The final bell of the school year has rang and at long last summer freedom has arrived. Finally a time to do all those things you dreamed of doing. Maybe it's riding your bike, swimming with friends, water balloon fights, laying on a beach, or starry night campfires. Whatever it is, the possibilities are endless, and the time is yours.
For many children and their families these possibilities come at a price; both financially and structurally, many of which may struggle with the new demands. Suddenly the hours of the day that were filled with learning and social interactions at school return to home and parents may find themselves struggling to meet the demands of their children. This also means that many of the routines of the school year are lost and usher in the routines, or lack thereof, for summer.
The reality for many children and youth are unplanned, unstructured days, which means sitting at home in front of a screen for hours on end, limited social interactions, or simply feeling bored. While for some, this may be exactly how they want to spend their free summer days by breaking free of constricting routines of the school year, many simply do not have the choice and wish for something more.
The good news is that there are many options out there, some of them are closer than one may think, and best of all, most are free. Here are a few of the local Glen Cairn/Pond Mills summer programs.
City of London Free Drop In Playgrounds
Ages 6-9 9-12pm Mon-Thurs.
Ages 10-12 12:30-3:15pm Mon-Thurs.
Special trips/Field Trips may come at additional cost
Meredith Park - 450 Nelson Street
Southeast Optimist Park - 237 Deveron Cres.
Wilton Grove Public School - 626 Osgoode
Rowntree Park - 750 Whetter Ave
More info at City of London Summer Playground Programs
Pond Mills Library
Summer R.E.A.D. program - Sign up for children entering grades 2-7 in fall 2016
Books for babies - Wednesdays 2-2:45pm Drop-in, July 6th - August 31st
More info at London Public Library
Glen Cairn Community Resource Centre - Camp GPS
July 25-29, Aug 8-12, & 15-19
Weekly snacks, field trips, swimming, and games
$70.00/week or $300 for all 5 weeks (additional onetime $10.00 trip t-shirt fee)
More info at Glen Cairn Community Resource Centre - Camp GPS
More info at City of London Spray Pads and Wading Pools
Alternatively there are plenty of activities for parents and children to enjoy around the home and in the neighbourhood that require little planning or costs. A few examples could include:
Organize a neighbourhood or park nature scavenger hunt
Take a bike ride or walk through the neighbouring parks and bike trails along the Thames.
Well-placed yarn is all you need to let your kids get their Mission Impossible on.
Water activities are always a must; organize a water balloon fight, set up the wild wacky sprinkler, bust out a slip n' slide or have fun with sponges!
Have fun with bubbles big and small
Plan a picnic and check out the local playground or take a journey to somewhere new
Try a sidewalk mural of your own
Pretend to be a pirate for the day and even make a ship out of cardboard
Make paper boats and race them
Build 3D structures with marshmallows and toothpicks
Take a free kid's workshop at stores like Lowe's or Home Depot
Have a game night with charades, Pictionary, or your family's favourite board game
Whatever the plan is for summer, be sure to make it a great one. The potential to make lasting memories for you and your family is always present so make the most this summer!