Summer is fast approaching, and for those of you with kids, it’s both a blessing and curse. The kids are looking forward to long, lazy days, but you’re tearing your hair out thinking “What do you mean I had to sign the kids up in March for summer camp?!”
When I was a kid, my Dad was a teacher, as were a lot of other parents on the street. So, they never had to figure out what to do with us kids over the summer. Most people don’t have that luxury though. So, here is my list of of last minute, relatively inexpensive ideas if you haven’t managed to sign Junior up for 8 weeks of chess camp:
1. Talk to other parents in your neighbourhood. With luck, you may be able to find a willing teenager, stay at home parent, ambitious teacher, or unemployed adult, who will watch several of your precious darlings over the summer. Going together should mean you can negotiate a group discount. Make sure you do your research so you are comfortable with whomever is watching your child.
2. Try a home based day care. If you already have your child in before or after school care, your care provider may be willing to provide all day care over the summer. Don’t just assume they will though – they may already be at maximum capacity with children who attend full time year round.
3. Ask at work. I know my work provides emergency day care for a certain amount of time. This wouldn’t cover you for the whole summer, but it might tide you over until you could find something else.
4. Determine if you’re kids are old enough and responsible enough to stay home alone. Depending on where you live, there may be no specific legal minimum age, but you should keep a lot of things in mind before deciding to leave your kids at home along.
5. Local day camps. When I was a teenager, I spent 2 weeks volunteering at a camp called “Summer Activity Centre”. It was run by the city, cheaply – cause most of the stuff were volunteers like me. You could bring your kid as little or as often as you liked. And most kids survived the day – honest!
Hope you find these ideas helpful. What are your ideas for cheap summer programs for kids?