It’s summer vacation at our house. I haven’t heard the proverbial I’m bored…yet. Thank goodness, since we are still in the first week of summer vacation at our house. I have heard; however, let me sleep in, I don’t want to do anything, and I’ll just play on the iPad, and oh, by the way, there is no food in the house. Oh, how the boys have grown and changed over the course of the past year. I was just looking back at my post, not so bummer summer, from 2018. Our rules are still the same 1) we will not be going out to eat every day and 2) we will continue to look for free or low-cost activities. However, these rules might be a bit more challenging when the boys would love to hit all the cool restaurants in town and then spend money on movies, gaming, and local attractions.
Routine is especially key at our house as we transition into summer where our schedule isn’t nearly as rigid as it is during the school year. Here is my updated list of we can’t sit around the house all the summer staring at screens things to do this summer.
- Visit a state park: A state park is a beautiful area right in your own backyard. It is affordable to stop by for a day trip or even buy a year-round pass. For a day trip, you can pack lunches, snacks, and drinks. You can find beautiful hiking trails, playgrounds, and during the summer other activities taking place inside the park. What a great way to understand the history and culture right in your area.
- Kids bowl free: Did you know that many bowling alleys offer kids 2-15 two free games of bowling every day during the summer? Check out kidsbowlfree.com to find a bowling center near you. Minimal charges for shoe rental.
- Disc Golf: Do you play disc golf? Is there a course in your city? Disc golf is a flying disc sport in which players throw a disc at a target; it is played using rules similar to golf. You can find the discs for varying prices; however, it can be relatively cheap to get started. It’s a cool activity for kids, teens, and adults all to partake in. Bonus for parents: plenty of exercise walking through the disc golf course.
- Local Library: Why not take advantage of the programming being put together by the librarians? Crafts, movies, and games usually all centered around book themes or a popular book right now. Cost is typically free or a few bucks to participate in crafts.
- Nature areas: A visit to the outdoor nature center is always a great way to spend the day. We don’t own fishing equipment, so whenever a free fishing class is offered the boys are always asking to attend that class. Whether it is a hike to see wildlife, skip rocks in the water, or partake in an activity like archery, fishing, or paddling everyone comes away happy.
- Day at home: I see nothing wrong with happily spending a day at home. It doesn’t have to be the day that is used for cleaning, projects, or just catching up on life. (Even though we need those days as well!) A day at home to watch a movie, make homemade cookies, play outside, or play a board game. I think that is a skill to have to be content at home.
I am looking for fun activities outside the house to stimulate conversation and use our social skills. Activities that might force us to talk to others by asking for directions or clarification. Or just a time to engage with other kids. If there are no plans then it is assumed that it will be just fine to sit with a screen all day long. It is an ongoing conversation on how to enjoy screen time, but limit it a short portion of our day.
All my best to you,