Every summer I hear from families of all sizes and types that they are at their wits end trying to find good ways for their kids to stay outdoors this summer. We know that it is better for them to be outside and enjoying themselves but finding outdoor activities for kids that don’t cost the family and arm and a leg in fees can be difficult.
But it can be done, it just needs a bit of research first to find out what organizations in your area are offering and taking advantage of the special summer programs. Here are some ideas to get you started on your search for the perfect summer fun for your kids this summer.
Investigate Special City Programming
Every summer cities across our nation offer a wide range of special programs for all the kids that are out of school for the summer. It can be everything from a swim camp at the local pool to craft classes in the now empty classrooms. Most of these classes are pretty inexpensive and if you are a low-income family you may even qualify for financial help or to send your kids to these classes for free. It never hurts to ask.
Don’t forget to include local libraries and parks in your search as they also offer special summer classes for the kids. You might be thinking that the local library doesn’t offer outdoor activities but ours has a special birding class that is offered in conjunction with the local Audubon Society that teaches kids all about the local birds and includes walks in the park.
Check out the Scouts
Are your kids in the local scout troop? Chances are that they can join in one of the many local events that these organizations will be holding this summer even if they aren’t a scout. This is where these folks shine as the local scouts often will organize everything from trail cleaning groups that work with local park associations to keep our park trails freshened up to camping outdoors and learning about nature. If you live near a beach don’t forget to include some time building sand castles with the troop or maybe even learning to swim in the ocean or lake nearby.
Museums and Crafts Clubs
If you are lucky enough to live in a city that boasts a museum or two, you might want to check out their calendar for kids’ art programs or even lectures for the art minded in your brood. Our kids love the night camping at the local aquarium where they get to hang out with the fishes for the night and giggle to each other.
If you live where there is at least one active craft guild you might want to check and see if they offer special summer camps in their specialty. As handmade crafts gain more popularity we are finding many kids love the opportunity to make something themselves and have it as a memento of their summer craft camp fun. As you can see, the real test is just your own creativity in finding out who is offering summer camps for your kids this year.