I'm a stay-at-home mom to four kids, two of whom are on the autism spectrum. My husband quit a good-paying job that had him traveling all the time and he started his own business so he could be home with us full time. Some months we have money, and some months are very lean.
Since everyone is now out of school, I was determined to make it memorable for the kids even though there's no money for a summer vacation. And I came up with the "ABCs of Summer." I did a lot of research and made a list of mostly free activities that my kids would love for each letter of the alphabet. Most of them are easy hikes, since we love being in the mountains, and hiking definitely feeds body and soul. I've seen their stamina increase as well as their ability to problem-solve improve on these hikes. Our list also has fun parks we've never tried, free museums at two local universities, geocaching, free events put on by public libraries, swimming, and crafts. My youngest wakes up every day and can't wait to find out what we're doing for our letter that day. And my oldest loves inviting her best friend (who would otherwise be home all day alone because her parents work) to join us. And I'm seeing things in the place I've lived my whole life I probably would never know existed if I weren't searching out activities that start with each letter.
I wanted to tell you about this since there are likely other stay-at-home moms who could come up with lists for their own areas. Thank you for being our champion, Dr. Laura!