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.

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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?

 

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Our Summer Bucket List (Have you made yours yet?)

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Summer is lurking… Can you feel it? I got a sunburn over the weekend, so I can definitely feel it.

The kids and I have already started our bucket list- stuff we gotta do while we’re running wild this summer.

So far Henry has requested:

  • Checking out the soon to be open re-done Kids slash ground and pool at the Santee YMCA.
  • And the splash area at the Tierrasanta Pool.
  • Hunt for shells at Silver Strand State Beach.
  • Swim everyday (he has said this at least once a day for a week).
  • Free Museums at Balboa Park on Tuesdays
  • Using our Zoo and Living Coast Discovery Center passes.
  • Play with friends at the park and have “Free Picnics” (aka free lunch for kids-As soon the websites are updated, I will post them).
  • Lots of crafts- And I’ve got tons for him to do, including shrinky dinks and faux stained glass projects.
  • Go to the La Brea Tar Pits.
  • Go to Legoland solely to go to the waterpark.
  • Family Movie night with the “puffy bed”- Set up the air mattress in the living room and snuggle and watch movies.
  • Special events at our local library- They always have fun stuff for kids during the summer.
  • Ride the coaster and have lunch.
  • Ride the trolley with friends to Seaport Village. Ride the carousel and have ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s.
  • Go to the “Kids Movies”- Regal Cinemas has discount second run kids movies all summer a few times a week. They are just $1.00!

I’d love to hear about your summer bucket list and plans!

October is Kids Free Month in San Diego!

Screen Shot 2017-09-26 at 8.56.48 PM.pngIt’s back, Baby!!  I love October for so many reasons (and Pumpkin Spice isn’t one), but mostly I love October  because that means it’s Kids go Free Month here in San Diego.

This is the seventh year that the program has been helping kids and families explore our awesome city and county!

For those of us with curious kids, this is perfect! Kids can get into 43 museums in the San Diego area free with paying adults (all the info can be found here).

Participating organizations include:

1. Barona Cultural Center & Museum
2. Birch Aquarium at Scripps
3. Cabrillo National Monument
4. California Center for the Arts Museum
5. California Surf Museum
6. Coronado Museum of History & Art
7. Fleet Science Center (Galleries only)
8. Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum
9. Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House
10. Heritage of the Americas Museum
11. Japanese Friendship Garden
12. La Jolla Historical Society
13. Living Coast Discovery Center
14. Lux Art Institute
15. Maritime Museum of San Diego
16. Marston House Museum & Gardens
17. Mingei International Museum
18. Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum
19. Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
20. Museum of Making Music
21. Museum of Photographic Arts
22. New Americans Museum
23. Oceanside Museum of Art
24. San Diego Air & Space Museum
25. San Diego Archaeological Center
26. San Diego Art Institute
27. San Diego Automotive Museum
28. San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum
29. San Diego Chinese Historical Museum
30. San Diego History Center
31. San Diego Model Railroad Museum
32. San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat)
33. Serra Museum
34. The New Children’s Museum
35. The San Diego Museum of Art
36. The Water Conservation Garden
37. Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center
38. Timken Museum of Art (it’s always free for everyone FYI)
39. USS Midway Museum
40. Veterans Museum at Balboa Park
41. Visions Art Museum
42. Warner-Carrillo Ranch House
43. Women’s Museum of California

Oh, and as part of free October, Kids can get into the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park free when accompanied by a paying adult!  WOO HOO!

More info can be found here, and other fun, free stuff for kids can be found here and here.

 

October is Free Kids Month in San Diego!

October in San Diego means free fun for kids!

kidsfree2015Kids are invited to explore San Diego’s diverse museums — for FREE! From October 1 – 31, children ages 12 and under receive FREE admission with a paid adult (limit 2) at any of our three-dozen participating museums. Just download the coupon (available here) and present it upon arrival.

Explore the hidden treasures of the ocean or the far reaches of outer space. Delve into local history, visual arts, botanical gardens, architectural treasures — and more! Note: This offer does not include special events/exhibits or field trips.

 

Participating museums:

 

Barona Cultural Center & Museum
Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Cabrillo National Monument
California Center for the Arts Museum
California Surf Museum
Coronado Museum of History & Art
Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum
Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House
Heritage of the Americas Museum
Japanese Friendship Garden
La Jolla Historical Society
Living Coast Discovery Center
Lux Art Institute
Maritime Museum of San Diego
Marston House Museum & Gardens
Mingei International Museum
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
Museum of Making Music
Museum of Photographic Arts
Oceanside Museum of Art
Reuben H. Fleet Science Center (galleries only)
San Diego Air & Space Museum
San Diego Archaeological Center
San Diego Automotive Museum
San Diego Botanic Garden
San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum
San Diego Chinese Historical Museum
San Diego History Center
San Diego Model Railroad Museum
San Diego Natural History Museum (theNAT)
Santa Ysabel General Store
Serra Museum
The New Children’s Museum
The San Diego Museum of Art
The Water Conservation Garden
Tijuana Estuary
Timken Museum of Art (FYI- this museum is always free)
USS Midway Museum
Veterans Museum & Memorial Center
Visions Art Museum
Warner-Carillo Ranch House
Women’s Museum of California

Kids Free in October is presented by ScholarShare, California’s 529 College Savings Plan, with additional support provided by Time Warner Cable, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the San Diego Commission for Arts & Culture.

** The coupon allows up to two children 12 and under to get in FREE with one full-price paid adult. Children must be accompanied by the adult during the visit. This coupon cannot be used for specially ticketed events, Maker Faire San Diego, special exhibitions/exhibits, field trips or group visits. Coupon cannot be combined with any other offer or discount. No cash value. Coupon is valid October 1-31, 2015.

 

Oh, and as part of free October, Kids can get into the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park free when accompanied by a paying adult!  WOO HOO!

There is another list of free stuff for kids (including kids eat free) here on the San Diego Tourism Authority website.