I have three kids and I work full-time. I can't afford to send them all to summer camp next summer, but I don't want them to sit around and play video games either. Are there more affordable options to get three kids (ages 4, 7, and 9) engaged and doing positive activities?

I live in Newburgh, NY.

Answers

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You may want to check with your local Boys and Girls Club. Membership in the club is only $25 per YEAR and they have all kinds of programming that is free, including afterschool programming, preschool, and daily summer access that includes swimming. My daughter did their 3 hour boating program DAILY this summer and it was only $85 for the whole summer, and she could use the other facilities during the other hours. Also, the YMCA has program fees that can be reduced with demonstrated need, including summer camp programs. I loved their summer camps because they actually accommodated the working parent; i.e. 7:45-5:30, instead of the typical 9-3.

Best Wishes in finding a program that works for you!

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Echoing the financial support that many camps offer. Even if a camp isn't offering a formalized scholarship on their website, often times camps are run by individuals versus corporations - so they are more than willing to work with families to maintain relationships and develop consistency in campers. Often times camps will also offer a multi-child discount - essentially my advice is to email the general camp inbox. Look for smaller, newer camps that might benefit from reviews or exchanges.

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As an alternative to playing video games, you can have kids try a daily math problem from bedtimemath.org or let them try a free learning website such as chesskid.com where they learn to play chess in a safe environment.

All the best!

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