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By Jordan Beach, LSW – May 28, 2019

Summer vacation is here! If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to start planning summer activities for your children.

We perceive summer to be a laid back, more relaxed time, but parents know this is actually a time that requires a lot of forethought. With more hours of the day becoming your responsibility, the pressure to find fun, enriching activities is definitely on.

Have you resolved to limit your child’s screen time this summer? If so, great!  But now how will you fill their time? You don’t have to be a Pinterest-perfect parent to create a memorable summer for your children.

Summer camps are the obvious first option, but they can be pricey. There are summer camps and programs offered all over the area that range in price and provide children with ample opportunity to have new experiences.

Camps are also helpful for working parents. However, keep in mind that this option comes with a price tag that might not be reasonable for your family.

There are a lot of ways to have fun and create memories for your children at home without spending a lot of money. If you’re looking to have more of a “Do-it-Yourself” summer with your children, there are a lot of options to spark their creativity and nurture their imaginations in your own backyard.

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Build a fort. A fort can be left up for days. All you need is chairs, blankets and a little imagination. This can be used as a reading nook or expanded into imaginative play for younger children.
  • Create a breakout session in your house. There are many ideas online that can help you design an escape room for your kids. This is a good way to mix in some academics with the fun. Topics range from math to conflict resolution. Your options are really limitless.
  • Put all of those Amazon boxes to good use. Cardboard boxes are gold in the world of imaginative play. You can create a living room “drive-in” where your kids sit in the cars they’ve designed while watching a movie or reading a book. You can make instruments using cardboard and rubber bands. Also, free drawing on boxes with markers or paint always seems to be a good time for little ones.
  • Help your kids expand their culinary skills. Let them pick out recipes and help you shop for the ingredients. This is a great activity to help your child become creative in the kitchen while also teaching them planning and budgeting.
  • Go for the classics – water balloon fights, running through the sprinkler, washing the car. It gets hot in Indiana during the summer months, so cool off in fun ways!

This is in no way an exhaustive list of summer activities. A little creativity and planning can really help you and your children stay busy while bonding this summer.

By Sarah Laury, LCSW, May 22, 2018 – Courier & Press

The countdown to summer has officially begun.  There are only a few short weeks until school is out for the summer.

Many families look forward to the days of swimming, relaxing, and vacationing.  Most are also excited about sleeping in, staying up late, and taking a break from the daily grind of homework and packing lunches.

For some families, though, summer break can come as a financial and logistical hardship.  During the school year many families rely on the national school lunch and breakfast program.  With this program, families can take advantage of subsidized school breakfasts and lunches to help lighten the financial load that comes with feeding their families.

In addition to the meal programs, many families count on afterschool programs to provide a safe and structured environment for their kids in the afternoons.   This time of year many families are scrambling to make arrangements for child care and making financial preparations for the increased cost that comes with kids being home for the summer.

Our community has several resources in place that families can access to help alleviate some of this strain and hopefully allow for a more relaxed and enjoyable summer.

The EVSC has a free summer lunch program for children ages 18 and under that runs Monday – Friday throughout the summer.  From May 30 – June 30, lunch will be served at Cedar Hall, Dexter, Evans, Fairlawn, Glenwood, Lodge, and Tekoppel.

Lincoln and McGary offer breakfast and lunch from May 30 – June 23, and Lincoln will serve lunch only from June 26 – July 28.  Vogel will serve breakfast and lunch from May 22 – July 28.  Times vary by site.  Adult meals are available for purchase.  See this link for locations, dates, and times:  https://district.evscschools.com/acadprog/summer_lunch_programs

Warrick County School Corporation offers a summer meal program for children ages 18 and under.  Adult meals are available for purchase.  Dates and locations are as follows:

  • Loge Elementary School: July 16 – July 27 – Lunch Monday – Friday from 11:00 – 12:00.
  • Tennyson Elementary School: July 16 – July 27 – Lunch Monday – Friday from 11:00 – 12:00.
  • Chandler Elementary School: June 4 – July 27 – Lunch Monday – Friday from 11:00 – 12:30.  In addition to lunch, breakfast will be served between 8:00 – 9:00 am Monday – Friday during the following dates at Chandler Elementary School:  June 4 – June 29 and July 17 – July 27.

Boys and Girls Club of Evansville is open during the summer – Monday-Friday from 9:00 – 4:00 at two locations.  The One Main Unit on Bellemeade Avenue serves children ages 6 – 17, and the Fulton Square Unit serves children age 5 (must be enrolled in kindergarten) – 14.  Annual membership is $10 per child and a payment plan can be arranged if needed.  Activities include game rooms, tech lab, and arts and crafts.  See website for application and additional information or call 812-425-2311. http://bgclubevv.org/

YMCA of Southwestern Indiana offers free summer programming for school-aged children Monday – Friday throughout the summer at their Caldwell Community Center location.  See brochure for additional information or call 812-492-6716. http://www.ymcaswin.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/CommunityOutreach14Corrected-1.pdf

K Camp is a free 4-week kindergarten readiness program sponsored by the United Way and EVSC.  The program runs from June 4 – June 29 at two different locations – Lodge Community School from 9:00 am -12:30 pm and Caze Elementary School from 8:45 am – 12:00 pm.  To register, call 812-421-7274. http://unitedwayswi.org/k-camp/

Showplace Cinemas 2018 Family Film Festival – Eight weeks of family- friendly movies for $1 per person and concession specials at multiple Showplace Cinemas locations.  For exact dates and show times, see http://wkdq.com/showplace-cinemas-announces-2018-1-summer-movie-schedule/

Evansville Parks and Recreation City Pools offer weekly family nights at two different locations.  On family night, 2 adults and up to 4 kids can swim for $5.  Family night at Mosby Pool is on Wednesdays from 6-8 pm and at Rochelle-Landers Pool on Thursdays from 6-8 pm.

Have a great summer!