Summer Vacation: 3 Inexpensive Ways to Help Your Kids to Have a Productive Summer

Monday, May 17, 2010

Summer is looked forward to by children all year long. The long sunny days filled with sleeping in, adventure in the warm outdoors and freedom from school work appeal to just about everyone. The fear for most parents though is that their children’s summer will be wasted with nothing but video games and unproductive, expensive activities. There are some ways for parents to help their kids to have a fun-filled summer that are also easy on the checkbook and fruitful for children’s minds.

For instance, encouraging children to read is a pass time that all parents should focus on. Kids too often look at reading as a chore more than a hobby. Instead of giving a child a reading requirement, instead make it a fun opportunity. Perhaps invite neighborhood children to start a book club and let them pick their own books. Library costs are incredibly affordable (free) which means that there is one inexpensive way that children can make their summers both fun and productive.

Learning an instrument is also a productive use of time. Of course, investing in music lessons can be a strain on the bank account. Instead, use the opportunity to spend more time with your child by purchasing a ‘teach yourself’ book or DVD for your instrument of choice. Spending quality time with the kids does not mean sitting in front of your DISH Network packages day after day. By learning an instrument together, you will not only make it fun and productive for them but you will also strengthen your relationship with quality time spent together.

If finances are tight, the summertime may be a good time to start teaching your children about money. Encourage them to get creative and start their own business. They may want to start a lemonade stand or mow lawns. Encourage them to walk dogs or babysit. Sitting down with them to help them get their creative juices flowing as they figure out what they can do for their business and how they can get it going can be an invigorating experience they’ll never forget. When parents help their children to figure out what their costs are and how to manage their earnings it’s not only productive, it’s a life skill that everyone is in need of. Indeed, there are several opportunities to help your children to have a fun-filled, productive summer that won’t empty the checking account.


  1. I just had my son sign up for the YMCA about 10 blocks from my home. It is a new building/facility.. about 12 years old..

    I thought it would be expensive .. but only 21.00 a month (my ex-husband will pay for it).. and it was only 75.00 to join for his age (14 years old). Anyone 13 or older can go without an adult...

    There is POOL; ping pong; equipment; basketball court.. teen room..etc..

    And only 21.00 a month ..(family plans were 80.00). I exercise with tapes at home...for free..

    He is also on a baseball team on the weekend when he is with his dad; and now a teacher started a baseball afterschool club twice a week.

    Trying to keep him busy and happy; and out of any trouble (teens hanging out doing nothing is not a good thing).

    He was offered two summer jobs too .. right near my home; pet stores; since he knows so much about reptiles; amphibian...from the 20 something collection he has at home.

    I'm just happy he'll avoid the troublemakers.. some of the teens his age are doing pot and smoking cigarettes and he is too busy/happy doing productive thing.

    thank goodness.

  2. Glad to hear your son is making good of himself...I'm sure your proud.
    I as well have tapes at home and a kettle bell so do work outs, and get some strength training in without the high cost of gyms.

  3. I hope you are more consistent than me. (I'm more consistent in the winter time.. but now have really slacked off). :)

  4. With not working outside the home, I kill alot of time with blogging and exercise.


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