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Summer is always a challenge for me. Keeping the kids busy while staying on budget is hard to do! Because we really can’t afford summer camps and classes, we have to get creative with how we spend our time. This year, our baby is two and old enough to not need to be home for nap times which frees up a lot more time for exploring. So at the beginning of this summer, instead of coming up with my own ideas and scheduling them, I approached the kids and together we came up with a bucket list of things we wanted to do this summer.
We added some of our usual summer activities, like going to a Dodgers game, which we do every summer, and added new things, like a day trip on a train. The kids have never been on a train so that was an extra exciting activity for them. We have lots of friends with swimming pools, so instead of listing “Swimming in a pool” we decided to list “Swimming in eight different pools” and see if we could make it to eight different locations this summer.
Some of these activities do cost money, but we tried to incorporate more stay at home activities that we already had materials for to keep busy. If you could see my craft room, you’d be amazed at just how many supplies I’ve hoarded for crafting! It’s insane! One of the ways we’ve cut down on costs for these activities is recycling. We’ve collected cans and bottles and turned them in for money and we get a good amount. We don’t drink a lot of soda in this house, so we ask our neighbors and friends to keep them and we collect them as they call. It’s been great having the girls find cans and bottles at the park and then adding them to our pile and being able to collect the money for the things they want to do. Every can and bottle is a little more money for a fun activity!
In addition to our summer bucket list, the girls have a summer rules list that they need to follow.
I saw it on Pinterest here. It’s a basic summer routine reminder for them because let’s face it: it’s summer. They would sit on the couch and forget to brush their teeth if I let them. Also it gives them an incentive to earn their electronic time for the day. I have both these lists hanging on the fridge where everyone can see it. Because the boys are still little and learning, I walk them through the routine and adjust the chores to their level. Instead of 30 minutes of reading, I will read them three or four books.
We’ve gotten quite a few of these done. We went to a Dodgers game. They lost, but we watched the fireworks from the car where they were being lit and it was amazing up close!
Halfway through summer break, we surpassed our goal of three beach trips and have more planned. Four down, and at least three more planned days to go!!
I took the kids, my nieces and a friend, plus our dog on a little hike. Our goal was to do two, but the kids thought it was too hot to hike, even first thing in the morning. I’m going to have to get them up earlier next time so it won’t be hot.
The library is a great place to go during the summer. Most libraries offer a reading program for kids to earn prizes and they have events for kids to attend, like the bubble mania party at our library.
Each of the kids got to be inside a giant bubble. How many people can say they’ve done that?
Surprisingly, we haven’t done many of our at home activities. We’ve been so busy doing all our other outings that when we are home, we’re tired and resting! The kids have all been napping in between activities. People always say, that’s when kids do the most growing! With about four weeks left to go of summer, we still have a lot of activities left on our list. What’s one of your favorite summer activities? Leave a comment below, I’d love new ideas!