Free and Fun has become my mantra for the summer. I fully anticipate that this will be my only summer "off" with the kids (other than those two maternity leave summers, and, of course, last year's hiking summer) and I want to take as full advantage as possible of all summer has to offer. Unfortunately, since I've been "off" for a year now, we have to be judicious with the cash flow, and so I want to take as full advantage as possible while spending as little money as possible.
We got started right away with a trip to a nearby pond, two days after they got out of school (their first day off we spent running errands, which is neither fun nor free). It's a pond I've known about for years, but not one we've ever visited before, since the choice of public access is either the edge of the road or a short hike through the woods to a rock jump-off spot. Not exactly an ideal spot to take little kids, but perfect for big ones. I convinced E and Z that they wanted to try this new adventure by craftily inviting along their BFF.
The day was nice, the water pleasant and the pond just the right size for 12-year-olds to swim across. Their friend made several leaps off the rock, but only Z mustered up the daring to try it—once. Which is fine with me—I spent too many years as a lifeguard, where the dangers of jumping or diving into mysterious waters from heights were drummed in ad nauseam.
When Monday rolled along I threw around some ideas of how to spend the day. I wanted to go to the beach, mainly to sooth the rash from my brown tail moth run-in with cold saltwater. M wanted to do nothing, it being his day off work, though he proposed sending me grocery shopping while they played tennis. E's enthusiasm for returning to the pond overruled everyone else's ideas and so that's what we did, even dragging M along with us.
The rest of this week, E and Z went to a canoe and paddle board camp—also Free and Fun! thanks to our local conservation organization and a grant they have to get more kids outside. Now, looking ahead to July, I'm looking for more ideas of Free and Fun! things to do. Any ideas?