Summer Activites for Kids-Paying vs. FREE

Let’s see by a raise of hands who would want to have your kids participate in FREE activities?  Then let’s see those that would like to pay a couple hundred dollars for them to participate?

It sounds like a no brainer, but when you have older kids unfortunately the FREE stuff goes out the door.  Today as I was driving around I saw the banners going up at the local churches for VBS.  When my kids were little we used to VBS hop in the summer.  It was FREE and it gave me some free time as well.

Now I have 2 high schoolers.  Oh my word…I have to high schoolers!!  That thought is still settling in.  Anyways, the FREE movies that play at the theater are pretty much out.  VBS is out, since the last year you can participate is 5th or 6th grade, and the free craft days at the library or Home Depot are also out.

What do you do when you have older kids?  Well you pay for activities.  Hear me out.  Not just any activities, but activities that will benefit them now and in the future.

During the whole month of July my kids will both participate in a camp that goes for 4 hours every morning.  Yep, it’s even in the morning.  My kids won’t complain, they will jump out of bed with full enthusiasm.  What I have learned from this camp is my kids are learning what it’s like to live a life full of activity.  They both love to exercise.  Even when there is not a sport happening, they like to keep on training.

To me this is Money 4 This, or money well spent.  This whole thought process is something their generation is really missing out on.  They are learning valuable life skills of a healthy life.

I think some parents put their kids into any camp in the summer and plunk down the money, because they don’t have time or they have to work.  I think if this is what you have to do, just make sure it’s promoting something you think is valuable and something the kids will love.

It’s ok to pay for activities, unfortunately every FREE activity might not work for you or for your child.  The reason why I save so much in other areas is so I can afford camps like this.  This Works for Me and my family.

What about you?  Are you willing to spend money on summer activities for your kids?  Or better yet, what FREE things do you do with your high school kids?


  1. My daughter would love this type of thing. I realize you are protecting your family by not posting specifics. Is this only for high schoolers? I have a jr higher. I’d love to hear more about it if you’re willing to share. Thanks for your time.

  2. My oldest 2 are now grown & on their own, but some of my favorite things they did during Summer vacations had to do with volunteering their time at VBS or scout camps for younger kids and then when they were old enough summer jobs. My 2nd son spent part of his Summer between 8th grade & high school on a mission trip with other youth from our church.

    I am not financially able to pay for my kids to participate in activities, but they always found something worthwhile to keep them from being bored.

  3. Volunteering with summer church events is a great idea!!!! I love that suggestion. Our church will have a one day event that both my kids will be involved with, but that’s about it. My oldest will go on a missions trip as well this summer.
    Being that our oldest is 16 we dropped the ball on summer jobs. She has applied to a few, but what we didn’t know is you have to apply in March for those summer jobs. She has a few other places she is going to try, but for now will work on her photography business and babysitting.
    It’s true they will find something to do, and with sports there won’t be a ton of time, but we will encourage socializing if anything. I just miss the days of FREE movies, and FREE craft time.