For many, summer is a wonderful time full of vacations, lounging by the pool, sleeping in, VBS and summer camps. For others, summer is a stressful time where finding things for your kids to do while you work all day, spending extra money, change in routine and summer school are just the tip of the iceberg.
Whatever this summer looks like for you… you are not alone! I have found myself in both scenarios. As a mother of five, for a while, summer time seemed so daunting. I didn’t want to waste this time with them and I wanted it to be special, but I didn’t know how to give them an awesome summer without spending a lot of money or going out of my mind! My kids definitely need routine, as most kids do, and I found that the change of routine or, lack thereof, created many behavior challenges. Here are a few things I have found that have worked for us (feel free to take it or leave it).
- Create a daily/weekly schedule and put it on the refrigerator or a similar place that is easily accessible for your kiddos to see. This does a couple of things: for your kiddos that need to know what is coming up, they can be comforted by looking at the schedule. It also prevents a lot of, “what are we doing today? What are we doing tomorrow? What are we doing after that? And after that? And after that?…” Just send them to the schedule.
- On a side note, my schedules show what chores need to be done in order for the activity to happen. It is important that my kids understand that we work together as a family and then we play together as a family; this is a team effort!
- Find free or inexpensive activities for your family to enjoy! Living in Arizona in the summer definitely has its challenges; the heat can be unbearable. Find activities that your kids can enjoy, without heat stroke, that are affordable. A few inexpensive activities that my kids enjoy are:
- Swimming: Depending on what city you live in, swimming lessons for two weeks are only $15-$25.
- Library: Going to the library is completely free; check out your local library for summer reading programs.
- Family movie day/night: Check out a free movie at the library and watch a movie while everyone lounges in their pajamas.
- Splash pads: These are everywhere and are usually completely free.
- Bowling: For a couple of summers, there was a local bowling alley that would allow us to bowl 2 free games a day! Check out deals at bowling alleys by your house to see what kinds of deals they have.
- Day Trips: Take a day trip to Prescott, Flagstaff, or somewhere up north to escape the heat for a day! Pack lunches and go to a park up north for the day.
- Vacation Bible School: There are many churches that have VBS and charge very little. Sign your kids up for a week and enjoy a week of quiet mornings, knowing that your kids are learning about Jesus and having a blast!
If you have other ideas that have worked with your family, please comment below. I am always looking for more ideas for my kids too! Lastly, make sure you reserve time for some of the fun things we have scheduled for this summer.
- Kids Camp: June 25-29th will be a week full of awesomeness for our kids ages 7-12.
- Family VBS: July 23-27th is designed for families to grow together! This week is completely free.
Check out our website for more details and “Like” us on Facebook to stay up-to-date!
Let’s make this an amazing summer!