Summer is little more than a month away and no one is more excited than the children. Single parenting is no walk in the park for anyone, but summertime can be especially challenging. That being said, it isn’t the end of the world and doesn’t have to be a frustrating nightmare every step of the way, especially during the time of year kids are expecting the most fun. As a working parent or sole provider it can be difficult, to say the least to find the time or money to give your children the fun-filled summers they deserve, but here are a few low-cost ideas to ensure you are putting smiles on their faces.
Free or low cost summer programs
Summer camps, often a dream of every child who longs for adventure (as well as parent longing for freedom). They tend to be on the expensive side, and are rarely an option for single-parent low income households. However, there are many options that offer cheap or completely free summer camp options. The YMCA is probably the largest provider of low cost camping, both overnight and day camps, and offer financial assistance for low income families. They have camps for all ages from preschoolers to teenagers and various themes as well. The Salvation Army also offers similar camping programs for low-income families. The Boys and Girls club of America also offers summer camps and programs for kids of all ages and just like YMCA, offers scholarships to pay for needy families.
Parks and Recreation
No, not the TV show, the actual outdoors. It is worth noting that while many theme parks have absurd expenses for a single visit or paid in full season pass, many allow season pass purchases over time. Knott’s Berry Farm is a great example, 16 dollars per month for the season. It is worth checking out your nearby theme parks prices. As for other low cost adventures in the outdoors, try fishing. Fishing is extremely cheap source of recreation. Bait can be dug up or purchased for a few bucks and the purchase of poles will last several years. A fishing license is usually not required for anyone under 16, and even then it lasts the entire year. Mini golf, swimming, bowling are all low-cost options to keep a frugal summer from being a bummer. Beyond those options, work off of your child’s interests.
As a parent you of course aim to make every summer your child’s “best” summer ever. For 3 months a year they get to be carefree, silly and out of a stuffy classroom. There are more to smiles then doing things and going places. Kids pick up on everything so try to keep life’s frustrations, like arguments and messy divorce proceedings, at a minimum. If you’re in or around the Oakland area, Liaise Solutions can make the latter go much smoother. They specialize in divorce mediation and other dispute resolutions without the need for travel or expensive attorneys. Mediation can be performed online, including all document prep and transfer. It takes the headache out of otherwise costly litigation and can keep you from having to appear in court for contested cases. But I digress, regardless of your choice in summer fun for your children, it is never too early to prepare. On one final note, if low cost or free summer camp ends up being something you are interested in, research and book as soon as possible. The majority of them start early June and fill up quite quickly, as do the financial programs.