Summer time is very different for blended families! Sometimes it means you are all together for a longer extended period of time or that the house is more quiet because one or more of the kids are with the other parent. We have three different schedules for our 3 kids posted on the fridge all year long but even then I get the pick up or drop offs confused from time to time. However, having this posted, the kids know exactly when and where they are going to be and that seems to help. If you are a new blender then just letting the kids know when and where they will be helps them so much. In the beginning for us, one of the kids would cry when we picked them up but after a couple of days they were perfectly happy. Sadly, it was because the other parent would not prepare the child in any way for the transition. I think it made the other parent feel loved more if the child cried to leave and/or stay. Sound familiar? We can’t change the other parent but being the most steady and stable for your kids can help them transition and grow. The first few summers, when we did have all the kids, we did not have alot of money. Divorce, re-marriage, and attorney fees saw to that. There are however, so many low cost amazing things to do with the kids (blended family or not) that help with the family bonding experience. I thought I would share a few of the things we did to give ideas. Parks are amazing for low budget fun. We of course for an afternoon would head to a local park but we also took it a step farther and started an annual family park fun day. The week or so before school starts we start in the morning and go play at as many local parks as we can fit in a day.
The first year we went to 4 parks that dayand had a picnic lunch at their favorite. The next year we tried to beat that by going to 5 to play but only made it to 3 because one of the kids got sick (hey that’s life)! We also went on a train ride. There are train stations all over and their website lists several day trips. It cost us $50 for a family of 5 round trip and the kids still talk about it. We also had a family water balloon fight. It costs very little for balloons and water guns and we had a lot of fun chasing each other around shooting and squealing. This last suggestion may be limiting to your area but had to throw it in because it is so cool. We have a planetarium within an hour drive. Their astronomers set up their telescopes in different places one night a month for star and planet gazing and it’s completely free to take the family out and let them see through these huge telescopes and also they teach the kids about what they are seeing! These are just a few ideas but their is so many memory making things you can do! Of course, every family should do this but I think it is so important to make precious memories with your blender family! “A family is a place where principles are hammered and honed on the anvil of everyday living.” ~ Chuck Swindoll