Today was the big day. School is out for the summer – no more preschool, ballet, soccer, and gymnastics. It’s just me and all four kids from ages 2-7. I have to admit, I’m a little scared!
So what am I going to do? Camps are the first logical line of defense, but for this family with four children, my camp funds will run out after one or two weeks! So I had to do some creative juggling with my summer funds. We will do a vacation bible school camp (super cheap and in some cases, these are free) for the older two and maybe one Camp Tutu (we won this at a school fundraiser). My big fun camp plan is what we call “Camp Florida” where my parents take my oldest to Florida for two weeks. She did this last year at age 6 and I wasn’t sure how it would go and was prepared to hop in the car with one phone call. But she loved it. She was surrounded by family since both my husband and I grew up in the same home town. She enjoyed time with her cousins and she thought every day was a party for her! So she is eager to go again this year. It’s a win/win for all. This gives me more one-on-one time with my 5-year-old and the twins. My family loves it because they can see an unbiased side of my daughter since she’s on her own. The best part for me is that it’s FREE!
My other creative and thrifty idea was to hire a college sitter one day a week so we could go to the pool or have fun outside with an extra set of hands (or work on Charlotte Smarty Pants:-). This turned out to be way cheaper than camps. The kids love this set-up because the girls are in awe of the “big girl” and the boys love her because she’s young. So far, so good.
My other line of defense is relying on my girlfriends for regular playdates, impromptu trips to the pool or even beach if we’re lucky, or just “drinks in the driveway”, where we order pizza or bring appetizers and drinks. This is one of my favorite activities in the summertime – parents and kids are relaxed and there is minimal clean-up!
What are some of your tricks to entertain your family over the summer? Please share!
It the recent issue of Little Ones magazine there is a list of fun places to visit in the Charlotte area. I selected some i thought my 3 year old would enjoy and we are going to try to go on a “field trip” once every week. We will invite friends too. I also started a playgroup with her school friends every other week. We meet at the playgound at school-no ones house gets destroyed!
How about just enjoying time with your kids?! Us working mommies would kill to have a few months to get to know our little ones even better.
Why did you have to go there bank mom? I work FT too at the bank, but her blog didn’t sound at all like she’s trying to avoid her kids, or doesn’t appreciate the time spent with them. It was the overwhelming thought of how to keep them entertained, which even as a working mom I can appreciate! If you’re that bitter about working, then quit…don’t take it out on SAHMs just because you’re envious.
What is camp TuTu?
4 of my mommy friends and myself have started a summer group where we rotate houses twice weekly. 2 mommies stay with all the children and the other 3 have a couple of hours of free time. This is great…And it’s free.
Camp TuTu is one of the weeklong summer camps at the Harris Y. Camp Sonrise is another one for the little set. They’re reasonably priced (as far as camps go) and a lot of fun for the kids.
As a stay at home mom, I LOVE spending time with my child. BUT we can’t sit at home all summer. She gets bored and gets into trouble. We do lots of fun things together and with friends. She loves me and loves being at home but she gets bored just playing with me-she needs friend time just as much as i need it.
Our playgroup but together a list last year of cheaper things to do around Charlotte. It has been very useful especially when it is 300 degrees outside and you need a break from the pool. Quite honestly, my playgroup itself has been my lifesaver, for the playdates, for the moms, for the ideas. I found ours on CharlotteMommies.com (join the private group for your region of Charlotte) and they usually have stickies at the top of the forum about playgroups in the area or you can post to find one)when my daughter was 6 months and we are still a tight team with our kids all over 2 and second ones in our lives now. I was a bank chick too and had no idea where to start once I stayed at home. I was like a fish out of water 🙂
We have two camp weeks planned and will patch the rest of summer together as we go. While just chilling is nice, we can all only take so much. In-town tourism is always good to break up a week (whitewater center, nature museum, discovery, etc.) and then there are the free summer movies in the mornings.I’ve also been collecting cheap/sale art supplies over the last few weeks. We have glue sticks and I’m not afraid to use em! (well, maybe a little afraid, but I’ll take sticky carpet over incessant “mommy, I’m bored” any day of the week.)
A lot of people in Fort Mill have discovered Plaza Fiesta as a great place to cool off in the heat. For you Charlotteans, this is not a far drive. Plaza Fiesta is an indoor mall off of Exit 90 (Carowinds) that has a huge playplace which is appropriate for all ages under 12. Turn right off the exit and then make an immediate right. You can see it from the highway. It is gated in with one entrance/exit, though kids can find ways to get out if they look. Cost is $1 per child. If you go in with your child, you also pay a fee. Parents can climb around also. There are also lots of different ethnic restaurants for snacks, lunch, etc. My seven year old twins and my 17 month old all love it and it’s great for meeting up with friends.
Hey it was mentioned that she hired a college gal – which gave me an idea that all on this site could help me out. I’m looking for a gal around 15 in the Arboretum area that could come and “hang out” with my 4 year old this summer, her own personal / professional playdate. My 13 year old son and their grandfather (83) would be around the house, however, I don’t expect them to entertain my little one while I’m at work. I’ll check back, then supply my email address if I have any leads.Thanks