosing Summer programs for your kids. It is good to be as informed as you can be about the program you choose so that you can know that your kids are well cared for when they are away from you.
Many camps have theme weeks for single parent families . You will do activities with and without your kids so everyone gets a break .
Don't forget scholarships ! Many camps have them available.Older kids could be camp counselors ,and get free room and board and maybe even a little money for their job. Parents could offer to be a craft instructor or swimming instructor if they have a talent to offer.You could even have a week long day camp in your back yard for neighborhood kids . Charge a reasonable fee . Then you can watch your own children as well as other kids and make a little money.
IDEAS FOR YOUR TEENS
Sometimes it is hard to find activities for your teens in the Summer. They usually just want to 'hang out'. Encourage your teen to get involved in some kind of activity . It will help them to start to find out what they are interested in and give them valuable experience for future education and employment.
Here is one page for ideas. It is from a very active parenting organization in California , so many references are for local programs , but you can adapt their ideas to your own area.
This is a great article from a wonderful site for teens :
Teach your kids about how to be safe in the the Summer. Both at home and when away from home.
Here is a safety test for Summer experiences :
Summer safety from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
SUMMER READING PROGRAMS
are great for the whole family . Check your local library to see what they will offer. Kids and adults read books and can earn prizes , tickets , books ,and all sorts of incentives. The library will usually have one big prize for everyone who completes the reading program , such as a carnival , tickets to a local museum or park , and special prizes for who read the most books ( My daughter won a really nice cd/radio player). Our library ended with a carnival with rides , food , and acivities that were all free , paid for with tickets earned by reading books !
Check to see what your library has to offer this Summer !
FREE BOOK !
Make the books that are read for the Summer library reading program do double duty ! Barnes and Noble will give your child a free book for reading books this Summer.
TRY OUT AN OLD FASHIONED SWIMMING HOLE !
Here is a page that talks about where you can find swimming holes and hot springs to 'take a dip ' in . If you are careful with safety ,and don't bring your kids if they are too young , this can be really , really fun !
FREE FOOD FOR KIDS
This is another great site by the people at About dot com . Road trips with kids are fun , but ...if you are tired of picnics ,and it is hot and humid and buggy out , restaurants can be a God send !
GREAT DEAL ON MOVIES FOR THE KIDS THIS SUMMER !
•10 Weeks Of Fun Films For Kids•
•A Different Movie Every Week•
•Weekday Mornings This Summer•
All 10 movies can be purchased
in advance for $5.00, or can be purchased
separately at the box office for $1.00 per show.
The films that have been selected are rated either G or PG
Here is another movie offering for the Summer . This one is FREE !!!http://www.regmovies.com/nowshowing/freefamilyfilm.aspx
MORE TO COME . . .