Kids, Schedules, and Summertime!

file000981824153.jpgWe keep to a schedule at our house, even in the summer. I know summer is a time for lazy days, playing it by ear, and fun adventures, but when you have a kiddo on the autism spectrum you need a little structure in your life at all times.

Here is a copy of part of our daily summer schedule, I’ve cut off the afternoons as it contains our therapy schedule, as well as lessons/classes. Screen Shot 2018-06-20 at 9.00.47 PM.png

Ok, so first of all, I know you are thinking, “Who the hell gets up at 7:30 during the summer?!?!”, well, us. My kids are usually up by 7:30am in the summer, and that’s sleeping in (ugh, 6:30am, you come too early during the school year).

I’ve included the analog clock  because the big guy is learning to tell time and it helps him visualize on the clocks in the house.

Despite the structure, there is room for creativity and flux. We have freedom in choosing breakfast, what to wear, and there is a 2-hour window of play time, where the kids can do whatever they want: free play, crafts, read a story, watch cartoons.

When my buddy was younger, we frequently went without a schedule, and honestly, I was nuts. Just wandering all day without a plan, I frequently had a headache at the end of the day, and would be dreading the next.  Now we have a loose overview of what to expect each day, and we fill in our time with free or low cost events. Check out your local library branch- they frequently have fun classes or events.

Screen Shot 2018-06-20 at 9.45.05 PM.png
The menu for El Cajon, CA free lunch locations. Pizza and salad twice a week!

And for some reason, kids are bottomless pits in the summer, we try to check out some of the free lunches for kids a few times a week. It helps keep our grocery budget in check, but most importantly, it exposes the kids to trying new foods, and new experiences.  I try and find out the menus ahead of time and expose the kids to 1-2 new foods per week in an environment where there are peers who already like to eat the “new food”.  When kids see peers eating something that’s new to them, often times they try it, even if they may give mom or dad some resistance. I’m not saying that peer pressure is always a bad thing.

In addition to free lunches, I try to keep our family snack bag well stocked. I tend to visit Grocery Outlet and 99 Cents Only for most of our snack needs. $25/week is my budget for lunches and snacks for the summer.

I try not to set our schedules in stone- We get invites to hang out with friends, go to events, or maybe some relatives will come out for a surprise visit (who knows). We want the kids to have fun over the summer, and I do my best to make sure they get a balance of fun times, learning, and relaxation.

I’d love to hear about what you do in the summer: Do you wing it, or have a schedule?

 

Advertisements

Freebies for Donut Day on June 1st!

file0001178253192.jpg

Ok, so first let’s find out why there are two National Donut Days... Thanks Mental Floss.

Now that we’ve figured out that mystery, it’s onto the free donuts….

So far as I can tell, the only place giving away FREE DONUTS with locations in CA and NO PURCHASE is.. Krispy Kreme!

Screen Shot 2018-05-29 at 4.08.06 PM.png

Dunkin’ Donuts is giving away a free Classic Donut with the purchase of any drink.

There are no Duck Donuts locations in CA yet, but it looks like they are all over the East Coast…  Enjoy a FREE Classic Duck Donut on June 1, 2018 including cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar or bare. NO purchase is required!

There are plenty of location, regional chains and independent Donut shops that participate too!  If you know of one, please leave a comment!

Free Meals this Summer for Kids!

file0001360139839.jpgI’m still pulling together resources and lists, so I’ll be posting more resources as they become available.

School will be out within a month for most kids in San Diego, and that means there are some parents (and kids) who usually rely on free or subsidized school lunches may find themselves wondering what to do.

Thankfully, a lot of great organizations have stepped up and partnered with local area schools, libraries, rec centers, and civic organizations to provide free breakfasts, lunches, and snacks for al kids 18 and under this summer.

You can search here for a list of California Department of Education sites that offer free meals (some sites offer breakfast, lunch, and/or snacks).

Some Library sites offer lunch too! Here is a complete list of areas that offer free lunches or snacks.

Some County of San Diego Library Locations offer lunch or snacks. Here is a filtered list for the month of June. Most libraries have a print calendar each month available that can be picked up with more info. The El Cajon Library on East Douglas has a really great lunch program in the summer with a fun activity/craft afterwards.

San Diego Unified School District has partnered with some awesome sponsors to host the Sumer Fun Cafe 2018 all over San Diego County! Lunch will be served at over 30 locations all summer for kids 18 and under! The kick off Summer BBQ (with free lunch for adults too) at Skyline Hills Park 6/20/17 10:30am-2:00pm! There are all kinds of activities too!

What I love about this program is that there are tons of rec centers hosting these lunches and they are usually adjacent to a playground, which means after a long morning of playing, the kids don’t have long to wait to get a yummy lunch!

Looking for a few ideas of summer fun with a nearby lunch?

If you know of more summer lunch programs for kids in San Diego County, I’d love to hear about them! Please leave a comment!

Freebie Friday!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We’ve been busy getting ready for our camping trip next week, but I am sitting long enough to share these awesome freebies!

Free Subscription to Redbook Magazine

Free Redbox Game, DVD, Bu-ray Rental

Free MAKEbreak Celebration Slime Event at Michaels

Free Sample of Garnier Whole Blends Oat Delicacy

Target Baby Registry – Free Welcome Kit In-Stores

Free Subscription to Sports Illustrated

Free Sample of The Republic of Tea Tea Bag

Free Father’s Day Event at JCPenney

Free 2-Year Subscription to Midwest Living Magazine

Free Just Because Greeting Card at Hallmark

Free Larabar for Kroger & Affiliates

Free Red Bull at 7-Eleven

Free The Original MakeUp Eraser

Complimentary Subscription to Real Simple Magazine

 

What is your favorite freebies this week?

Tax Day & Earth Day Freebies!

0207e888b0d42795291d2b65c42bc1e8.jpgLet’s be honest… Most of us have already done our taxes, gotten our refunds and spent them. For some of you, you are waiting until the last second.

Regardless of your status, we can all agree that free is good. Here is a list of freebies that are available this week.

Free Hot Dog on A Stick (or Veggie Dog) 4/17/18

If you live near a Hardee’s: Free Sausage Biscuit at Hardee’s  (Carl’s Jr. isn’t participating.. Sorry West Coasters).

National “Chill out Day”! Free Kona Shaved Ice on April 17th From their webpage, “Our motto is “No taxation without relaxation!” It’s free shaved ice for all of working America on Tax Day. Come chill out with us!”

Now I’ve heard that there are some Chick-Fil-A locations that are giving away free 3 count Chicken Minis.. I’ve emailed some people I know that do PR for CFA and I’ll post when I get confirmation/denial.

Now in some states you can’t specifically say the freebie is for tax day (some laws about the freebie being a bribe or gift for doing your taxes), so they may just be freebies. And not all of these are available every area, so you may want to check before you leave home.

Other Freebies this week that I don’t necessarily think are Tax Day Freebies, more like Earth Day (on 4/22) Freebies:

5 Lbs of free shredding at Office Depot or Office Max

Staples – Free 1 lb. of document shredding

National Parks – Free entrance days on 21st
Ikea:  4/21 & 4/22: Each day, the first 200 IKEA FAMILY members to show their membership card will receive a free gift! (One per customer per day.)

Saturday SNAJDA laundry bag
Sunday STAJLIG multifunction hanger
Saturday and Sunday Talanda milk chocolate bar or Talanda dark chocolate bar

 

Screen Shot 2018-04-15 at 9.22.17 PM.pngNOT FREE, but Gift with Purchase…. Disney Stores Go green! Get a FREE reusable tote bag with any purchase on Earth Day, April 22nd, at any Disney store location.

 

Now in past years that have been more freebies, but like so many things, those days have passed. If you plan on taking advantage of any of these dales/freebies, maybe do some other free stuff on the way. Visit a park, go for a walk, or if you are at the mall, duck into See’s Candy for a free sample. Heck, if you are at Ikea and are a Family Rewards Member, go upstairs to the Cafe and get your free cup of Coffee!!

Friday Freebies!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s Friday, and that means it’s time for some freebies! Now that school is back in session and we’re all healthy- I’ll be posting more often!

Here is a fairly extensive list of Freebies. There are all kinds of goodies. This is a nationwide list, so some of the stores are not in our area. Here are just a few of my favorite freebies:

What is your favorite freebie?

Freebie Friday!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s Friday, and that means it’s time for some freebies!