Crafts Family Life Household Lego Parenting

Keeping the kids busy in the summer on a budget

By on June 23, 2017

Every year when school gets out I have this urge to over plan our summer days. I try and dedicate time to school lessons, plan crafts, and trips, swim lessons all to try and cram in anything extra we can’t do during school days. But when I look back at the summer days of my childhood, really didn’t have any of that! Our school days are so scheduled out all year with after school activities and holiday plans, our kids rarely get down time.

I’ve found several articles out there touting the benefits to letting kids be bored. Now a days with Pinterest full of ready made structured activities it seems to go against the mainstream to not have piles of activities ready to help your kids through out the day. This is the first summer I’ve really decided to lower my expectations and just go with the flow! And I have really seen the benefits of this ‘let the kids get bored’ philosophy.

A lot of parents choose to sign up the kids for day camps, or continue daycare and although those programs are all great and useful (and my kids would LOVE IT if I signed them up for either) it’s just not in our budget even for my 2 youngest but especially my oldest with disabilities, camps and daycare would require extra expense to get him the support he needs.

So this summer I decided to really leave it all open ended. Here are 5 ways we’ve been keeping busy and off screen while not over scheduling and staying on budget!

1) Library Time!

At the end of every school year our classes taking a walking field trip to the local Library which is just a block and a half away. Our library does a fantastic job putting together fun summer programs to keep the kids of all ages engaged in reading, and learning. Our city summer reading program gives each kid a free book when they’ve read 8 books or if they can’t read themselves parents can read 16 book to the child to get the free book.

I’ve been dedicating Wednesdays for Library day, so we go for their all ages Magic School Bus program, where they watch a video and do some related activities after. Then we. get to pick out books and play on their touch screen computers (which my kids are fascinated with!) I limit how many books we get so that way we only get enough to last us until next week! I’ve been known to forget due dates when we’ve had too many books LOL!

2) Pool Time!

This year I have been determined to teach my kids to swim. It is such an important life skill and we just haven’t had the means or opportunity to focus on it in previous years. So we invested in a small Intex pool that’s shallow enough the kids can still stand up but allows them to move around enough for swimming.

My girls have found new ways to include their brother in their play, they love to make believe and create stories and theater and now they include him in their adventures. They gather materials from around the house and create props for their stories and toys. And every time we go to the library they find books about subjects they are curious about!

3. Crafts

A lot of times Pinterest makes it look like we have to setup these step by step craft activities, and help our kiddos create picture perfect crafts. Although doing those kinds of activities are fun, I’ve found my kids also really love to just create with no planned project in mind! So I’ve collected a lot of random craft supplies and a few times a week they pull it all out and go crazy.. cutting, gluing, glittering to their hearts content!

4. Lego

We are a Lego obsessed family and over the past year we have collected tons of Lego from sales, Craiglist, and holidays. I’ve organized it all by type of brick so the kids can easily spend hours building to their imaginations content!

5. making videos!

I remember back when I was a kid and my friends and I would spend our free time creating shows, and putting on performances for each other and our parents. So last year when my daughters wanted to start a Youtube channel I set it up with the idea we can make videos as a family. You can read more about how we did that here

Another benefit to giving the kids time to be bored and open ended activity I’ve noticed is they rarely ask for the ipads, of course they still have those moments when they whine about it and want to spend the day on Youtube but some days they forget we even have ipads!

Hopefully this summer is starting off as easy going and carefree as you would like it to be! Do you structure your summer schedule or let it flow or a combo of both?

TAGS
RELATED POSTS
2 Comments
  1. Reply

    mommyhomemanager

    June 23, 2017

    These are some great ideas! I loved the library’s summer reading program as a kid. Do they still do that?

    • Reply

      Shauna

      June 23, 2017

      They do! At least at all our San Antonio libraries they have full kids programs all summer! Next week is mad magic! My kids cannot wait!

Leave a Reply

Happy Chaos Family Blog

Happy Chaos Family Blog

Disclosure
This blog may contain affiliate links. Which means if you click on some of the links in posts I may receive commision from a sale. This helps to support my family and keep the blog running. Thanks!
Ebates Coupons and Cash Back
Instagram
  • We found a bunch of these guys in our garden yesterday! Finally our milkweed is bringing all the caterpillars to the yard! Hoping to get a couple in a terrarium so my little entomologist can raise some butterflies! These are Queen- Danaus gilippus caterpillars and are slightly more solid coloring than a monarch but equally beautiful! I love that my kids’ passions have helped me learn new wonderful things about the world 😁#momlife #sahmlife #momblogger #buglife #entomology #kidentomologist #bugscientist #kidscientist
  • If you’ve been following for awhile you’ll know my youngest LOVES bugs! She’s determined to be a big scientist when she grows up! So of course we had to be a spider for Halloween! This was the easiest to DIY. Target had this awesome big spider decoration for $8! The legs bend easily so we just wrapped two legs around her waist and got some spider web leggings with a black shirt! #momlife #sahmlife #halloween #momblogger #diyhalloweencostume #diycostume #familyfun
  • Both girls wanted DIY costumes .... somehow I managed this with clothes we already had and a sharpie! 
Check out my DIY Monster High Clawdeen costume on the right! I’m pretty proud of myself! #momlife #halloween #costume #momblog
  • Doing some garage cleaning and my girls find a craft kit from their birthday... and put it all together with out grown up help! I love to see their creative skills :) #momlife #crafting #craftgirls #momblogger #momblog
  • Today I’m 34! It’s been a pretty crazy journey so far and I’m extremely blessed with family and friends ... spending my day relaxing - and then we get to watch my kids play soccer tonight! Here’s to another great year!! #momlife #momblogger #family #birthdaygirl #adulting #soccermom
  • It’s finally feeling like fall here in Texas but I’m thinking back to fun times this summer at our favorite ultra-accessible theme park! @morganswonderlandtexas and inspiration island! I love how everything is so well thought out so all 3 kids can play equally! Can’t wait to get back there for their Delightful not Frightful Halloween event! We go every year and it’s always a blast!! If your ever in San Antonio this park is full of fun for everyone! #sanantonio #familyfunday #sanantoniofamily #momlife #kidlife #specialneeds #specialneedsmom #specialneedskids

Follow Me!

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,398 other subscribers

%d bloggers like this: