On one hand, the word ‘summer’ can evoke so many positive emotions with thoughts of sunshine, warm weather, BBQs and camping. On the other hand, the word ‘summer’ can also conjure up feelings of stress if you’re wrestling with the age-old question of ‘what should I do with my kids this summer?’ When it comes to your time, energy and finances, you can only give so much, and summer can easily drain you of all those resources if you don’t plan ahead. Here are 5 cost-effective things you can do with your kids this summer.
Strap on a backpack and hit the trails. Alberta is filled with beautiful scenery and accessible hiking locations with varying levels of difficulty. Plan to spend the majority of the day outdoors, taking in the sites and getting a good dose of exercise. By the end of the day, you’ll be exhausted, but the good news is, so will the kids. Tire them out and enjoy a (somewhat) calm evening back home.
- Free workshops
On the 2nd Saturday of every month, Home Depot offers free, 2-hour hands-on workshops for kids ages 5 – 12. These workshops teach kids practical skills, give them finished projects to take home, and give them the opportunity to earn achievement certificates. Find out more information here.
- Free festivals
Kids festivals, cultural festivals, dance festivals, art festivals, you name it. There’s never a shortage of events in both the Calgary and Edmonton area, many of which are completely free! See an exhaustive list of festivals in Calgary here. See an exhaustive list of festivals in Edmonton here.
Try giving the kids a project to work on for the entire summer, like planting a flower garden or growing some vegetables in the backyard. Not only will this give them something to do, but it helps teach them skills like patience and diligence, and if they’re lucky, they’ll get to enjoy the fruits of their labour.
- Day camps
Okay, so maybe you just need a break from your kids this summer. YMCA offers day camps for a week at a time, giving kids the opportunity to participate in a variety of fun, educational and character-building activities. Week-long day camps range in price (depending on age group and camp type) from around $130 – $250. To find out more about YMCA day camps in Calgary, click here. For information on YMCA day camps in Edmonton, click here.
Once again, summer can be both exciting and extremely stressful for parents. Keep your kids busy and yourself sane this summer by planning ahead and scheduling in some cost-effective (or free) family fun.