The summer season is here and along with it comes summer vacation for the school-aged children. Moms are now responsible for coming up with the ideas and curriculum for their children and I am the first to admit that by the summer my creative juices have just about run out.
How can you make summer another time of fun and enjoyment rather than boredom? And just how do you do this on a budget? There are lots of great things that you can do this summer and ways to keep organized when doing it. Here are a few of Mom Advice’s suggestions for summer survival:
Rather than taking one long vacation in the summer, break your vacations into smaller and more affordable activities. Some suggestions are hitting area zoos, amusement parks, local festivals, and museums. By taking smaller vacations, you have a few things to look forward to rather than just one event.
Check out some books from your local library on activities that you can do within your own state and then research on how to get the best price. Talk about your vacation plans with friends and see if they know of any places that are cheap to stay at or where you can get coupons for money off of tickets.
Ask your library as well if they offer any season passes that you can take advantage of. One of our local libraries had a pass to the art museum which library patrons could check out for the day gaining them free admittance into the local museums and galleries. Call in advance though because you may be competing with another family for the same day.
If you are planning a vacation to another state or even within your own state, visit the state’s visitor’s bureau website to get a packet of information and coupons for the state. Within this packet of information was a gold mine of coupons for the amusement park including buy one get one free admissions which saved us over twenty-five dollars.
With the summer season comes a whole new set of things that you will need to be stocked up on. With children home from school, you are now the one who is to come up with the creative lunches and snacks for the children. Try and keep the fridge well-stocked with lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grain breads, meats, and cheeses so that you can quickly make sandwiches and can avoid spending money at the drive-through.
Having items on hand that children can make themselves will also take some pressure off of you for providing the meal. A great way to save time on cleaning up after your meals is by taking advantage of the pleasant weather and dining outside.
Don’t over schedule
For some reason many parents tend to go overboard on the summer classes and activities. I remember as a child how much I enjoyed just running around through the sprinklers, getting ice cream, or taking a trip to the park. I do not remember as clearly the classes that I took or the activities that my parents had paid for. It is so important to allow our children to be children! Children really do remember the little outings that you do with them and often these outings and time spent with them have a greater impact then four weeks of camp will.
Remember that this is their summer vacation. I know that I do not enjoy having every single minute of my vacation booked with things to do; likewise children enjoy having some downtime. Try to keep this in mind when signing them up for various summer programs. Maybe allowing your child to pick one or two activities during the summer will be more manageable for both you (the driver) and your child.
Most importantly, enjoy your summer to its fullest. Whether it is long lazy days of lounging by the small pool or a fun-filled summer chock full of day trips and activities- try to make it a summer to remember. Put your pen to paper this summer and lovingly write those memories down so someday you and your child can reminisce over the beauty of that hot summer of his youth and all that you shared together during those wonderful months.