What to do with your kids this summer?

 Keeping stay-at-home Mom's from going crazy this summer break...

A lot of stay-at-home moms have multiple children, usually with a range of ages. I can’t speak for moms with two, three, or four kids. I have one. Does this make us (the “one and done” moms) less of a mom? Less busy? Less important? …or best question yet, any less likely to go crazy spending day after day trying to keep our kids busy and happy during the summer months? Hardly! And, like most stay-at-home moms, money is a concern. We can’t spend everyday of the summer going to amusement parks, zoos, and other such costly activities (although I try to do those sometimes too!). But here are some ideas of things to do with your child(ren) on a daily basis over the summer, things that are either free, or low cost. Of course where you live and what is available in your own environment is going to be a factor, but don’t forget to think outside of the box! Search around, talk to people in your area, and see what trouble you can get into!

1. Baseball Game. Most cities, even my small town, has a minor league baseball team with weekly games. For approx. $5-8 a ticket, you can expect a few hours of the good ol’ American game!

2. Take a walk and talk about what you see. Don’t forget some of the simple things mean the most. Taking a walk, even around your own neighborhood can be a lot of fun, especially if you take time to talk about nature or other things you see and hear. You can also add elements of a scavenger hunt by trying to find specific things on your walk. Make it a bike ride if you’d prefer!

3. Go out for ice cream!! Yes, because on a hot summer day, sometimes you just NEED some!

4. Car shows. My town has several car shows throughout the summer months. These can be free, or a small fee. Not only are the cars fun to check out, but there are also sometimes other things going on…face painting, balloons, snow cones, etc. We have been lucky enough that sometimes a very nice car owner will ask if my son would like to sit in the drivers seat of the car! Have your camera ready!

5. Festivals. Most towns have all sorts of festivals. In my town just a few are the Rib Fest (yes, where ribs are the number one attraction, so come hungry!), the Lucy Fest (only because we are the hometown of the great comedian Lucille Ball), and the Apple Fest. All of these are very different in what they offer but the Rib Fest for example offers all kinds of foods and goodies, bounce houses, face panting, crafts and shops set up to browse. It was free to get in, food is pricy I will say, but the other things were only minimal costs.

6. Playgrounds. Make it a day trip! Many parks will offer bathrooms, pavilions, grills, etc. So bring a cooler, either grill or just pack some snacks and drinks and hang out for the afternoon. I always like to play on the playground with my son, for at least part of the time, but you can also bring a book, magazine, tablet, etc if you rather sit back and enjoy a little “me” time while you let your kids mingle with their peers.

7. Take in a movie. I know, I know, this really isn’t cheap. Especially if popcorn and drinks are a most for you. However, on a rainy day, sometimes it is an option. Our local theater does offer half price popcorn and drinks at certain times and days of the week so don’t be shy to call and check what your local theaters offer.

8. Take your child fishing. Ok, now my son doesn't care much for fishing. I have taken him a few times and he just isn't all that into it. But, everyone is different, so maybe your child would love it. I believe children under age 11 do not need a fishing license, and neither does a parent if you are strictly just helping your child. But please, check the local laws in your area for fishing requirements.
9. Gardening or lawn care. Kids usually love to help mom. Plants some flowers together, have them pick up sticks around the yard, or find a place to hang a bird feeder.

10. Arcade. Fish through the couch or your car for some quarters and go to an arcade for a little bit. This is another good rainy day activity. It’s also not something I would personally do with my child on a regular basis, just because I don’t think getting too much into video games is good for my son at his age. (Each parent has their own feelings on this, I’m sure)But he sure does like to pop in a few quarters and have a try and driving around a race track!



  1. I found libraries to be amazing. They often offer free activities throughout the holidays and even if they don't, picking out books keep my two occupied for quite a while.


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