Yay!! It’s summer!! Hear the thousands of children (and teachers) cheering? Meanwhile parents grumble as they try to figure out how to keep their child occupied during two whole months. Now that June is over, finding affordable or even free things in which to keep your child entertained can be daunting. Although there are great camp options available, it often means registering early to secure a spot in the most budget-friendly ones. For those who are looking for a more affordable option, here is a short list of ways to keep your kid(s) busy if you will be holding ‘mommy camp’ this year.
- Check out your local library–many people can underestimate their local library. Library programs have become quite interactive and educational at the same time. Some programs offered are storytime, music workshops, arts and crafts, films, and science exploration. Take a look at the family/kids program section of Newark Public Library’s website to see what would be of interest for your family.
- Take a field trip to a museum– another great place to take the kids (and I can’t say it enough) is the museum. To make things a little more easier, Maplewood Public Library is offering passes to selected museums such as Morris and Montclair. If you live in Newark, the Newark Museum often have really cool family programs.
- Make your way to your town’s local street fair/festival–street fairs and festivals are easy ways to keep you and your child entertained. Since the July 4th holiday is upon us, you can start there. Check out nj.com for a list of town events. There isn’t a town who is not holding a celebration. So ‘town hop’ if it pleases you. It is also a cheap way to eat and pick up trinkets. I’ve bought bracelets and earrings for $2!
- How about your town’s local pool?– This can be a nice quick way to occupy anyone’s day. Spending a hot day splashing in the pool will make everyone happy. Just make sure you check out the town’s website about admittance fees.
- Lastly, don’t be afraid to come up with your own lesson plan– Line up an activity a day centered around a particular skill/concept such as, music, movement, fine motor, writing, etc. You could even make Friday a trip day! Sites like pinterest.com can inspire you for crafts and ideas.
The most important is to make it fun, no matter what budget you are working with. Before you know it summer is over and school will begin again. Although children do need a break from the academics, they will also need to continue to work on key skills necessary to succeed in school. It is all about balance and mixing the two so they will have a memorable summer (with no loss of skills)!