Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Summer School out and about

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Part of summer fun (and even education!) is getting out and about, exploring your own area, or going on vacation. These days it seems we are all needing to be a bit more careful with our finances, which could take a bite out of these fun summer activities. With a little thought and planning though, there can be plenty of free/inexpensive activities right in your own area!

My goal for these sorts of activities is not only that they be free/inexpensive but simple too! While I want to have fun and enjoy these activities with the kids, part of the purpose is also that on our "off" days they will be excited to just get to play at home with their toys. This will allow me the time I need to work on the projects I need to do to get ready for the baby and the move. If these activities are too tiring for me, then they go against the purpose for which they were planned.

1. Go to that local fun park in your area that the kids always want to go to but you rarely make it to! There is a park just a couple of miles from our house that my kids just love, but it is HUGE so it is hard to keep an eye on all of the kids, and I guess it just seems silly to get in the car and drive to the park when we have quite a few we can walk to! This summer I'll be making the point to get us there a few times.

2. Check out the local attractions in your area. Nearly every place has something going for it; take the time to check into these things. We live on the coast in a tourist town. Going to the beach would seem a logical choice for us, however 6 young kids + 1 very pregnant mommy = a bad idea (both because of my energy level and, most importantly, the safety of the kids!). However, there are a few places near the water that are good for spying wild life. I'm going to make an effort to get to one or more of these places. These places are located in areas that would make it easy to spend $$$$ on lunch and treats; planning ahead by packing a lunch and maybe picking one small treat to purchase there can keep this sort of outing fun for everyone!

3. Go to the farm! Plants are growing, baby animals are growing up, and this is the perfect time to check out farms in your area if you have any. Not only do the kids usually like to visit farms (and if the space is available, run and play), but it is a great opportunity for kids to learn about where their food comes from (both plant AND animal). Some farms have a better set up for visiters than others, so ask around. We have one that has a children's garden all set up for exploring, including chickens and rabbits roaming around!
4. Tour a local factory. Many factories/businesses offer tours. If you are unsure just check out their web site or give them a call to see if they do tours, or would be willing to do one for your family/group. We've done this for chocolate shops, the Jelly Belly Factory, and a sticker factory! If you don't have one local, is there one close enough that you could combine with an errand that needs to be run? Is it a good halfway point for meeting up with friends and family to do together?

***Summer Safety tips! You will notice in some of the pictures that my kids are in matching outfits. That is not just for the cute factor (though they are awfully cute, aren't they?), this is so that they will be recognized as a group and/or I can spot my children quickly in a crowd. My mom has blessed us with some wonderful outfits like this in the past few years, but simply picking up T-shirts in a bright color will do the trick as well (Michaels has them for just a few dollars each). The other thing we have done is to write my name (or my husbands) and phone number on a piece of duct tape and tape it on the inside lower hem of the dress/shirts the children are wearing. That way if they do get lost our contact info is with them!****

These are just a few simple ideas, I'd love to hear what you are planning for getting out and about this summer. Please link up to share your ideas (for any summer fun), and be sure to link back here from your blog! Next week I'll post on fun outside activities at home!

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  1. I don't have anything posted specifically on outdoor fun, but I did create a box to put in our car for impromptu stops at the park, etc. I didn't think it truly fit your linky party theme, but it could inspire others to make a bin for themselves to use for on-the-go activities. Feel free to check it out and thanks for stopping by before! :)


  2. I just have to say, "I love that park!" My family just spent the last year close by and this was my son's favorite "free" place to go. One other ranked slightly higher, but also came with quite the price tag attached.