Cheap or Free Summer Kids Activities – Fort Worth/Keller, Texas

In my 27 years of parenting, this is my first summer to be a SAHM. We are two days into the summer, yes only two days, and I feel the need for some alone time!! Obviously not for the weak minded, which is where I fear I am falling tonight.

I have been researching some tools and routines to keep my nine year old from disowning me and locking me in a closet… the social media sensation Scary Mommy blog that I read about a month ago, convinced me our ideal summer would be lazing around, kids playing outside, Ya Ya Sisterhood type of summer … 10 Ways to Give Your Kid a 1970’s Kind of Summer by Melissa Fenton.

I think it was a great idea, but my mini and I need more structure and a plan to keep away from the electronic mind suckers – TV, Cartoon Network, Minecraft, and the iPad.

Last night we found and printed off a loose weekly schedule template by Kayse Pratt at Intentional Moms.

Lazy Mondays – Where we clean up for the weekend and create something at home.
Tuesday Trip – Go to the park, zoo, or swimming.
Bookworm Wednesday – Trip to the library, then veg at home and read.
Thursday Kitchen – Make one new dish with mom or dad.
Fun Friday – Go do something fun – we will be drawing a surprise trip out of our mason jar of the ideas below.

The template started a great conversation and we (my 9 year-old and I) talked about a loose schedule, and how changes will occur. We’ve already had to move our Wednesday plan – a trip to the library to Tuesday because my twice yearly hair appointment is on Wednesday this week… thankfully I will be able to quit wearing head bands and scarfs to cover my gray hair, but I digress.

Before I get too excited about my hair appointment, I will keep talking about our new summer routine. We also discussed several options for inexpensive or free field trips each week. I already mentioned the public library, reading always a great, free activity, right! Of our options, we will be writing each different idea on a small piece of paper and putting them all in a jar and drawing one out each week to have a little surprise and variety.

1. Free Roller skating – Our local rink is part of kidsskatefree.com. We are signed up and have our free passes.
2. Free Bowling – A little farther drive for us but only about 20 minutes to our participating bowling alley. Cowtown Bowling in River Oaks participates in kidsbowlfree.com. Passes are printed for us! You can also add on a budget friendly adult pass.
3. Local parks and trails – We are located near several great parks and to add some adventure to this we participate in several “treasure hunting” internet groups. We geocache and rock hunt!
– Geocaching is using the app or a GPS to locate caches or treasures hidden by others. We have found virtual caches, large ammo boxes, small film containers, etc. filled with different items and a log. It is proper etiquette to leave something before you take something and sign the log. We used to carry a bag or army men or special coins to leave in caches and the kids enjoyed collecting the different items. We use geocaching.com and have for about 20 years. We hid our first cache for others to find this week too! We have enjoyed watching the logs as others find it.
– Painted rock hunting – We have recently discovered this fun activity. People in our communities paint rocks and hide them in parks, shopping centers, etc for others to find and enjoy. We have started painting rocks to hide this week as well. Search Facebook for rock painting/hiding groups in your neighborhood/town. I just search Fort Worth Rocks and found several great ones near me!
4. For fourth graders only – Free admission to National State Parks at Every Kid in A Park. Your child will have to do a few, fun online learning exercises, then print out the form to receive a free national park pass.
5. Ever wonder how money is made? Take a tour of the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Fort Worth for FREE! I’ve taken my older kids several times and looking forward to taking our 9 year-old again this year. Tour Info.

The Fort Worth area is a family and cultural mecca for families! These are just a few of the ideas we will utilize this summer.

Share your budget friendly ideas in the comments! I look forward to connecting with you, keep spreading grace and glitter!

Why Glittered With Grace?

Why is my blog named Glittered With Grace? I wanted something that reflected who I am.  Writing is my escape, what heals me, and brings me peace and helps me find grace.  I have a depressive personality, charming I know.  It is a daily battle of bible reading, praying, and knowing that God meant more for my life than the heavy feelings I carry.

In comes the glitter, which by definition means – to shine with a bright, shimmering, reflected light – the light of our heavenly savior is how I envision it.  I am also a proud Texas woman and southern, where glitter is like face powder and macaroni and cheese at a potluck on Sunday.  I believe all women shine with strong feelings – happiness, sadness, excitement, grief, etc – all the emotions glitter off of us and we emanate them to our surroundings and family.  I want to emanate to my family and surroundings the feelings of hope, joy, and grace.  Don’t get me wrong all the other feelings – sadness, anger, grief – I do not want those hidden, I teach my family that we need to feel our feelings and express them to run the full gamut of the emotion for any given situation but with grace.

My family is in a season of grief right now.  We lost a great man last October and every holiday, gardening season, special event (we had a beautiful baby boy born to my son this year), we hurt from the sting of him being gone.  We talk about how happy he would be or what his advice would and also about how it just sucks, that he isn’t here.  We cry and let the tears fall…. and as I tell my beautiful oldest daughter.. fix your makeup and keep on moving.  That is what he taught us!

The first thing I ever wrote personally outside of high school was this great man’s obituary last year, it poured out of me like I was bleeding tears and God told me to start writing, he has been leading me here to this Glitteredwithgrace. My last words to the greatest man I ever knew Uncle, Father, Husband, Provided, Godly Man

I have shared a couple of definitions of glitter and grace below, looking up words is always eye opening to me… take a peek.. and come read more of my crazy, blessed adventures.  Happy Sunday!

Glitter

 1. shine with a bright, shimmering, reflected light.
  1. “trees and grass glittered with dew”
    synonyms: shine, sparkle, twinkle, glint, gleam, shimmer, glimmer, wink, flash, catch the light;

    • shine as a result of strong feeling.
      “her eyes were glittering with excitement”

noun

noun: glitter
  1. bright, shimmering, reflected light.
    “the blue glitter of the sea”
    synonyms: sparkle, twinkle, glint, gleam, shimmer, glimmer, flicker, flash; More

    “the glitter of light on the water”
a glint in a person’s eye indicating a particular emotion.
“the scathing glitter in his eyes”
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grace

noun
  1. simple elegance or refinement of movement.
    “she moved through the water with effortless grace”
    synonyms: elegance, poise, gracefulness, finesse; More

    suppleness, agility, nimbleness, light-footedness
    “the grace of a ballerina”
    • courteous goodwill.
      “at least he has the grace to admit his debt to her”
      synonyms: courtesy, decency, (good) manners, politeness, decorum, respect, tact

      “he at least had the grace to look sheepish”
      antonyms: effrontery
    • an attractively polite manner of behaving.
      plural noun: graces
      “she has all the social graces
  2. 2
    (in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.
  3. a short prayer of thanks said before or after a meal.
    “before dinner the Reverend Newman said grace”
    synonyms: blessing, prayer of thanks, thanksgiving, benediction

    “who would like to say this evening’s grace?”