Previous Post Next Post


Brought to you by

School's Out – What Now?

By Jen at PIWTPITT |

I looked at my calendar today and realized something.  In two short weeks, my kids will be out of school for the summer.  Ack!  My heart is racing.  I can’t tell you if it’s because I’m excited or panicking.  What are we going to do this summer?  No one naps anymore and I can’t spend every waking hour at the pool (which is what the kids will want to do).

In February, many of my super organized friends were signing up their children for fabulous and amazing camps to attend all summer long.  I’m not sure what I was doing in February, but I know I wasn’t signing them up for camps.

I remember that I looked at some of the brochures and I wasn’t that impressed with many of them and, in fact, I was a bit horrified by a few.  There was actually a camp where my child could build with Legos for 3 hours a day for a mere $150.  That’s when I realized I could do many of these “camps” at home with little or no expense.

1.  Lego Camp – (free) – We have a bazillion (yes, that’s an accurate number) of Legos in our house.  They are in bins, buckets and baskets spread out over 3 levels of our home.  They are tucked between sofa cushions and behind dressers and under beds.  All we need to do is round up all of these wayward Legos, pull out the instructions of how to build whatever Star Wars contraption we want and get building.

2.  Art Camp – ($50 tops) – Adolpha wanted to attend art camp and when I saw it cost $200 plus supplies, I convinced her I could do better.  I have a craft room/art studio in the basement that is chock full of supplies.  Every day can be something different:  acrylics, watercolors, pinch pots, Modge Podge.  I might need to buy new paint brushes when she’s done mangling mine, but that will be a fair trade for all of the beautiful “art” she’s going to give me.

3.  Sports Camp – (free) – Gomer wanted to go to Soccer Camp, but it was several hundred dollars.  I bought some cheap cones and I’m going to set up my own drills in the backyard for him to do.  We have a net where he can practice shooting goals.  Since her broken arm experience, Adolpha has decided she no longer wants to play soccer.  She’ll most likely jump rope and swing during “Sports Camp.”

4.  Creative Writing Camp - (priceless) – This is my own invention.  This summer I need to get a lot of writing done and I need the kids to give me some quiet time to write.  Gomer and Adolpha both enjoy writing and drawing, so I’m going to have them write their own books.  They’ll journal each morning and work on their books.  (Gomer will have more direction than Adolpha since he can actually write.)  At the end of the summer, I’d like them to have a finished product they can self-publish and keep.

5.  Couch Camp – (really priceless) – This was Adolpha’s idea.  She was a bit overwhelmed by all of the “camps” I was planning and really thought she’d need a break.  She also realized that Daddy wasn’t very involved with the camps and she didn’t want to leave him out.  She thought he’d be the perfect director for a week long “Couch Camp.”  Couch Camp involves cuddling with Daddy on the couch and watching movies while Mommy works.  I think Couch Camp should last 2 weeks.

What about you?  What are your plans for the summer?  I have more weeks to fill with “camps,” do you have any ideas for me?

Be sure to read my daily rants at People I Want to Punch in the Throat where you’re sure to laugh and/or might be offended (it’s where you can find my R-rated rants).

Follow People I Want to Punch in the Throat on Facebook and Twitter.

Read more of Jen at PIWTPITT – There is No Shame in Wanting a Minivan and Open Letter to Silly Celebrity Moms and Are You Raising Free Range Kids? and Mommy Guilt:  Yesterday I Figured Out What All the Hoopla Was About.



More on Babble

About Jen at PIWTPITT



Jen is a blogger and author who recently published the book Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat. She started her humorous blog, People I Want To Punch In The Throat, in April 2011. She has written for Babble, and has also been published in The Huffington Post. She resides in Kansas with her family.

« Go back to Kid

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, profile photo and other personal information you make public on Facebook (e.g., school, work, current city, age) will appear with your comment. Comments, together with personal information accompanying them, may be used on and other Babble media platforms. Learn More.

9 thoughts on “School's Out – What Now?

  1. Ami says:

    Don’t forget “sample all the different ice cream stores” camp. It will probably cost the most of all your camps, but it will be delicious. Oh so delicious.
    And you can do “book” camp, because most libraries have a summer reading program where the kids earn prizes for reading (or being read to.)
    Have fun!

  2. Janet says:

    I think you should sign them up for a real camp (if you still can) for a week or so. One thing missing is the interaction with other kids.

  3. Bruttally Honest Mom says:

    I always have ambitions of doing a farmers market camp – pick a new localish one every week, spend the morning futzing around there getting goodies and talking to the farmers about what they’re growing. Retail, dinner planning and education combined!

  4. Ericka says:

    I think camp is an overrated waste of money. My kids will spend most of their summer in the camp of Go outside and play! Hopefully they will find some neighbor kids to play with. We will go on some fun outings, and my plan for fun is doing one activity off of pinterest on the days when we aren’t going anywhere. I do not need to pay someone 200 per week per kid to entertain my children. Although if I could find a cheaper option I may consider it just for some quiet:)

  5. Stefanie Dammert says:

    There’s also Home Ec camp. It consists of imparting valuable skills for their future. ‘Caring for your clothes”: this is easy for the smaller ones, they can run the wet clothes to the dryer and push the power button with a little supervision. Also, sorting the colors and the whites will help them with ‘color theory’ in art.
    ‘Cooking”- sandwich making, learning to pour water and other non-staining liquids, lemon squeezing, toast making, salad tossing.
    “Food procurement”- when going to the grocery store, give them some items they have to remember and locate. Good for memory skills.
    Best of all: FREE!

  6. Tasha says:

    I found some cheap camps on Groupon and LivingSocial . Half price. Only did two weeks for each of them . I am going to break it up. Also going to try to het some parents together every Friday at the park. So whoever shows shows.

  7. pamb says:

    While I think camps can be expensive, and some are overrated, I do think that if you look, you can find low cost alternatives for a week or two.

    A local high school in a neighboring town runs a great program for 6 weeks, with a half day, four days a week for $50-60. Classes range from cooking to arts and crafts to performing arts to sports, runs by high schoolers (with adult supervision). I’m sending my kids all day for just under two weeks at $240. Of course my kids wanted the more expensive classes…

    Where we used to live, a movie chain had free movies two days a week. There are also library events, museum free days (although sometimes they are off during the summer months).

    The rest of the summer will involve the pool, the beach, and playmates when possible. My kids get along well, but do need to be with other kids as well.

  8. Shannon says:

    Jen, YES, thank you for posting this! I feel the exact same way about camps: expensive and overstimulating. I understand putting your kid(s) in camp as a form of daycare if you need to work, believe me, I do. But my own personal kid kind of needs a break from organized activities. I hope to have a loose schedule of basic plans (as you say, easy to come up with, thanks to Pinterest), and swim lessons, which is a non-negotiable safety-based activity. The thought of hauling him every morning to camp is just too much for all of us.

  9. Gypsie says:

    How about an “Outdoor” Camp? You can try to identify birds, plants, and insects right in your own backyard or metro park. Build a tent or fort outside. Actually sleep outside under the stars, build a fire to roast marshmallows! You could have a blast with outdoor camp. Dig for worms and try fishing! My 18 month old LOVES to dig for worms. We do it almost every night while Daddy is grilling dinner.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

Previous Post Next Post