Those two little words are enough to strike fear into the hearts of even the most organized parents!
According to a recent TD survey, 55% of Canadian parents with children under the age of 18 take on additional costs during the summer; in fact, 71% of them spend up to $999 per child. Whoa!!
The thought of filling eight weeks with play dates, camps, crafts and outdoor activities can be daunting, and the thought of paying for it all, even more so – IF you don’t have a plan.
That’s why Linda MacKay, Senior Vice President, Retail Savings & Investing and Shirley Malloy, Associate Vice President, Acquisition & Sales Management at TD Canada Trust have come up with some ideas for how to save for this costly time of year:
- Use rewards card balances to fund activities and travel, i.e. redeem your loyalty rewards for theme park passes or excursions
- Take advantage of sibling discounts, where applicable (the savings really add up if you plan on enrolling more than one child)
- For big-ticket activities like specialty camps, inquire about payment plans that stretch over the year, so there’s not a crunch in the summer.
- Watch for early bird discounts – some organizations offer a discount if you sign up well in advance of the program start date
- Sign up for city-run programs (such as those offered through community recreation centres), which usually offer lower cost programming
- Don’t forget to claim your tax deductions for child care and / or child fitness tax credits
- Go camping (in your backyard counts, too!)
- Visit the beach
- Enjoy water activities
- Buy water squirters or a small blow-up pool for hours of enjoyment
- Visit neighbourhood splash pads and playgrounds
- Have a lemonade stand (encourage kids to donate half of proceeds to charity)
- Visit local farmer’s markets
- Attend library story time
- Go on a picnic
- Have fun with sidewalk chalk – make a masterpiece!
- Here’s a fun recipe for chalk paint
- Paint your own pottery
- Go on a nature scavenger hunt
If you live in or around Toronto, here are some awesome places to visit / things to do in the city:
- Toronto Islands
- Far Enough Farm
- Centreville Amusement Park and more!
- High Park playground
- Riverdale Farm
- Regent Park Aquatic Centre
- TD Summer Reading Club (Canada-wide)
- Edwards Gardens
- Evergreen Brick Works
- Free museum passes (MAP) through the Toronto Public Library
- Beaches International Jazz Festival
- Toronto Zoo
And, if you’re looking for more ideas, SavvyMom.ca gave us a peek of their Top 10 Things To Do in Toronto, so check them out:
- Snakes & Lattes Cafe
- Gardiner Ceramic Museum
- Franklin Children’s Garden (on the Toronto Islands)
- Sugar Beach
- Sunnybrook Stables
- Humber Bay Park East and West
- Mackenzie House
- Allen Gardens Conservatory
- Harbourfront Centre
- TD Reads
What are YOUR favourite things to do and places to visit in the summer? I’d love to hear them in the comments.
This post has been sponsored by TD Canada Trust but the opinions, as always, are my own. For more information, please visit http://www.tdcanadatrust.com.