My little boys’ preschool is out for the summer but the big kids are still in school – how am I going to entertain them over the next couple of weeks? The pool isn’t open during the day yet, and I don’t want to spend a ton of money on activities for the little ones because as soon as summer gets really started my wallet will be empty doing activities for the whole family. This is my chance to do some fun (cheap!) stuff just for the little ones – plus they are so easy to entertain (give them a few ducks to look at and a slide and we can easily kill an hour – love it!).
Here’s what’s on my list:
Colonel Francis Beatty Park – If you haven’t checked out this park in Matthews, it’s a must! They’ve got a great playground, a beach volleyball court (that all the little kids use as a HUGE sandbox) and a big pond with tons of ducks. Bring a lunch and some crackers to feed the ducks.
The Nature Museum/Freedom Park – We can easily fill a morning here. The Nature Museum is so perfect for the preschool age. Then a few times around the pond at Freedom Park, two great playgrounds, a couple of bridges and ducks and suddenly it’s nap time. What’s not to love?
Preschool playgrounds – I’ve said it before, but some of the best playgrounds in town are at our local church preschools. I’m partial to Sharon Presbyterian, but some of our other favorites are Carmel Presbyterian, Sharon Baptist, and St. John Episcopal. I love that the preschoolers are safe on the playground since it was built for their size.
Discovery Place – The first floor can entertain my preschoolers for an entire morning. They love the preschool room, the fish tanks and the discovery pond where you can pet stingrays.
Discovery Place Kids in Huntersville – We haven’t been here yet, and I hear it’s awesome so that’s why it’s on our list!
The Greenway – We live really close to one of the greenways so my preschoolers are on it a lot, but to make it more “special” we can have a scavenger hunt. The kids LOVE to look for different animals – fish, ducks, snakes (although if we actually see one of those I’ll be running so fast they won’t have time to study it), and birds. Weekday mornings aren’t quite as busy so the little kids can get out of the stroller and really explore. They love the freedom.
Superior Play Systems Open Play – Every Wednesday and Friday from 10 am-1 pm is open play at Superior Play Systems (off I-77 – very close to Carowinds). FREE. It’s basically a showroom of wooden play structures, trampolines and basketball hoops. Heaven for my boys and air-conditioned for me.
Plant something – I did this with my preschoolers last year, and they got such a kick out of it. They especially loved planting herbs because they could eat them. I find any type of digging in dirt is going to suit this age. Why not get some chores done while you’re at it?
The Green Uptown – This is a perfect place to take lunch, run around in the grass, and play in the great fountains. The kids LOVE it.
Concord Mills – We don’t live that close to Concord Mills and don’t go often so it really is like a field trip to us. They love the carousel, play structures, Lego store, and Disney store.
A pet store – My kids LOVE to go to the pet store – any pet store. We make a morning of it at the Arboretum and hit Chick-Fil-A and the pond behind Chili’s to feed the ducks (do you see a theme here?)
I’d love to hear some of your ideas. What are some of the cheap ways you’ll entertain your preschooler this summer?