I looked at my calendar this morning. You know the one. The one that takes up half of the refrigerator? The (insert air quotations) family calendar.
And it wasn’t so much the craziness of June that caught my eye, rather it was the thought, “What in Hell’s Bells am I going to do with four kids all summer??”
On a budget.
Like, you know…FREE.
A quick search right away yielded The Aurora Public Library. I have to say, I have never been disappointed with the library. It offers a variety of activities for preschoolers and school-aged children for FREE! Last summer my eldest daughter, now eight, participated in the TD Summer Reading program. This meant she read a minimum of 12 books that she had checked out of the library (not to mention the Harry Potter series she had just delved into.) This year she is gung-ho to participate again and I have a feeling that my six-year old son is ready and excited to join in.
Then, as though the Summer Activity Gods were smiling down on me, I got an email today from our Montessori school with information on this too-good-to-be-true FREE Performing Arts Summer Camp presented by York University. Three consecutive weeks in July of half-day music and movement learning for children aged 6-9 available in either Aurora or Georgetown. Did I mention it’s FREE?
(It’s party of a study; lessons are provided by professionals and the program is developed by music, movement and education specialist.) I’ve already emailed my registration forms. Spaces are limited so if this is up your alley, I recommend you register soon.
Honestly, that’s as far as I’ve gotten in terms of planning our summer schedule. But with the older two occupied for most of our July mornings, I’m free to look into preschool programs for my four-year old twins, something that can be tricky when you’re lugging around older kids. We have nearly outgrown the Ontario Early Years Centre, but Stay-and-Play Fridays or Tuesdays’ Fairy Lake park outings are promising. With dozens of locations spanning the province, you’re bound to find one in your neck of the woods. I’ve always been partial to the Newmarket branch which does a great job of posting its upcoming calendar of event and programs online.
There are a variety of parks and splash pads that are bound to appeal to the kiddos on sweaty, summer days but in a pinch, as a last resort cure-for-the-crazies, I can hook up the sprinkler and let the kids and their friends get all giggly and wet in the backyard. Add a picnic lunch ‘al fresco’ and some popsicles and Bob’s your uncle. Plus, you know, it’s FREE.