GUEST CONTRIBUTOR: CHRISTINA PAY, USU EXTENSION ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
“Summertime and the livin is easy” or so say the words of an old song. The living might be easy but not necessarily cheap. That said, summertime is full of long sunny days filled with plenty of opportunities for getting outside to make memories with our loved ones. Looking back on the years I spent raising my children, it went incredibly fast. However, I’m grateful for the memory making moments we spent together, especially during the summer months.
Summertime can certainly be stressful for families. Day trips and adventures can be expensive. However, there are ways to keep the kids busy and have fun, too, without it costing too much.
Plan your day trips and activities. Take a look at your summer calendar and decide how many day trips and activities you can do that don’t cost too much. Look online to find events or activities within your community. Maybe there’s a weekly event at the library or community center that provides an outing at no cost. Many communities have splash pads that are free to the public. Drive-in theaters are making a comeback and provide an inexpensive and unique way for a family to enjoy a relaxing evening in the car. Pack up some snacks and drinks and save money by not buying costly concessions.
Food and drink. While saving money on activities, don’t make the mistake of spending money on meals and snacks. Get organized! Buy snacks in bulk, take your own sandwiches or fill a picnic basket. My kids loved going on picnics and those are still some of their favorite memories. The internet is full of snack ideas and picnic varieties. Just make sure to keep food in a cooler with plenty of ice.
Be sun wise while having fun. It’s common knowledge that sunscreen is a necessity. However, you don’t have to pay high prices to get good coverage. Sunscreens with SPF 30 block 97% of UVB rays while the more expensive SPF 50 blocks 98%. Other sun safe tips include: wearing UV protected sunglasses, wear a wide brimmed hat and staying in the shade as much as possible.
By taking the time now to plan and prepare, summertime living can be easy, inexpensive, stress free, and full of memory building fun.
Christina appreciates the many opportunities for learning that Extension provides. Her favorite topic is teaching about the healthy development of young children and the importance of loving, supportive relationships in their lives. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, a nice walk or hike in nature, and reading a good book.
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