Whew! It feels like the last few weeks have gone by so fast – have your kids started back to school?
My daughter starts back Wednesday…….. and I feel like the summer just flew by. Hopefully you enjoyed the few weeks that the kids were home – it was quite an adjustment for us to have 4 at home instead of 3.
I definitely loved having them all here, my 7 year old was a huge help with the younger siblings.
I tried to keep the kids busy over the last few weeks to get rid of the “I’m bored” that goes along with summer break….. so I wanted to share what we did this year that worked well for us. I hope you share your positives too!
Over the last few years it has always been hard to separate myself from the blog – since I blog alone, summers are always difficult – creating a balance to spend time with the kids was my goal this year, while trying to keep the blog up to pace (even if that meant missing deals… not a huge deal, those deals will come back!) I am happy with my balance this year.. it did not come without some planning!
Here’s what we did that worked well for us.
::: We Put Away Money. Last Summer, we put away $10 each week (starting 1 August until the last week in May) – for a total of $40 per month (automatic draft). We used that to pick up a really nice blow up water slide for the kids. We wanted to give them something to do at home, that they would be able to have fun with – we used the extra towards Popcorn at the theater, and Peter Piper Fun Days through the Summer. I actually forgot I had a draft coming out each month – so that fund was a nice welcome to our summer.
::: Summer Movie Programs. Such a blessing! I took the kids on Mondays to Harkins……. we invested in 2 Harkins Gift Cards, each of which gave us a FREE Medium Popcorn. We used those 2 Gift Card to buy Popcorn for movies this summer. We brought our Souvenir Cup for $1 refills (refills are FREE with a large Popcorn, too). It worked fabulous. Thursdays we went to Dickinson’s Theater in Mesa for a FREE Movie there too.. they had movies at 10:30 and 12:30 each day, Tuesday – Thursday (FREE). Our Souvenir Cup from Harkins was $1.50 to fill up at the Dickinson’s Theater.
::: East Valley Splash Pads. Great way to get the kids out, without spending oodles of money. Plus.. when Mom doesn’t want to put on a suit, this is the way to go.
::: Peter Piper. We went to Peter Piper on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. for their Kid Activity – it was geared more to the older children, but my 2 year old had a great time running after his brother & sister. We did this for 4 weeks of the summer.
::: Feed the Deer. Twice a week, Dad & I drove the kids to see the Deer for FREE at Schnepf Farms. They love going………plus it’s a great way to unwind after Dad gets home. We have done this for a long time – since I was pregnant with our 4th.
::: FREE Reading Programs. We took advantage of the FREE Reading Programs this year once again – my 7 year old loves going to the library and because the boys tend to be on the louder and uncontrollable side, Dad took her for books every week.
And lets not forget… we just did what many other kids probably did – but played at HOME! The Summer Fund we put together over the 10 months of August – May went to a blow up waterslide. The kids played on that NON-stop on the days we stayed home. They loved it.
Hopefully you enjoyed your summer too! Please share what you did to help keep your children busy… it might help us with ideas for next summer.