Parenting: Need staycation ideas?

Friday, July 22, 2011

It's hot and we're just about halfway through the summer. That means we're getting to the point where a lot of parents and kids are cooped up inside, driving each other crazy. The good news is, thanks to Internet, you can find lots of ways to keep your kids busy, without going far or spending a lot.

Why not make one day each week a museum trip day? The Philadelphia Convention and Tourism Bureau has a great list of free tours you can take, including Independence Hall, Franklin Square, Carpenters Hall , the Edgar Allen Poe House and the Institute for Contemporary Art.

There's another great list here.

And in addition to the traditional tourist attractions, a number of factories in our area offer free tours. You can learn how pianos or pretzels are made. For a list of those tours, click here.

Venturing into the city does mean you'll have to pay for SEPTA or parking, but there's plenty you can do at home, too. You have to eat - turn mealtimes into cooking lessons and let the kids help. Let each child pick a meal that they help you shop and cook for. And who says you have to eat at the kitchen table? Turn the meal into a picnic at the park for a change of pace.

You can also turn other every day activities into fun. With all this heat, we have to water, right? Let the kids do it and don't worry if the task turns into a giant water fight. They can also help weed - just worry about how dirty they get.

This is also a great time to "clean out" the toy box or shelves. Have the kids pick toys and games that they've outgrown that can be donated or sold at a yard sale. But again, don't be too strict. If this turns into a couple of hours of playtime with old toys they haven't touched in a while, what's the harm?

Don't forget the library. It's cool inside and many have free story times and summer reading clubs.

There are also cheap movie matinees, free bowling offers, and arts-and-crafts classes at local craft stores that we reported on Saving with 6abc last month. Click here.

If you have other fun and inexpensive Staycation ideas for the kids, share them in the comments section below, or post them on my Facebook page (search Amy Buckman). And HAVE FUN!

More Staycation ideas:

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