Summer is here!
Well not officially, but as soon as school is out for me…it’s considered summer. We have made it through our first full week out of school. Although the kids have decided to sleep in, my internal clock has awaken me at 4 every morning so far. Bummer, but I suspect it will be that way for awhile. It’s ok though because I am able to get alot of things done before the kids awake…like this post for example!
Now, that I am home for the summer and on “Temporary Stay-at-home-mom” status, I have to make sure our days are planned out or else the kids and I will drive each other crazy.
The first thing I do, is look into free local events for kids. Malls, Libraries, children’s play places and outdoor venues like parks and amphitheaters often hold free events such as live music concerts, movies in the park, storytelling, crafts and much more. You can check you local parks and recreation for deals such as this. Las Vegas things to do you check here.
Second, I look for Indoor Play gyms that are offering summer discounts. Here in Las Vegas, 3-digit temperatures are the norm and you can’t take your children out to the park in those temps unless it’s super early in the morning. Places such as FidgetsLV and Child Time Adventure offer decent priced packages for 1-2 children for the time kids off for the summer.
Third, I seek online deals like Groupon and Living Social for deals for kids and dining (for those days we just want to get out of the house to eat). Deals like dance, swimming, acting classes and sometimes kid shows and concerts are often deals you find. You can also find play gym deals too!
Fourth, I check Pinterest. With one of my children still napping and the other one being “too old to nap”, I have to find ways to entertain the non-napper. Often I use recycled boxes, jars, bottles, toilet paper/paper towel rolls or whatever else I can find to make things. We make things together, he plays with for a few days and then we make something new. We have had some success with around-the-house science projects too. We have been watching our rock candy grow for the past 3 weeks (yes, it has taken three weeks for them to grow!) Also, my kids enjoy doing some baking with me which we get a lot of our kid-friendly recipes from Pinterest
Fifth, Vacation Bible School is a great option to keep your child involved with other children and learn about the Bible. I realize this is not an option for everyone…but if you believe in a Christian upbringing and your children are school age, this is a great addition to your summer vacation.
Sixth, Local libraries usually have something going on weekly. You may have to travel to different libraries for the event but it is often worth it just to get out of the house and enjoy some free entertainment. Events range from Story times to puppet shows. Our local libraries here in Vegas also do movies and Lego clubs too. Even if there is no special event, reading and checking out books or perhaps a dvd can be fun and educational!
Seventh, Matinee movies are nice cool way to enjoy some movies…and popcorn with your kiddos. Las Vegas offers a Summer movies express where movies are shown for $1. The movies are usually movies that have already gone to DVD but you’re going for the experience of seeing it on the big screen. You will pay more for popcorn and drinks than the movie. I find that a kiddie combo is usually more than enough for my kiddos!
Eighth, Museums are hidden gems. Sometimes people feel that museums are boring or maybe to expensive Check your local Museums for discounted days or kid activities. You may find out there museums you never knew about in your city or nearby. I Googled and museums in Las Vegas and was shocked at at all the museums we have. After all, who thinks of Las Vegas and says, “Hey, let’s go to a museum,” said no one. Obviously, this isn’t something you might can spend money on everyday but it might be interesting to you and your children to include a museum visit once a week or month.
Ninth, get yourself to a park. Again, Las Vegas has heat-high temps so the best time to get in playtime is in the morning or early evening when the sun is either coming up or going down. Now, originally, I am southern girl born and raised with a big backyard and lots of grass. However, I am a transplant to Las Vegas and notice that there are smaller backyards. And so to make up for these small backyards, there are tons of parks in our city. Some of them include Splash pads that the children can run through and get wet to their hearts desire. Splash pads are great because parents don’t have to get in or get wet with there children…well unless they splash you.
Tenth, the mall is a great place to walk around and cool off. If you can resist shopping, try strolling though to “eye buy” with your children, get an ice cream cone, pretzel or maybe your malls offer a kiddie train ride (ours does and this sometimes does not work out if you are trying to save money). Las Vegas has indoor and outdoor malls that have kid-friendly activities and some that just offer a cool place to avoid the heat. Walk a mall with your kids and get your steps in on your pedometer/smartwatch/fitness counter count all your steps.
Eleventh, join or start a Meet-up group. Meet Up is free to join though some groups may charge a small fee. This is a great way to find activities to do with your kids or even for yourself when you need a break from the kids and you can have someone watch them. I try to have my husband, mother-in-law or I hire a sitter for the summer to watch the kids at least once a week so I can have a mom-break because being a Stay-at-home-mom is a job and you do need to give yourself a break. It would be good for you and the kids.
Twelfth, go swimming! Whether you invest in a pool (big or small) in your backyard or you have one nearby, grab some floaties and get in the pool. It’s a great stress reliever. If it’s a small shallow pool it might be nice to stick your feet in to cool off and watch the kids play. If it’s a bigger pool, put some floaties on your kids and give them piggy back rides through the pool. There is less pressure on your back and your kids have some fun with you. You can put your kids at the shallow end while watch them and do some leg exercise in the water. Feels great!
Thirteenth, blow bubbles. What is about kids and bubbles? They literally go nuts! It can also be relaxing for you to just sit and blow bubbles…no really. The deep breathing and exhalation that it takes to blow bubbles is naturally a relaxation technique and it is good sensory development for kids because they learn to follow the bubbles with there eyes and pop them with their fingers. We blow bubbles in the evening almost daily.
Fourteenth, kids absolutely love play dough. You can even make it yourself. I haven’t done this yet so I don’t have a recipe but you can find them anywhere and they only require simple ingredients that I bet you only have in your pantry.
Fifteenth, make ice cream. Rock salt, milk, sugar, vanilla and ice are all you really need to get the ice cream started oh and don’t forget ziploc bags. Allow your children to have fun shaking. They won’t mind especially when they know what the reward will be…ICE CREAM! This is science and fun yum all at the same time! If you actually, have an ice cream maker, it’s a little more tedious but still something the kids can help with for a cool reward at the end.
Sixteenth, go bowling! Small children may need bumpers and a ramp, but this is a fun way to introduce them to a sport (yes it is a sport) that is often talked about. My kids enjoyed doing this especially with their grandparents.
Seventeenth, build a fort. We took blankets and two tv trays to make our fort. It is not fancy but my son took pillows, stuffed animals, books and a flashlight and he was a happy camper.
These are some of the ideas that I have done in the past with my children whom are 3 years apart and currently 2 and 5 years of age. What are some of the things you do with your children for the summer?
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