Does this picture put a chill in your spine? This was last winter – a snowy winter for East Tennessee. I thought summer would never get here! Well, we’re now experiencing mid-summer weather with temps in the 90’s, but I am not complaining!
I love going outside with no coat on, having flowers blooming in my yard, and the fact that it’s still light outside at 9:00! I love having local fresh vegetables and fruits that are sweet and tender. I love the sight of lightening bugs at night and the sound of the cicadas in the trees. I love swinging on my swing on the deck early in the morning or late in the evening. I just love summer! I hope you’re enjoying it too.
Just in case you’re a mom who might have run out of ideas to keep your children busy this summer, I thought I would post some great suggestions I found in a home and garden publication.
1. Make a summer scrapbook. Include everything–even the little stuff. The price tag from your fave sundress, amusement park ticket stubs, photo booth pics of you and the crew and vacation postcards are all awesome additions to your book. It’ll be a summer you’ll never forget.
2. Grow a green thumb! Purchase some packets of flower seeds–cosmo, poppy, sunflower (unsalted, of course!)–and plant them in your own garden patch. Tending to your sprouts will keep you super-busy, and it’s oh-so satisfying to watch as your blooms blossom.
3. Rent a tandem bike for a day. It’s a bicycle built for-two. Grab a pal, hop on and pedal off for some good laughs: Yeah, it’s goofy…. So what?
4. Head for the nearest gumball machine. Now, get four gumballs for a buck for you and each of your girls, and have a contest to see who blows the biggest bubble.
5. Hit the kiddie section of the dollar store, and buy a few bottles of soapy bubbles. You’re never too old to blow bubbles!
6. Buy some zany sunglasses, and wear them in public. They can be ultra-glam, ultra-goofy, ultra-big, ultra-anything! The trick is to find a pair that really attracts attention. You’re guaranteed to have an ultra-hilarious day!
7. Play the claw machine two times for a buck. You know–the one in which you try to pluck prizes with a mechanical crane. Yeah, it’s usually a waste of money… but it’s sooo irresistible!
8. Fly a kite on a windy day. Haven’t flown a kite since you were a tot? You’re missing out! It’s not easy to keep that thing gracefully floating up there–but that’s what makes it challenging! Fly your kite on the beach or in an open field, where the wind is often at its strongest mph.
9. Go backyard camping. Call your pals, pitch a tent, grab some sleeping bags, and head out your back door. OK, you’ll have to forget about the campfire, but that’s no reason to forgo the traditional campfire songs and tales. Have a blast sleeping under the stars-while enjoying the indoor plumbing just steps away!
10. Become a bookworm. Make it a goal to finish off a certain number of books this summer. Pick a genre you’ve never tried before–biographies or historical fiction–and then stake out a few reading spots. Climb a tree, stretch out on the porch swing, or even curl up on the couch on a rainy day.
11. Visit the library for the afternoon; it’s cool in there and you can occupy yourself with books, magazines, computers, story time, etc.
12. Have a water fight. Get all your pals together, and designate teams. Then grab your water guns, water balloons, buckets, hoses and whatever else you’ve got…and ATTACK!
13. Catch fireflies in a jar. Make yourself an all-natural lightning-bug strobe-light lantern for the evening. Don’t forget to throw in a few blades of grass and poke holes in the lid. Just be sure to let them go after a few hours!
14. Become a volunteer at your local nursing home. Your electric smile and enthusiastic personality will have folks at the local home uplifted in no time. Spending even an hour a week playing board games or just talking with residents whose families can’t (or don’t) visit makes a big difference in their lives. Oh, and the stories they tell!
15. Start a cool collection. It doesn’t matter what you collect–just pick something you like, and go for it! Sea glass, shells and bottle caps are popular summer collectibles. Or be a collector of something totally unique, like ceramic cats, cute bandannas or vintage buttons. To get into the collecting groove, visit a local museum and check out its collections for inspiration.
16. Play tag–in the rain. Why stay indoors just because the sun’s not shining? Nothing screams summer like a game of soggy tag. Running around in the rain (um, as long as there’s no thunder and lightning!!!) is a great way to cool down.
17. Set up a lemonade stand.
18. Make homemade play dough.
19. Get a cardboard appliance box and turn it into a playhouse.
20. Go bowling. Some lanes have special rates on certain days of the week.