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!