For the first few days they’ll likely be busy burning off excess pent up energy. Still, within a short time, some will inevitably mutter the words parent’s hate to hear: “I’m bored.”
Does this sound like something you anticipate hearing from your kids soon? If so, you may have considered sending them to summer camp to keep them occupied.
Of course, summer camp is not without fees. If you don’t want to pay them, or simply can’t afford to, you can keep summer camp fees down.
1. Limit the Number of Camps
When I was young, my brothers and I attended a few different summer camps. However, my parents chose to keep summer camp fees down by limiting the number of camps we went to.
Rather than paying huge fees to 3 or 4 different camps for each of us, they took an alternate approach. They let us choose one camp to go to.
Obviously, they could have simply chosen the cheapest one to send each of us to. But by allowing us to choose we were able to pick the one we most wanted to go to. Our parents were happy because they saved money and we were happy attending the camp of our choice.
2. Choose Alternate Activities
Another way to keep summer camp fees down is to choose alternate activities for your kids. This is another tactic my parents took to save money.
For example, we were each allowed to play one summer sport. To keep us occupied we also played lots of free or cheap outdoor games too. A few we played were tag, catch, and Frisbee. We also rode our bikes and had lots of squirt gun fights to cool off. On cool, rainy, indoor days we build blanket forts, played board games, and had pillow fights.
There are plenty of different inexpensive activities to choose from that are great alternatives to summer camp. Letting your kids pick a few of them puts them in control of their own fun.
3. Let Kids Pay Their Own Way
As my brothers and I got older, the camps we wanted to go to became more expensive. In order to attend even one of them we had to use some of our own money.
One of the great things about this approach is that your kids learn about money. Have them complete odd jobs at home for pay or earn money on their own.
Then, meet them part way by paying half of their camp fees. You’ll keep summer camp fees down and they’ll learn how far their money goes.
4. Plan Ahead for Summer Camp
Planning ahead for summer camp is one more way to keep summer camps fees down. While it won’t actually decrease the costs of camp it can decrease the financial burden come summer.
You can budget for the cost of summer camp by setting aside a few dollars each month. Once summer comes around you’ll already have the money without feeling extra strain on your wallet.
5. Encourage Spending Time with Others
To keep summer camp fees down you can also encourage your kids to spend time with others instead. This is also a good way to save on summer childcare costs.
Let your kids go visit their grandparents for a few days or even a couple of weeks. Another option is to hire a dependable, trustworthy teenager or college student to spend time with them.
Your kids might learn new skills and build or strengthen relationships by spending time with others. It’s also a good way to keep them busy and engaged throughout the summer.
Having your kids spend time with others can reduce the fees you pay for summer camps. But it also helps them grow as individuals at the same time.
Trying to get your finances in shape by summer can be difficult enough on its own. You don’t need the added stress of paying hundreds in camp fees. Use these ideas to help you keep summer camp fees down and save money at the same time.
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How do you keep summer camp fees down for your kids?