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Friday, June 12, 2015

School's Out for Summer! Ways to Stay Active & Have Fun...for FREE!

Spring has passed us once again, and now it's finally that time of year...where the sun is hot, shade is hard to find, mosquitoes are everywhere, grass is growing like crazy, city swimming pools are at full capacity, everyone is wearing flip flops, shorts seem to be a little too short sometimes, kids are running around outside, sprinklers are on, the air is filled with the scents of barbecuing...you get the idea---IT'S SUMMER TIME!!!

With summer time comes the end of school year. Now the kids are at home all day long. They are driving you crazy. Every one is getting cabin fever. Some families are planning vacations or going on them. Some families are doing stay-cations where they do things locally. Regardless of what your plans or lack of plans are, there are TONS of things that you can do with your kids this summer...and a lot of them don't even cost a dime!

Here are some ideas of things that you can do with your kids this summer:

*Don't have a local swimming pool to visit? Get the water hose out! Remember back in the day when WE were kids, what did we all do? We played with the water hose! Get it out, turn it on, and let the kids spray each other! Give them some balloons and let them make water balloons to throw!

*Visit museums! Some are free, some will cost you. It depends on where you live or where you are going to visit the museum. If you are a military family with active DOD ID, check out Blue Star Museums! We do this every summer! There are tons of museums around the USA that participate, so no matter where you live, you should be able to find at least one that you can visit for free with your DOD/military ID.

*Go on nature walks! Nature doesn't cost a thing (unless you are visiting a national or state park...sometimes they charge for visits). I found a site that you can use to help locate nature trails near you! Exploring nature can be both educational and healthy! Your kids (and even you) can learn about wildlife, habitats, and the environment, while you enjoy the health benefits of being active with your family and enjoying the fresh air!

*Visit the beach! If you are like me and my family, and you live near a beach or a lake, pack a lunch or picnic, grab a frisbee, put on your swim suit, grab your flip flops, get the kids dressed for some sandy and watery fun and load up the family to head to the beach for the day! Walk the beach, play frisbee, etc...stay active and enjoy the sounds and scents of the beautiful beaches!

*Go on a family walk around your neighborhood! Explore new neighborhoods (just be safe about it). Check out the local mom and pop stores. Eat at a new restaurant. Just get out and enjoy a nice family walk!

*If you have a bicycle, use your bicycle this summer instead of driving locally. If you want to plan a bike route in your area, check out this site!

*Plant a family garden! This may cost money initially, but in the end, if you plant edible plants, you will save money by growing your own foods!

*Check out your local library for summer reading programs for the kids and adults! You can also find out if your local library has any summer events planned. Some libraries, like ours, will host movie nights, family nights, etc.

*Look for volunteering opportunities that you can include kids in! What better way to teach children to help and appreciate what they have than to have them help others knowing they will not receive anything in return...other than mere enjoyment that they are helping!

*Keep an eye out for local festivals. Sometimes they are free. Sometimes they cost money.

*If you follow a certain religion, or even if you don't but you want your kids to do something free, check out the local churches and find out when registration dates are open for Vacation Bible School.

*Host a camp out in your back yard and let your kids invite some friends over. If you have a tent or a canopy, set it up in the back yard, then let the kids camp outside!

*Host a family movie night at your house! Grab a movie from your collection of movies, use Netflix or Hulu if you have it, or spend $1.50 to rent a movie at a local Redbox. Make some popcorn. Sit back and relax with the kiddos!

*Pull out those board games that have collected dust throughout the year! Host a family game night!

*Host a mini-marathon or obstacle course in your neighborhood or in your own yard. Let the kids have fun while competing for prizes or goodies!

There is so much to do during the summer! Just don't let kids sit around and play video games all the time. Encourage them to get out and enjoy their summer. Don't forget to continue educating them during the summer too. Research shows that kids lose what they have learned during the whole school year, as soon as summer comes! Keep them educated and make sure they don't forget what they have already learned.

Have a great summer! Be safe and have fun!

Here are some pics of my kids enjoying the great outdoors near where we live!

                                                   

Lake Michigan Harbor, Kenosha, Wisconsin
The lighthouse on the pier at Lake Michigan in Kenosha, Wisconsin


My kids playing in the sand at Lake Michigan in Kenosha, Wisconsin. It was pretty darn cold that day! LOL

My little boy checking out our garden plot that we built, as a family, last year. He is so excited that we will be putting together another family garden this summer!