Keeping Your Children Busy During the Dog Days of Summer

Keeping Your Children Busy During the Dog Days of Summer

Are your children hitting a summer slump? Once the initial excitement of taking a break from school dies down, children often find themselves at home with nothing to do besides playing video games or watching television to pass the time. This summer, get them out of the house and treat them to fun-filled and educational activities that won't break the bank - your children will thank you later. According to Take Charge America (TCA), a national consumer credit counseling company, keeping your children occupied during the dog days of summer doesn't have to be a chore. Mike Sullivan, director of education for TCA suggests the following inexpensive summer activities for families to enjoy: * Public Libraries- Many community libraries offer summer reading programs that award children with trinkets or small toys for reading. Have children sign up for their own library cards and encourage them by attending book readings and other activities. * Bookstores- Attend book signings and appropriate music performances at local bookstores. Meeting children's authors and having pictures taken with them can be exciting for both young and old readers. Larger bookstores, such as Barnes and Noble and Borders have interactive music and movie preview areas that children will love. * City Pools- Nothing spells summer better than being out in the sun and playing in the water. Swimming lessons are inexpensive and fun for children of all ages and are offered during different times in the summer. Many public pools also have water slides, diving boards or wading pools to enjoy. * Local Playgrounds and Parks- Almost every neighborhood is equipped with a playground or park. Have a picnic lunch under the shade or plan a barbecue for the family. Bring the family dog along, and don't forget a basketball or Frisbee. City parks are also the sites of free concerts, plays and community events. * Discount Movie Theaters- Matinees offer great discounts on movie tickets. Consider discount movie theaters that offer bigger savings, and bring student ID's for discounts or early showings. Weekday viewings may also be cheaper than those on the weekends. * Craft Programs- Arts and craft stores such as Michaels often hold in-store children's classes and craft sessions on Saturday or Sunday. Parents and their children can do hands-on projects such as creating notebooks; picture frames and flower pots, which they can take home at the end of the session. Craft stores often have special projects during the holiday season and other occasions such as Valentine's Day and Mothers Day. * Year-Long Memberships and Day Passes- Invest in memberships at museums, zoos, aquariums or theme parks for discounted prices. Visit attraction websites and sign up for email newsletters to receive news about upcoming events and extra discounts. * Minor League Sports- Consider attending minor league sporting events as an inexpensive alternative for your children. There are great deals and cheap seats available during minor league seasons, with lots of excitement and entertainment similar to Spring Training. Children may be influenced to join kids league teams themselves. * Farmer's Markets and Swap Meets- Shop with your family at farmer's markets and swap meets on the weekend. There are a lot of inexpensive, good deals and great finds here and children can learn how to bargain and use their money wisely. About Take Charge America: Founded in 1987, Take Charge America, Inc. (TCA) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. TCA is committed to helping consumers gain control of their finances and offers a variety of services including education, budget and financial counseling, and when necessary, debt management.