Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Summer Activities

Growing up, I became a big t.v. junkie during the summer months. That is definitely what I don't want for my kids to become so I have devised a sure fire plan (let's hope), to get my kids out and about and take their favorite past time (anything with the word watching, video games, etc. out of the equation..well, for the majority of the day anyway).

I started with the calendar I grabbed at my kids' school they attend. I stole some ideas, then went researching for new ones. I had to take into consideration the various ages of my kids..that meant no touring Mrs. Baird's bakery since you have to be at least 6 years old :(

After making a list of maybes, I put everything into a calendar and printed it out for my kiddos who have the final say (although, mom does have the right to veto). Most of the activities can be moved around and more can be added as we find them.


I was super excited to see their faces when I handed them their own calendar. E. was simply thrilled to "know" what was going on.

School's been out, really for a day, but we've gone to a water park, gone to the library and signed up for the summer reading program, and done our monthly lego mini-build. Here is next month's free mini-build.

I'm trying my best to get the kids interested in things they normally aren't.

I discovered that our library participates in the Ringling Bros. Circus challenge enabling your kids to score a free ticket to the circus if they meet their reading goal. That was motivation enough for my two littlest ones, but not for E. Although, E. is a great reader, he hates doing it. However, the library reading program allows you to monitor your reading online with your own account. When I made E. his reading account and allowed him to enter the books he had read on his own, he was over the moon. Computer + E = win win situation. The kids are also required to write a review of the books they have to read so that was even better, reinforcing their writing skills!

There are so many things you can do in the summer. There are theaters that will play kids movies for a mere $1 or less, like the Cinemark Movie Clubhouse.

Kids can go bowling all summer long for free with the Kids Bowl Free program. They will send you coupons via email.

There are numerous summer reading programs like the Barnes and Noble Summer Reading program, Half Priced Books Summer Reading Club, and Pottery Barn Summer Reading Challenge that will reward kids with free books or coupons.

Target Stores have a Arts + Culture program, offering free entrances to museums throughout the country on certain days of the month. Many times, they have kids programs at the museum like scavenger hunts and prizes. This was one of the favorites for us last summer so we will be doing it again. Bank of America also has a program called Museums on Us which will offer free entrance to certain museums on the first full weekend of every month. All you have to do is present your Bank of America debit or credit card. That is a huge savings if you already own an account!

The possibilities are endless. Our library has story time and family days. Many zoos and gardens offer a free day or half-off days. Many places offer free tours like Mrs. Baird's Bakery or the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

That with our normal monthly activities such as Lowe's Build and Grow Clinic and Home Depot's Kid's Workshops which allow kids to build a project and take home with them will keep my kids pretty busy and away from the t.v. This weekend, kids can build a tool box for Dad at Home Depot!

This would make a great Father's Day Gift!

Just listening to their comments about the calendar, my kids have definitely surprised me. Although, they were happy about bowling and going to the movies, they were most excited about cooking with me (a day where they can dictate what they want to bake and we will make it together) and they were also over joyed with going to the pottery place like Color Me Mine to paint. That is not something I thought they would scream and shout about, but they did.

I am excited about this summer. For the first time ever, instead of just hearing about all the things they did , I will be able to enjoy it with them! I hope I gave you a few ideas of what you can do with your kids.

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