Oh What Fun We Have – Easy and Free to Low Cost Summer Break Ideas

Summer break has been here for about a month or so now, the kids and I are no where near ready to kill each other. I have been enjoying the Summer break quite a bit, sure the lack in routine can occasionally be a bit of a challenge for my son Aj, but overall things are going awesome! As a Mom who has been a penny pincher for as long as she can remember, I wanted to share some tips on how our family has a blast without spending any money, or maybe just a little tiny bit of money some days … I know you can do this too!

Having Summer Break fun Without Breaking the Bank

I am a huge advocate for being happy within, I truly believe if you are not happy within your own self that no one around you will be happy either. That is where Summer Break comes into play, I see every day how happy I truly am because of how happy my children are in response to my deep inner happiness. We love spending quality time together, and they trust me to work a couple hours every day from home because once my work is done, the day is OURS.

Happily Blended Summer Break Fun

Some Things that the Kids and I enjoy Doing During Summer Break Are:

  • Sitting on the deck chatting about whatever or telling funny stories to each other.
  • Taking a trip to Walmart or some other local store and having a look around, it’s always fun to check out new toys.
  • Take a scenic ride somewhere; one day we hopped in the vehicle and drove 2 hours to the ocean.
  • Make blanket forts, play with musical instruments, dress up, pick berries, or play with the ever huge collection of toys in house.

Summer Break Fun

The best part of our summer break days is that we just laugh and laugh and laugh. We are a lively bunch together, and more often than not, you can hear music playing in our home while we do chores together as a means to ensure we are doing our part to keep our household running smoothly. We laugh together, we do chores together, we are family.

What are you doing this Summer break with your family that simply makes you SMILE?

Summer Break Sleep Overs

I have always wanted to be that home for kids, a place to be a “home away from home” so to speak for any and every child. One thing that is actually important to me is to be a part of the foster and adoption system some day and help kids who are a ward of the state or need a place to stay during the time their parents work to get in a better place, so it’s no wonder that my children love having their friends over here at my house. I make the home cozy for kids but we do have rules, boundaries and expectations; it’s not just a “kids run all” place either.

With that being said, my daughter wanted to have her bestie over for the first weekend after school ended and so I allowed that to happen with permission from her bestie’s parents. What better way to ring in the first weekend of Summer break than do have a fabulous sleep over weekend event?

Sleepver over fun for summer break in NH

We went for a swim and had a family fun BBQ at my Dad‘s with a day trip there. Livy, my sister, the three boys, my boyfriend, Dad and step Mom all had a blast. We played pretend volley ball with a blow up ball and pretend net. We ate good food. we laughed and just had such a fun day.  Sadly, one thing about having a home where you encourage people to be who they are and kids to be kids, is that occasionally the youngest will take full advantage of being a kid and do something like this …

Crazy Five year Old

Needless to say he lost all privileges to markers in the van for a long, long, long time after he arrived home looking like this. That is a mix of mud, chocolate ice cream and highlighter. On. His. Face.

Fire Pit Sleep Over NH

Later on that night we decided to start up the fire pit and had a lovely marshmallow roasting event where some had marshmallows and some had smores. Aj had hotdogs, because he doesn’t much care for roasted marshmallows nor smores.

Roasted Marshmallows

It was such a blast being able to have this celebration of a summer sleep over to start summer with a bang! I am glad to be able to enjoy this type of fun with little to no money spent, after all I am a simple person who doesn’t believe in spending a ton of money for fun!

 

 

School Lunch Boxes and Kids Chores

I wish I was the mom who let my kids have school lunches. I have seen the school lunches and I am glad they are there as an option for some kids but my kids will not be eating them. Maybe on a rare occasion I do let them have it, but not usually. I can’t let Aj have school lunch for he gets really stuck in a routine so if he has it one week he will want it that same day next week, and so on and so forth.

This means every night of the week I am to make a new lunch for my kids. I try to spruce things up but overall they end up with similar lunches each week. I usually try to sneak in a healthy option of cucumbers or sliced peppers or something for the little man because I am determined to get that kid to like more food options besides unhealthy ones.

Kids Can do Chores From age 2 and up

After a long day of work at home, picking up kids and dealing with homework. The last thing I want to do is pack up a lunch. Sure, I have been making uncrustables from home on the weekends. It helps alleviate some time. I also slice up green or red peppers to place in sandwich bags for quick toss into the lunch boxes but that doesn’t alleviate the time needed to clean each of the three kids lunch boxes out and pack it all up for the next day.

This is where chore ideas are coming in. I need my three kids to get back on track with chores. I think their new responsibility will be to empty and clean out their own lunch boxes. Why not? They are 5, 7 and 11 plenty old enough for that task and as I have sunk into this life I am currently living, I have started to lose some of myself and that includes making kids do some chores. We are a family and the kids have always had responsibilities but I got sucked into where I am now and they have fallen backwards along with me. It’s time to start assigning lunch box cleaning to the kids.

I think the best way to alleviate the chore list for mom is to encourage more involvement from the kids! At age 2 the kids are plenty old enough to start having small tasks to do around the house. I have always explained chores to my kids like this, “we are a family and as such, we are to each do a small part to help each other lead a funner day. If we each have a task to do, that alleviates it from Mom’s hands and in turn creates more time for us to spend together having fun!”

Wish me luck …. it’s never easy to get kids BACK into chores after slacking for over a year!

 

Back to School with Keen Footwear

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It’s that time of year, in a few weeks kids will be gearing up for early morning school drop offs and/or bus pick ups to get back into the game of school season. Late August my older two start school and first week in September my youngest is heading off for his first year of Kindergarten. It’s an exciting time of year for the kids but can also be a stressful time of year for the parents who are looking for products, clothing, footwear and more to ensure their child is ready for back to school. Today I am here to help share an amazing, high quality shoe line that even my little monster didn’t ruin within the first few months of school last year during Pre-K. This year, Monster K will be heading to school in style with his Jamison shoes from Keen Footwear and he wants to show his handsome footwear off to you all today!

Keen Fotwear for Back to School (2)

It’s wonderful having a camera ham and little actor in the family. Monster K loves his new shoes for school so much that he has snuck them out to wear them to soccer camp last week with his brother, wore them hiking with the family out on a nature trail in Newbury, NH and even wears them around the inside of the house. Monster K is convinced these Jamison line of shoes from Keen make him run faster.

Keen Fotwear for Back to School (3)

There are a few lines from Keen Footwear that will be perfect for your little girl or little boy this back to school season such as the Jamison (MSRP $50) shown in image below, as well as Sorrento lines (MSRP $55), Harvest MJ (MSRP $55), Coronado Print (MSRP $45), Luna Boot (MSRP $70) and last but not least the Maderas Lace line (MSRP $35).

Keen

Keen Footwear is having deals right now on all ages, shapes and sizes! Woman’s, men, toddler, kids, youth and more. Keen Footwear has socks and shoes for this Back to School season so that even the parents can head back to school meetings in style. I personally am a Soccer and Cheer mom so I know I want to make sure my kids are all taken care of with their back to school gear while I look good too. It’s been a fun Summer with my flip flops but Fall is approaching and with that comes shoe and boot season, why not let Keen Footwear help the whole family prepare for the back to school season together?

Keen Fotwear for Back to School (4)

Visit Keen Footwear online to see their full selection of footwear and to learn more about their options for the whole family!

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Thinking About Being Consistent and Chores

I keep thinking back to the day when my oldest was about 2 years old, she would help me with laundry and other household chores. My oldest grew up with responsibility and consequences for her actions in a consistent manner. My oldest learned how to help her Mama around the house without complaint, it had simply become a part of her everyday life without hesitation. Now, here I am a Mom of three with the youngest being four and I don’t believe either of my sons have ever really had any consistent chores in the house. Sure they pick up after themselves when asked, usually. Sure they take care of their dishes after dinner by placing them in the sink. They put their dirty clothes in the basket, usually, after getting dressed in the morning and evening. They do not have any consistent chores and that is part of what I am trying to change.

Chores for Kids

I used to have this cute magnetic chore chart that my oldest helped me make and it was used with enthusiasm, everyone did chores and they had a little magnet creation placed under the column for said chore. I don’t know why I stopped. Another part of that chore chart was if they didn’t listen or what not, they got a tally mark and were deducted “points” from an end of week reward.

One idea I have for when we all move into this new place is to start being consistent as a parent as well as to set up specific chores for the kids. I want to ensure that each child has some chore, it will be every day help around the house as well as ensuring they pick up after their own self. I am no longer picking up toys or crayons because they didn’t pick them up their own self. It’s not my job, my job is to be Mom and ensure I teach them to be well rounded children who will turn out to be great adults who accept and understand consequences and have a sense of pride because they can pick up after their own self, take care of their own self, etc.

My idea is to have a chore chart up with simple chores for the youngest and work the chore ideas up to age appropriate levels. The older kids can have a month to accumulate “reward points” and the younger boys can have a chance to accumulate “reward points” each week. Reason being, the younger kids need a more immediate gratification feeling for their work while older kids can usually handle the waiting period of a month. At the end of each “waiting period” the children will be able to pull a “reward ticket” out of a hat or basket that is created by the parents. From there, each kid will earn a chance to pull out a “reward ticket” that has something written on it based on them getting either money for their chores, extra time with parent, or even extra time with their favorite thing to do such as laptop time or video game, etc. Each child shall pull only one “reward ticket” per month and as parents we may choose to put less “reward ticket” options in the basket if the children did not follow along with their list of chores as expected. Basically they may get some form of a reward but as they consistently do said chores their “earnings” could increase in time as they show us that they do their chores consistently.

This method sounds like it will be a rewarding experience and in turn allow the kids to feel some pride in being an important and responsible part of the household.

What are some ways you have instilled life lessons of picking up after yourself and doing chores with your kids?

 

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