A Summer Vacation Survival Guide For Parents With Out Of School Children

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A Summer Vacation Survival Guide For Parents With Out Of School Children






Those of us who have the ability to be home with our children during the summer months often find that we are blessed with the resource of time but not always an abundance of money. Summer camp experiences may be financially out of reach or only affordable for one week of the summer. So what is a parent to do for the other 9 weeks?

Planning memorable and fun summer days with school-aged children requires some creativity but is possible and can be fun for the kids and the parent who is at home with them. With a little planning and minimal expense, you can help make the summer a time of fun and learning too.

Planting and gardening

Most children will enjoy watching things grow. Container gardening can be a great way to see positive results whether planting strawberries or begonias. For a minimal investment, your child can be a gardener and enjoy partaking of the fruits of her labors (strawberries are a favorite!) They will learn the importance of watering regularly in the morning and/or evening hours and will become more observant of small changes that happen with plants each day.

Water Sports

Your local variety and drug store will stock "slip and slides." Just add water and a child in a swim suit and you will have hours of fun. Invite a friend or two over, serve popsicles and lay a blanket out in the shade for occasional breaks and the kids will have a great afternoon.

Fairs

County fairs are a great time and often a low cost experience. There are opportunities to see a variety of animals and if you set a budget for concession food in advance, it doesn't have to break the bank.

Berry Picking

When was the last time you went to pick berries? Summer is a great time to head out to U-pick berry farms. Kids will enjoy the chance to pick and eat fresh blueberries and other fruits. Plan to make a cobbler, pie or jams afterwards and witness their pride in making something yummy from scratch.

Museums

Many museums have reduced or free admission days each month. While most of us enjoy being out in the sun in summer, an occasional day in air-conditioned comfort is also a welcome summer experience. Museums keep kids' brains active during a time of year when some continued brain activity is a healthy thing.

Local Library

Speaking of brain activity, remember the library summer reading clubs? Most libraries still sponsor these and offer incentives to readers. Some libraries offer a choice of a free book after children read the first ten books of summer. Others have drawings for prizes or special events. A trip to the library followed by an ice cream cone can be a great afternoon diversion and well within your budget. If your library is within walking distance it is even better.

There is so much to do in summer and with a little planning, the days will fly by and suddenly you will be buying "back to school" items. Until then, enjoy your children and enjoy the season.
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