I have to honestly admit, I'm more excited about summertime than my kids are this year. I cannot wait for the break! The alarms in our house start going off as early as 4:55am. So I'm ready for some extra sleep-in time but more than that, I'm ready to have some fun with my kids. Many of favorite memories of childhood are those of summertime, and I only have 2 more full summers with all 5 of my kids at home. I intend to make these next two summers completely amazing and create a lifetime of memories...and do it all on a budget.
For the next few weeks I'm going to share some of my favorite summertime traditions but also new ones that I've found and saved over the last year or so that I have been anxiously awaiting to try out. By the end of this blog series there should be at least 100 fun and wonderful ways to enjoy summer with your family and not spend an arm and a leg. Because if you're like us, we don't do much long distance traveling in the summer. First of all there are too many off us and second, we're homebodies and we love to enjoy our own backyard. After all, we live in Florida, it's a beautiful backyard.
1. Summer To-Do List - Before summer even gets started sit down and make a list of all the things you want to do this summer. Everyone contributes to the list....let EVERYTHING get put on the list. Even if Disneyland is out of the question for travel, add it to the list of that's what your 8 year old wants. Take the time to explain to them later that although you won't be making a trip to Orlando, encourage them to be creative and use their imagination and that together you can plan a fun "Disney Day" at home. No idea is too big or too small.
2. MOVIE TIME -Check your local movie theaters for their Summertime Movie schedule. Many play FREE movies all summer long. It's a great time to head in for the cool AC and if you have little ones you have to tow along they'll blend right on in with all the noise. ;o)
3. Camps & YMCA's - If your family enjoys camps whether it's week long sports camps or outdoor adventures through your local YMCA, plan for those now. Many camps are already open and some are filling quickly. YMCA's offer great adventures for reasonable prices. Check your local churches for vacation bible schools and even local ranches and farms for horse camps.
4. Grow Something - Plant a garden or a few veggies in pots or even a flower. Have each child be in charge of their plant. Maybe even plant sunflowers. By the end of summer they'll be a few feet tall and will last into the fall. I remember growing them one year in a square shape, which made the coolest fort ever!
5. New Skills - Find out what new skills your children want to learn. Pottery? Cake decorating? Basketball? Fishing? Make plans now to sign up for a class at a local studio or community college....or teach them yourself or find a friend that knows the skill and ask them if they want to trade off teaching the kids new skills.