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Entries in Camp (1)

Wednesday
May302012

It’s SUMMER – (what are we doing with the kids while we work?)

Long days, cookouts, no school….it’s one of the best times of year.

And it often throws parents into a child care dilemma.  For purposes of this post, I am talking non-teen, school aged children.  Pre-school children often continue their same childcare arrangements, and teens often don’t get up until noon.

This post is about the group where their school day & after school programs normally fill the day, and they are now at home…home with both parents working.

We were never in a financial position to “send the kids to camp for the summer.”  Even if we were, I would not have done this.  Parents sending their kids away each summer miss some great experiences.

We found filling the summer a key challenge, and one worth planning.  We did not want the kids sitting at home in front of the “one eyed babysitter,” (TV.)  We believed in Idle Hands, Idle Minds….   It wasn’t a highfalutin perspective…we felt our kids would inevitably get in trouble if they were not busy.

So we would plan each summer out well in advance, including planning family vacations around activities.

We found the “Y” had great summer programs, offering light classes in a variety of areas.  The same was true with the local recreation department “rec department.”  Some day cares catered to this group so they could maintain a revenue stream over the summer. By looking at these programs, large chunks of time could be affordably scheduled.

Then the challenge was how to “shuttle” the kids around for these activities.  We found other parents were often the best resource…and was always our preference.

Possibly the most flexible approach was to find a responsible teenager with a car.  This option was always a dual edged one.  We always worried about teen drivers, and especially distracted teen drivers (phone, etc.)  This is one where we had to know their parents, and have a sense of the teen’s rowdiness.  Party people need not apply.  And we always told our kids to make sure they had seat belts on.

How do you keep your pre-teen occupied over the summer?