School’s almost out for the summer. Sounds like a great time, but having the children around for two and a half months can also be a lot of work. If you’re not going on vacation, traveling out of town, or sending your kids to camp, here are a few ideas that can make the summer fun and fit any budget.
1.- Check out your local museums. Many museums offer free or discounted tickets for local residents on specific days. If you can’t find any information on their website, give them a call. And if they don’t have a locals only discount, ask about a child discount.
2.- Go to the library. I know this one could sound boring, but when was the last time you checked out your local library? Our neighborhood library just got a killer facelift. It’s cooler than Barnes and Noble or Starbucks. But best of all, libraries offer all kinds of events for kids, from story-time readings to performances by local artists.
3.- Start a bug collection. No matter how old your kids or grandkids are, start a bug collection. This will have you all spending sometime outdoors turning over rocks and logs and at parks or in your backyard. You can get a book on insects at the library or just use Google to look up information about the critters you collect.
4.- Plant a garden. Eating local is all the rage these days and it doesn’t get any more local than your backyard. Find a small area or build a raised planter. Find out from your local Agricultural Extension office or nursery what vegetables are in season to plant. Imagine, at the end of the summer you will have a feast!
5.- Cook. Teach the children how to cook! This is a fun and unusual activity for kids of all ages. Find recipes that you find interesting, shop for groceries, and cook and eat together. Cooking is pretty much a life skill. When your kids go to college or strike out on their own, at least they’ll be able to feed themselves, and maybe even impress a future husband or wife.