Here it is: summer time, and the kids are ancy, not to mention the parents. Even if you homeschool year-round, summer is a perfect time to do some things a little different. Incorporating summer activities on a budget is a great way to add in some great learning opportunities that don't seem like they're educational -- even on a budget. Just a word of encouragement though--not every single activity needs to be educational--sometimes, fun is the word of the day.
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Visiting farm stands, especially those on farms that allow pick-your-own, is a fun way to get some really good, fresh fruits and veggies. You're going to buy them at the store anyway, so why not visit a farmer or even a farmer's market and get some good, fresh foods (and support a local farmer in the process)?
Speaking of food, growing your own vegetables and fruits in whatever way you can (pots on a balcony, in the yard, in raised beds) teaches kids where their food comes from and enables them to help grow it (maybe then they'd be more willing to try different vegetables). A bag of potting soil, a large pot, and a tomato plant and boom! You have home-grown tomatoes for your salad.
If you're blessed enough to own a pool, that's amazing. Add in some fun floats like this fun sea turtle ride-on, or these water squirters for epic pool battles, and you have a staycation in the making. If you don't have a pool, I'm right there with you. But we can still have amazing water play with this 60" inflatable unicorn sprinkler.
For little kids, buckets of water, measuring cups, and a little inflatable kiddie pool will get them cooled off in no time -- and help parents stay cool by dipping their feet in the pool, too (or joining them in the pool if it's big enough!).
Nature walks in the woods (be careful of snakes!) can be relaxing and fun, and they don't cost anything. Find leaves that are interesting or explore creeks and look for turtles. There's a lot to be said about getting kids in nature and letting them explore.
Often we will visit different touristy sites on vacations, but we don't visit similar places in our own city or county. Take a week or a couple days off work, grab the family, and explore touristy sites in your hometown. Museums, attractions, theaters--even bowling alleys or theme parks at our own back door can be a fun and inexpensive way to vacation at home. Plus, you're sleeping in your same bed!
To up the ante on staycations, why not check into a hotel in a nearby city for a weekend? When I was growing up, we didn't have a pool or the money to go on full-fledged vacations, so my parents would pack overnight bags and we'd go to a city about 20 miles away for a change of scenery, and to utilize the hotel pool.
Subscription boxes are a great way to fight the boredoms of summer and get the kids interested in what comes in the mail. Kiwico has tinker crates for ages 9-16 that gives a new, surprising theme each month. It's a good way for kids to use those STEM skills and fight off boredom.
This website, Homeschooling One Child, also has subscription boxes. Each box is curated just for your child with fun things to get their minds engaged but also have fun at the same time. Check out our sub boxes here.
Have each member of the family choose a movie once a week to watch as a family, complete with popcorn. Bring in mattresses off a bed, and pile on the floor to watch the movie. Little changes like that can make it so much more interesting and enjoyable as a family.
Check out local churches' Vacation Bible Schools for your kids--there's usually one going on every week in the summertime. It's a good way to get your children engaged and around other kids while learning about Jesus (win-win!).
There are a lot of summer activities you can do (making your own popscicles, for one!), like grilling out with family or friends, just relaxing outdoors, or going to a local park for a picnic and playtime. You don't have to spend a lot of money to have good, wholesome family activities. The most important thing is to be together.
(C) 2023 Terrie Bentley McKee ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Terrie Bentley McKee is an author and speaker who homeschools her youngest daughter. Married to her husband Greg, they have four children, all of whom have special needs of varying degrees. Terrie is a follower of Jesus Christ and tries to glorify God in all she does. To read more about her testimony, click here.
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