|My 3 kids, last summer, at a local splash park|
Our summer vacation lasts just one week, and our summer break is a little longer this year, so I need to have a plan for the rest of our summer. My husband works from home most days, and he's on the phone with customers all day, so if I don't have a plan my kids will be noisy in the house and it just doesn't work out. I like to get the kids out of the house at least once per day, preferably in the morning.
So aside from our big trip, here are some of the other things we have going on this summer:
Camps/Registered activities:* Swimming lessons--my youngest son is signed up for private swimming lessons for 2 weeks this summer. Our oldest son took lessons from this same teacher last year and had fabulous results!
* Vacation Bible School--both of my boys are signed up for a week of VBS at a local church
* Lego Camp--my oldest son is signed up for a Lego camp at Bricks for Kidz (we got a coupon for 50% off--yay!)
There are so many cool camps around here--but I have to limit those because the cost could get out of hand. I may add one or two more camps if the price is right.
Summer Reading programs:Last year we participated in several of these formal reading programs, since reading is a part of our daily routine anyway. The boys loved checking off their lists and getting prizes. The ones we do are:
* Half Price Books--read for 15 minutes a day for a month and get a $5 gift card. See this link.
* Pottery Barn Kids--read from their reading list and get a free book. See this link.
* Barnes & Nobles--read 8 books and get a free book. They have not posted their 2012 reading log yet, but rumor is that it will be posted soon.
* McKinney Public Library--summer reading program kicks off on Friday June 1 at 10:30 a.m. Last year, the kids got prizes after reading a certain number of books and they got a free book at the end.
* Plano Public Library--we didn't do this one last year, we might do it this year. Has anyone done this?
Free Community Activities:We are so lucky that in this area there are so many free kids' activities that are offered in the summer! The libraries have programs with magicians, circus clowns, musicians, etc. Some of the local malls also have free entertainment. I'm putting these activities on my calendar for when we feel like being indoors.
Here are a few links:
Plano Public Library summer activities
The Shops at Willow Bend summer activities
Not totally free, but the Frisco Heritage Museum has some inexpensive kids activities including a $10 camp for kids:
Frisco Heritage Museum
Water Activities:We fully take advantage of our neighborhood pools. And local splash parks. Like daily. Since last summer we have discovered a few splash parks we didn't know about last year. There are 7 parks in the city of McKinney with splash pads (see this link). We will definitely return to Horizon, Ash Woods, and Whisenant parks this summer.
I'm also a big fan of the Jack Carter Pool in Plano, and we will definitely go there this summer as it is geared toward the younger kids and this may be one of the last years my oldest son will enjoy it!
What are your favorite pools/splash parks around here?
In addition to the above activities, I will be taking one of my kids to speech therapy twice a week. My kids will also have some "learning time" and quiet time each day while my youngest is napping. They will read, practice handwriting, or get on online math sites. Neighborhood play dates. And we will be hosting our nieces for a week when we plan to splurge on a few local tourist activities (we are thinking about going to Medieval Times! Have you been there?)
I actually really love the summer with my kids. I love having a more laid back schedule and getting more of a choice in our daily activities than when they are in school.
So back to my question....what are you doing this summer? If you have any ideas for free, cheap, or fun activities, please share!