THE BLOG
06/13/2013 11:57 am ET | Updated Aug 13, 2013

5 Fun & Free Ways for Single Moms to Entertain Their Kids This Summer

School's out for the summer! We all know what that means for kids. Endless days of no homework, extra credit reports or after school sports. We also know what that means for mom. How are we going to keep their minds and bodies occupied for the next 75 days? For single moms on a budget, this can be a very challenging season. Try to mix in a dose of much needed mommy me-time and it can be doubly complicated.

It is time to get creative, dig deep into the mommy bag of tricks and enlist your village to help out. If you don't have family or friends nearby you can rely on for support, I found a brand new website called MomMeetMom.com. The free online platform lets moms and caregivers easily find and connect with other moms/caregivers in their area -- it's a bit like a localized dating site but for mom friends.

Now with your ready-made village in tact, you're set for some free summertime fun!

1. This summer more than 1,200 bowling centers across the country will participate in the 6th annual Kids Bowl for Free program. It entitles children, ages 15 and under, a summertime full of cool bowling alley fun. It's a great way for kids to hang out with their friends, stay busy and for moms to relax and catch up with other moms, especially on a rainy day. All you have to do to participate is register at www.kidsbowlfree.com. You'll receive vouchers via email every Sunday valid for two free bowling games each day for the entire week for the duration of the summer.

2. Gather three other moms and each host a Saturday night outdoor sleepover, every weekend, all summer long. Start the fun early by having the kids set up a tent in the late afternoon creating a backyard campground. Prepare a simple burger BBQ dinner and s'mores for dessert. Then supply the campers with flashlights, books, games, a telescope for viewing stars and they are good for the evening. The host mom can keep an eye on the activity from inside the house with a nice dinner and glass of wine while the other moms enjoy a much needed weekend night of relaxation.

3. There are an abundance of free kidcentric outdoor concerts to attend this summer. Pack up a picnic dinner and pile your village into your mommy van for a night out of music under the stars. "Mr. Steve," the award winning performer and co-host of the nationally broadcast PBS KIDS preschool destination will be performing at venues throughout the US. Kindie music icon Recess Monkey will appear across the country for their Deep Sea Diver Tour. Or you can take your village back to the root of American music for a Jambojam concert.

4. Put your creative mind muscle together with your mommy girlfriends and gather their kids for an old school scavenger hunt. Once you've distributed your clever lists to the kids you ladies can relax and visit while the teams are busy tearing up the sidewalks of your 'hood. Contact the neighbors and let them know you're sending the kids out on a mission. If your area isn't conducive for letting children loose, take everyone to the local park or the beach.

5. Faber-Castell, the quintessential pencil and art supply purveyor, is sponsoring the Creativity Comeback movement with Free Creativity Cans. Designed as an effort to combat the national creativity crisis, starting July 15 the company will be providing FREE Cans at select retailers nationwide. The Cans are filled with simple materials chosen specifically to spark imagination. This craft kit purposely does not include instructions making the possibilities endless. Set up a long crafting table in your backyard and let the kids go to town while you and your mommy friends catch up on the town scuttlebutt. To find a participating retailer in your area, visit www.creativitycan.com.

What's your best 75 days of summer free activity idea?